COVID-19 Information for SBATs apprentices and trainees (FAQs)

Male apprentice on worksite looking at plans Male apprentice on worksite looking at plans

Training Services NSW is committed to working in collaboration with federal, state and local governments to assist apprentices and trainees impacted by COVID.

Training Services NSW regional and metropolitan offices are able to provide support and information to impacted students, apprentices and trainees. Affected apprentices and trainees can contact Training Services NSW on 13 28 11 who will provide information, advice and referral services.

Information for apprentices and trainees who have been suspended, or lost their job completely:

  • Apprentices and trainees who have lost their job or are not receiving an income due to COVID-19 can apply for Commonwealth Government financial assistance.
  • Apprentices and trainees who have lost their job due to COVID-19 can use the CAPS program to find short or long term reassignment with a new employer.

General questions

Apprentices and trainees can use the CAPS program. The CAPS program is there to help apprentices and trainees find employment with a new employer.

Yes, you can continue to do your funded formal training with your approved Smart and Skilled RTO while you look for another employer. If you have any questions, please call us on 13 28 11.

If your employer agrees your RTO can attend your worksite to delivery training. If your employer does not agree to the RTO attending the worksite we recommend that you contact your training provider to discuss other ways to undertake your training.

If you’re still having trouble, call one of our offices on 13 28 11.

Generally yes. For further information regarding available assistance and eligibility see Commonwealth Government financial assistance.

You will need to complete the Reissue of Certificate application form and submit it to your local Training Services NSW centre. If you have trouble completing the form or providing supporting evidence.

Please call us on 13 28 11. As a part of the application process, you may be required to pay a fee before the Certificate can be issued.

Yes, Barranggirra – Skilling for Employment provides end to end support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander learners through culturally appropriate mentoring to ensure successful retention and completion of training and improved post-training employment outcomes. This service will remain open throughout the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Information regarding support through Barranggirra and contacts in your local area can be found here.

For further assistance email TSNSW.Aboriginal.Initiatives@det.nsw.edu.au

Vaccinations

Some industries require mandatory vaccinations in order to attend worksites. As a worker you are required to be fully vaccinated if your industry is listed in the nsw.gov.au Requirements for Workers.

Apprentices and Trainees who work in a sector that has mandated the COVID-19 vaccine may only be exempt from the vaccination requirement if:

Completions

If there has been a delay with the delivery of your formal training, and you are unlikely to complete your training or assessments within the remaining term of your apprenticeship or traineeship, you and your employer can request an extension of term.

However, to reduce unnecessary paperwork we suggest that you wait to review the need for an extension until the last six months of the nominal training term. This may give you time to catch up on your training before the end of your Training Contract. If you and your employer decide to proceed with a term extension request immediately, it will be assessed on a case by case basis by your Training Services NSW centre.

To request an extension to the apprenticeship or traineeship term, please complete a variation request form and submit to Training Services NSW. If you have any questions, please call us on 13 28 11.

Suspensions

If your apprenticeship or traineeship has been suspended, and you are unlikely to complete your training or assessments within the remaining term of your apprenticeship or traineeship, you and your employer can request an extension of term. However, we suggest that you wait to review the need for an extension until the last six months of the nominal apprenticeship/traineeship term.

To request an extension to the apprenticeship or traineeship term, please complete a variation request form and submit to Training Services NSW. If you have any questions, please call us on 13 28 11.

If you have been stood down or terminated from your employment, please see Commonwealth Government financial assistance for information about eligibility and available assistance.

Generally, you will not be asked to produce evidence of being stood down or terminated. However, if required, your employer should be able to provide a letter or some other form of evidence.

Note: You DO NOT require a letter to indicate that your apprenticeship or traineeship has been suspended or cancelled. Your training contract status has nothing to do with eligibility for Commonwealth Government financial assistance.

Yes. Please contact us on 13 28 11 for assistance.

Training Plans

Yes. You should get a Training Plan within 12 weeks of approval of your apprenticeship or traineeship unless your Training Contract has been suspended.

Yes. You should still get an updated Training Plan showing your progress at least every six months unless your apprenticeship or traineeship has been suspended.

Employment changes

If formal training is continuing, then training plan obligations need to be met.

If an extension of the term of training is needed, then all parties still need to apply. However, we suggest that all parties wait to review the need for an extension until the last six months of the nominal training term.

We suggest that you liaise with your employer regarding the need for a term extension application to be lodged. Your employer can contact their ANP, or call us on 13 28 11 for assistance.

Due to COVID-19, Training Services NSW will not require a Training Plan to be lodged with Term Extension requests of up to 3 months. Term Extensions over 3 months will require an amended full Training Plan.

Yes, apprentices and trainees can continue to access funded training with their approved Smart and Skilled RTO while they look for another employer.

For the period 1 April 2020 to 31 December 2022, if this is a temporary change in delivery mode in response to COVID 19, the employer and learner do NOT need to apply for a variation.

If this is permanent change, the employer and learner will need to complete a variation request form and submit to Training Services NSW. If you have any questions, please call us on 13 28 11.

Yes. If an apprentice or trainee was in a Smart and Skilled fee-free arrangement which is cancelled, but subsequently re-established with the same employer, the learner will continue to be eligible for fee-free training.

If there is not enough work to employ you full time, you and your employer may agree to move to a part time arrangement. The hours you work must meet minimum Part time hour requirements.

You and your employer must notify Training Services NSW by completing and submitting a Variation Application.

If you have any questions please contact us on 13 28 11.

Training changes

All Students, Apprentices, Trainees and SBATs have the right to access the delivery of face to face formal training aligned to COVID-19 safe practices. 

Training Providers are committed to complying with NSW Government health guidelines and must observe COVID-safe practices.

Training Providers should have developed:

  • Policy and procedures for ensuring the safety of unvaccinated staff, students and visitors (including mask wearing, QR code safe check in, sanitising stations, additional cleaning regimes, well ventilated work and training spaces)
  • Support mechanisms for students on a case by case basis in sectors where vaccinations are mandated (Education, Health, Disability, Aged Care and NSW Police).

  • There are steps you can take to protect your wellbeing, stay safe and stop the spread of COVID-19.
  • NSW Health encourages everyone from age 5 to be vaccinated as the best defence against COVID-19.
  • Observe COVID-19 safe practices such as physical distancing, hand hygiene, cough etiquette and stay home if you are unwell.
  • Wear a mask if your training provider requests you to during indoor training sessions.

  • Face to Face training returned for both vaccinated and unvaccinated learners in December 2021. The surge in cases in 2022 has meant that access to your formal training may be deferred or moved to an online option in the short term. Please contact your training provider to discuss your training options
  • You can call your local Training Services NSW centre to discuss your options on 13 28 11. A staff member there can support you with extending your training contract if you are an apprentice or trainee or provide advice for smart and skilled students.

No. There is no impact on apprenticeship or traineeship scholarships or concessions.

Training Providers might be notified that a worker or student who has attended the workplace and tested positive for COVID-19 by:

  • public health authorities
  • the person who has tested positive or
  • an employer of a person who visits the workplace.

The privacy and confidentiality of the person who tested positive for COVID-19 must always be maintained.

Your Training Provider will follow the Guidance for businesses with a worker who tests positive for COVID-19 | NSW Government.

Register a positive rapid antigen test result

From 12 January 2022, you must report a positive rapid antigen test result:

  • Within 24 hours of getting the result
  • Every time you get a positive result.

If you have tested positive and reported your result, you can:

  • Quickly understand your relative level of risk, based on your personal circumstances
  • Access support services available from NSW Health
  • Access financial support, such as the Pandemic Disaster Leave.

Register your COVID-19 test result.

Stay up to date with the rules about returning to work or training after testing positive to COVID-19, including information about Rapid Antigen Tests.

School based apprentices and trainees - General

Yes.

SBATs will be able to complete their days after 31 December of the HSC year. Employers of SBTs will need to seek an extension of term to allow for these required days.

The employer, SBAT and school will need to look for an alternative RTO that may continue to deliver training and assessment services. Note, extended breaks in training for SBAT students may impact their achievement of the HSC. The student’s school must be notified in these instances.

If a student wants to cancel their apprenticeship or traineeship, they must liaise with their school to check the impact on HSC and ATAR eligibility.

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