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

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.

80% Roadmap

How does the 80% Roadmap effect my SBAT, Apprenticeship or Traineeship?

70% Roadmap

How does the 70% Roadmap effect my SBAT’s, Apprenticeship or Traineeship?

Frequently asked questions:

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.

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.

Please call us on 13 28 11. At the moment, fee payments can only be made by credit card over the phone. 

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

No, if you return before 25 October in areas under Level 3, you are not required to have received the COVID-19 Vaccine.

However from 8 November you will be required to be fully vaccinated if on-site.

Workers in regional areas who have received one vaccination dose will be permitted to return to their workplace from October 11 and will be given a grace period until November 1 to receive their second dose.

Regional areas are those outside Greater Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Wollongong, Shellharbour and the Central Coast.

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

The NSW Department of Health have mandated COVID-19 vaccinations for all workers in the health care sector.  This includes trainees and students on work placement. Workers must receive their first vaccination by 30 September 2021.

The NSW Public Health Order commenced on 26 August 2021. The Order establishes mandatory requirements for health staff and persons working in health settings to be vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine.

The NSW Public Health Order requires the first dose of a vaccine by 30 September 2021, with a second dose required by 30 November 2021.

The NSW Government website provides information about how to get a COVID-19 vaccine.

This includes information for people aged 16 to 39 who live or work in LGAs of concern, who are now eligible for priority COVID-19 Pfizer vaccination appointments.

If you’re from regional NSW, you will need to regularly complete the eligibility checker. New appointments are regularly being added in regional NSW. 

For any booking issues – please call the free COVID-19 Vaccination Program hotline on 1800 571 155 between 8am – 9.30pm, 7 days a week.

Please make use of the GP network, walk-in vaccination clinics and pharmacies to be vaccinated with whatever vaccine is available as soon as possible.

If you cannot change your first vaccination appointment to a time before the NSW Public Health Order date, you must:

  • Advise your manager that you will not be able to attend your place of work because you will not be vaccinated in accordance with the NSW Public Health Order;
  • Advise when you will meet the requirement to have a first vaccination;
  • Discuss whether your duties can be carried out from home while you await your first vaccination; or 
  • Whether you can be placed on alternative duties not at your worksite.

You will need to obtain a medical certificate from a medical practitioner in the form approved by the NSW Chief Health Officer that certifies that because of a specified medical contraindication, you cannot have a COVID-19 vaccine.

For more information visit: COVID-19 vaccination for workers | NSW Government.

You will need to advise your manager that you do not intend to be vaccinated and will not be able to comply with the NSW Public Health Order.

Your manager will need to consider whether your duties can be carried out from home or whether you can be placed on alternative duties away from the worksite.

Based on the NSW Public Health Order, where Sectors require proof of vaccination, a worker must show:

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. It’s all about your employment status.

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

Maybe. You need to have a good reason for this request. You should also note that there would likely be Industrial Relations implications and you may need to be employed under different rates of pay/conditions. If you and your employer are looking to do this, we suggest you first seek advice from FairWork Australia. Our staff will consider requests to suspend the training arrangement, while leaving the employment arrangement in place, on a case by case basis. .

This flexibility is only available during COVID-19 to meet immediate management needs and to keep as many people in employment as possible. This provision WILL NOT be available under normal circumstances.

Training Plans

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

You have two options:

Option 1. Temporary change from Full Time to Part Time

For the period up to 31 October 2021, if there is not enough work to employ you full time, you and your employer may agree to move to a part time arrangement. This arrangement must be temporary in nature and be agreed by both you and your employer. Note, remaining hours must meet minimum PT hour requirements. No formal advice to the Department is required for this temporary change.

OR

Option 2. Variation

If the change is of a more permanent nature, you and your employer will need to complete and submit a variation request form. If you have any questions contact us on 13 28 11.

Training changes

NSW reaches 70% Double Vaccination

From Monday 11 October 2021:

  • Online delivery is still encouraged where practicable
  • Face to face training can be delivered for critical skills where this cannot be done online
  • Please contact your training provider to discuss your options.

NSW reaches 80% double vaccination

  • Face to face training can be delivered for critical skills and practical training and assessment that cannot be done online.
  • Please contact your training provider to discuss your options.

Changes from December 1 2021

  • Face to Face training can return for both vaccinated and unvaccinated learners
  • Return of full workplace assessment and training can occur in compliance with the NSW Public Health Order.

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

 

COVID-19 Update - Information for SBATs, apprentices and trainees

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.

Frequently asked questions:

70% Roadmap

How does the 70% Roadmap effect my SBAT’s, Apprenticeship or Traineeship?

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.

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.

Please call us on 13 28 11. At the moment, fee payments can only be made by credit card over the phone.

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

No, if you return before 25 October in areas under Level 3, you are not required to have received the COVID-19 Vaccine.

However from 8 November you will be required to be fully vaccinated if on-site.

Workers in regional areas who have received one vaccination dose will be permitted to return to their workplace from October 11 and will be given a grace period until November 1 to receive their second dose.

Regional areas are those outside Greater Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Wollongong, Shellharbour and the Central Coast.

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

The NSW Department of Health have mandated COVID-19 vaccinations for all workers in the health care sector. This includes trainees and students on work placement. Workers must receive their first vaccination by 30 September 2021.

The NSW Public Health Order commenced on 26 August 2021. The Order establishes mandatory requirements for health staff and persons working in health settings to be vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine.

The NSW Public Health Order requires the first dose of a vaccine by 30 September 2021, with a second dose required by 30 November 2021.

The NSW Government website provides information about how to get a COVID-19 vaccine.

This includes information for people aged 16 to 39 who live or work in LGAs of concern, who are now eligible for priority COVID-19 Pfizer vaccination appointments.

If you’re from regional NSW, you will need to regularly complete the eligibility checker. New appointments are regularly being added in regional NSW.

For any booking issues – please call the free COVID-19 Vaccination Program hotline on 1800 571 155 between 8am – 9.30pm, 7 days a week.

Please make use of the GP network, walk-in vaccination clinics and pharmacies to be vaccinated with whatever vaccine is available as soon as possible.

If you cannot change your first vaccination appointment to a time before the NSW Public Health Order date, you must:

  • Advise your manager that you will not be able to attend your place of work because you will not be vaccinated in accordance with the NSW Public Health Order;
  • Advise when you will meet the requirement to have a first vaccination;
  • Discuss whether your duties can be carried out from home while you await your first vaccination; or
  • Whether you can be placed on alternative duties not at your worksite.

You will need to obtain a medical certificate from a medical practitioner in the form approved by the NSW Chief Health Officer that certifies that because of a specified medical contraindication, you cannot have a COVID-19 vaccine.

For more information visit: COVID-19 vaccination for workers | NSW Government.

You will need to advise your manager that you do not intend to be vaccinated and will not be able to comply with the NSW Public Health Order.

Your manager will need to consider whether your duties can be carried out from home or whether you can be placed on alternative duties away from the worksite.

Based on the NSW Public Health Order, where Sectors require proof of vaccination, a worker must show:

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. It’s all about your employment status.

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

Maybe. You need to have a good reason for this request. You should also note that there would likely be Industrial Relations implications and you may need to be employed under different rates of pay/conditions. If you and your employer are looking to do this, we suggest you first seek advice from FairWork Australia. Our staff will consider requests to suspend the training arrangement, while leaving the employment arrangement in place, on a case by case basis. .

This flexibility is only available during COVID-19 to meet immediate management needs and to keep as many people in employment as possible. This provision WILL NOT be available under normal circumstances.

Training Plans

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

You have two options:

Option 1. Temporary change from Full Time to Part Time

For the period up to 31 October 2021, if there is not enough work to employ you full time, you and your employer may agree to move to a part time arrangement. This arrangement must be temporary in nature and be agreed by both you and your employer. Note, remaining hours must meet minimum PT hour requirements. No formal advice to the Department is required for this temporary change.

OR

Option 2. Variation

If the change is of a more permanent nature, you and your employer will need to complete and submit a variation request form. If you have any questions contact us on 13 28 11.

Training changes

NSW reaches 70% Double Vaccination

From Monday 11 October 2021:

  • Online delivery is still encouraged where practicable
  • Face to face training can be delivered for critical skills where this cannot be done online
  • Please contact your training provider to discuss your options.

NSW reaches 80% double vaccination

  • Face to face training can be delivered for critical skills and practical training and assessment that cannot be done online.
  • Please contact your training provider to discuss your options.

Changes from December 1 2021

  • Face to Face training can return for both vaccinated and unvaccinated learners
  • Return of full workplace assessment and training can occur in compliance with the NSW Public Health Order.

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

If your RTO is unable to deliver either class room or work-based training, you and your employer should talk to them about whether your training can be delivered by an alternative, acceptable mode of delivery e.g. Online.

If this is possible/suitable, GREAT! However, if your RTO is NOT able to provide an acceptable alternative mode, your options may differ based on where you are located.

Yes. If you were in a Smart & Skilled fee free funded apprenticeship or traineeship arrangement which was cancelled, but you later re-establish it with the same or different employer, you will still to be eligible for fee free funded training.

Apprentices and trainees working and/or studying in other State/Territory

Please visit COVID-19 Information on the Canberra Institute of Technology’s (CIT) website for the latest update.

You and your employer should talk to CIT about whether the training can continue to be delivered by an alternative mode of delivery e.g. online.

If CIT is NOT able to provide training by another mode, you may need to find another RTO that can deliver your training.

If formal training cannot be delivered by CIT or an alternative RTO, training may need to be temporarily deferred.

Reminder, any formal training, whether it be in the classroom, on-the-job, or on-line, must be undertaken, with pay, within normal work hours.

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

From 1am Monday 13 September 2021, travel for essential work and essential purposes, between the New South Wales border zone and Queensland will be allowed*.

If you are an apprentice or trainee, living in or around the NSW–Queensland border, required to cross the Queensland border for training or work, rules and restrictions apply and you should seek further advice through the NSW interstate travellers and Queensland Government COVID-19 website.

Apprentices and trainees must complete the Queensland entry pass in the 3 days before travelling to Queensland.

The declaration confirming purpose of travel will be emailed to you and it is important that the cross-border requirements are understood.

As soon as practicable, you must return to New South Wales following TAFE training. You are not permitted to remain in Queensland beyond purpose.

If conditions change or you need to update your travel details, apprentices and trainees will need to complete a new declaration with updated details before entering Queensland.

While in Queensland, you must comply with the stay at home and mask wearing requirements,

*Please note, this advice may change subject to any updated Public Health Orders.

School based apprentices and trainees - General

Yes.

You will be able to complete these days after 31 December of the HSC year.

For school based traineeships, you and your employer will need to seek an extension of term to allow for these required days.

For a school based apprenticeship, you will need to complete these days after 31 December of the HSC year, and before you can progress to Stage 2 of the apprenticeship.

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

You, your employer and your school will need to look for an alternative RTO that may continue to deliver the formal training and assessment. Note, extended breaks in training for SBAT students may impact your achievement of the HSC. Your school must be notified in these instances.

If you want to suspend or cancel your SBAT, you need to speak to your school to check the impact on HSC and ATAR eligibility.

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