Apprentice and Trainee advice and support
Provides apprentices and trainees with information and advice to assist them throughout their apprenticeships and traineeships.
Provides apprentices and trainees with information and advice to assist them throughout their apprenticeships and traineeships.
Please wait while page index is generated
Every workplace is different. Discover what you can expect in your workplace and also what’s expected of you. You can also learn what to do about bullying and harassment.
Your first day on the job as an apprentice or trainee can be a daunting experience. You’ll have to get used to a fixed routine, arrive at work on time and take breaks when you’re told to.
Long working hours can be difficult to adjust to, especially while you’re absorbing new information. It can take awhile, but don’t worry, you will adapt.
What should you expect?
You must make every effort to gain the skills and knowledge you need to successfully complete your apprenticeship or traineeship.
This includes following your employer’s instructions (within the law), following the policies and procedures of your workplace and demonstrating a commitment to your employer’s business.
It’s also your role to undertake the training outlined in your training contract and training plan. By entering into your training contract you make a formal commitment to:
Outstanding apprentices and trainees show the following qualities:
While you might not naturally possess the above qualities, if you focus on doing your job and doing it well, you’ll start to develop them.
Your supervisor and co-workers know you haven’t been working for long and understand you have a lot to learn. When they started out, they were just like you.
You may need to change your employer during your apprenticeship or traineeship. The following provides information on different situations, what you need to do and other options available to assist you.
Even the best work relationships hit a rut. If your relationship with your employer is suffering, work can be especially challenging. Maybe you haven’t been seeing eye-to-eye lately or maybe you never really hit it off.
If things are going wrong or if you’re concerned that things may go wrong in the future, we can help.
The first thing you should do if you're unhappy with a work situation is to try and discuss the problem with your employer.
Our Training Services NSW officers can help you talk to your employer by offering confidential advice and support.
We can provide information about your options, suggest how to approach your employer or, if you feel you need further support, we can attend a meeting with your employer to talk about your situation.
If none of these approaches work, we can support you to figure out what to do next.
If either you or your employer wants to transfer your apprenticeship or traineeship to a new employer, you’ll both need to sign an Application to Transfer form and lodge it with Training Services NSW.
A transfer can only occur if it’s by mutual agreement with your current employer and your new employer.
You will also need to contact your current employer’s Apprenticeship Network Provider to advise them that you have a new employer.
When you transfer your training contract all the terms, conditions, rights, and obligations of your original employer are transferred to your new employer. All parties will be notified when the transfer has been approved.
If you lose your job, the Continuing Apprentice Placement Service (CAPs) can help.
CAPs is a free job matching service that helps apprentices in skills shortage occupations find a new employer. The service coordinates with Group Training Organisations, employers and Apprenticeship Network Providers to connect employers with apprentices.
Once you’ve signed up for CAPs, they will contact you to confirm your details and talk about your training and employment needs. After you’re registered, an employer will be able to search for information about you, such as your trade, experience and your preferred work location.
You should also widen your search and look for work on online job sites, through job matching agencies or by approaching employers directly.
Make sure you continue your formal training while you're temporarily unemployed!
If you’re offered a new role in a skills shortage occupation , you may be entitled to financial assistance to help you relocate to or from a regional area to continue your apprenticeship or traineeship.
Discover if you’re eligible: Relocation Allowance Application Form .
You’ll need to submit your relocation expense claim within three months of commencing work with your new employer.
Group Training Organisations (GTOs) directly employ apprentices and trainees and then place them with a host employer.
They are responsible for ensuring you have consistent employment and training that will lead to the completion of your training contract and qualification.
You’ll benefit from working for a GTO if you would like to try out a range of host employers over the course of your apprenticeship or traineeship. They provide opportunities for employers who can’t support an apprentice or trainee for the full term of their training contract.
Explore your options .
While you’re looking for a new job, you may be entitled to unemployment benefits. You’ll also need to be registered with Centrelink to receive help from job search agencies and support organisations.
Check your eligibility for Centrelink benefits.
Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) teach you the essential skills and knowledge relevant to the line of work you wish to enter.
They offer nationally recognised training and accredited VET qualifications to equip you with everything you need to succeed in your industry.
RTOs are required to uphold a certain standard by maintaining engagement with industry so the skills you’re taught are of a high quality and relevant to the needs of your future employers.
If you feel you're not getting the right training from your training organisation, firstly check your training plan - it tells you what you should be learning, in what timeframe, where, and how.
Next, talk to your trainer or your training organisation’s support staff. You can use your training plan as an official document to refer to during your discussion.
If you're still not convinced, talk to your workplace supervisor and ask for their advice.
We can also intervene on your behalf. Call your nearest Training Services NSW Centre or 13 28 11. You can also request support via our help and support portal and we'll get back to you to discuss your situation confidentially
What if your training organisation goes out of business?
On occasion, some training organisations close while still delivering courses. This can be for a range of reasons, including not being financially viable, the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) has cancelled their registration or the business can no longer commit to delivering training.
If your training organisation does close down, you'll need to find a new provider so you can complete your studies.
Make sure you collect a Statement of Attainment from your closing training organisation so you have proof of your completed units of competency. This will ensure a smooth transfer to your new training organisation.
If you’re not able to access this statement from your training organisation, you can contact the ASQA and complete an online form to request a copy of your student records. (For a fee).
Your Australian Network Provider (ANP) can help you and your employer find another training organisation.
You can also contact your nearest Training Services NSW centre on 13 28 11.
The majority of workplaces in Australia are covered by awards. Awards vary depending on the industry you work in and the job you do. The minimum wages and conditions an employee is entitled to are outlined in awards .
Most awards have special coverage for apprentices and trainees. Your employer should pay you at least the minimum rate shown in your award or agreement.
If overtime or weekend work is required, you should be aware of the conditions. Ask your employer:
Use the FairWork pay calculator to calculate base pay rates, allowances and penalty rates (including overtime).
You should be paid for all the hours you work. This includes team and individual meetings at your employer's request, opening and closing the business, training sessions, days travelling during work hours for your job, and compulsory attendance at a function.
You should be paid on a set day, weekly, fortnightly or monthly. You must receive a pay slip from your employer within one day of being paid so you know what you’re being paid for.
Discover more information about FairWork apprentice and trainee pay rates.
If you’re 18 or older and you earn $450 or more (before tax) in a calendar month, your employer must make superannuation contributions on your behalf.
If you’re under 18 and you earn $450 or more (before tax) in a calendar month and you work more than 30 hours in a week, your employer must also make superannuation contributions on your behalf.
Use the Australian Taxation Office’s Estimate My Super tool to estimate how much super your employer should pay.
More information: call the ATO Superannuation Infoline on 13 10 20.
Your employer shouldn’t deduct anything from your wages unless the law requires it or you’ve agreed in writing. The deduction must be for your benefit. If you’re under 18, your parent or guardian must also agree to the deduction in writing.
Most employees are entitled to at least a half hour break after five hours of work.
Check your award or agreement to find out what your rest and meal breaks are.
Discover more about the minimum break requirements in your industry.
If you’re required to work on a public holiday, you’re generally entitled to penalty rates. This may vary according to your award or agreement and employment type (full-time or part-time).
You can say no to working on a public holiday if you have reasonable grounds. This depends on the type of work you do, whether you get extra pay for working on holidays, how much notice you’re given, and your reasons for refusing (i.e. family responsibilities).
Full-time and part-time workers get four weeks of annual leave based on their ordinary hours of work.
Explore how annual leave accumulates.
You can take paid sick leave when you can't work due to personal illness or injury.
Use the Leave Calculato r to calculate your sick and carer's leave entitlements.
Your hours of work will depend on your industry and the award or agreement you work under.
There may be minimum hours that you’ll be required to work. If you work hours outside of your agreed hours, you may also be entitled to overtime. Your work supervisor should outline these expectations during your workplace induction.
Some awards contain entitlements for time spent at training as well as reimbursement of training costs, fees and textbooks.
Check which entitlements apply to you.
If you're under 22 years of age and have been assessed as having a partial capacity to work, you may be eligible for a Youth Disability Supplement .
If you get sick or have a short-term illness that affects your ability to work or study, Centrelink may be able to help.
Centrelink may also be able to provide you with rent assistance or a low income health care card.
Contact Centrelink to find out more.
Your health and wellbeing is essential to a successful apprenticeship or traineeship. We have recorded strong links between health, wellbeing and apprenticeship completion. Make sure you take time out of your learning journey to look after yourself.
As a new apprentice or trainee, you may also be earning money for the first time. In the past, you might not have had to consider managing a budget or dealing with a wide range of expenses. You may also be struggling financially. We’re here to help.
In New South Wales everyone in the workplace, including apprentices and trainees, has rights and obligations under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011.
If you’re a young worker, it is important that you know your workplace health and safety rights and obligations.
Unsafe work practices threaten the physical and mental health of staff.
Unsafe work practices are avoidable with good management, training and awareness.
You should speak up if you think you could be hurt at work. We want you to return home to your family and friends injury-free every day.
The facts1 are, more than 15,000 young people aged up to 25 years old in NSW are injured at work each year. While some injuries may only have a short-term impact, others are irreversible and life-changing for young workers, family and friends.
As an employee you have an obligation to:
It is important that you:
Advise your supervisor immediately if you see a safety problem at work.
Your employer must provide:
The NSW workers compensation system provides support to people injured at work, including assistance with recovering and returning to work wherever possible.
All workers in NSW are covered for work-related injuries and illnesses under state legislation, even if their employer is uninsured.
It's compulsory for most employers in NSW to hold a workers insurance policy. If an employer doesn't hold a valid workers insurance policy, employees can notify a claim through the uninsured liability scheme, which is managed by icare.
Following the lodgement of a claim, a case manager will review it to determine what treatment and/or services are available to the worker. Under workers compensation legislation, a 'worker' has a specific definition that is different to the way we use the term in everyday conversation.
In the event that you are on Workers Compensation for a period of time, please contact Training Services NSW - your regional office to discuss the possibility of suspending your apprenticeship/traineeship to assist you complete your training when you return to work. This will ensure your training contract does not expire while you are off work.
Advise your supervisor immediately if you see a safety problem at work.
All workers have the right to:
If you have concerns about safety practices in the workplace you can contact:
The combination of full-time work, study and a social/family life is a balancing act anyone would find challenging. While studying may not come naturally to you, with a little planning and self-discipline, you can find a way to do your best.
Discuss with your supervisor and or employer what’s involved in your job, the regular duties you need to schedule and what training you will be undertaking. They will be able to tell you what your job entails and when the busiest times are at your workplace, which will help you organise your study schedule. You are entitled to paid time off to study. Incorporating your study into your workday can help take the pressure off completing your qualification. A good philosophy to live by during your apprenticeship/traineeship is “it’s much easier to keep up than to catch up".
You should also talk to your trainer about how much coursework you’ll have and when your deadlines will be so you can plan ahead. Your Training Plan provides details of the expected delivery dates for each of the Units of Competency that you need to complete for your qualification. You can use it to schedule and keep on track with your coursework.
Not everyone understands the demands of study and work. Let your supervisor, friends and family know about your training schedule. Ask for help when you need it, remember two heads are better than one.
Remember due to experience everyone looks at issues from a different point of view, which means they may have advice which will help with any problems you may have.
To help study some people create a dedicated study space at home, this may help you to remain focused and work uninterrupted. If you find it difficult to study at home, you could go to a library or use a quiet place at work. You may also try setting aside certain time slots for home study so you’re used to a routine.
Parts of your schedule may be fixed, such as if you need to attend classes and undertake specific work hours. You’ll then need to add homework and study time.
Build a routine you can stick to, but can also remember you can this schedule if you have to adapt to new assignments, unexpected errands and/or sudden work pressures. Plan for enough study time so if something comes up, you can shift your study to another time slot.
With so much on your plate, you won’t have time to do everything. Choose your priorities and accept that you may have to miss a few social outings or exercise sessions to stay on top of work.
Most apprentices and trainees need a licence to do their job or to get to worksites and training. A crash or an infringement can cost your licence, jeopardise your employment or worse. The Roads and Maritime Services’ Geared website is full of useful information, including licensing information – how to get and keep your licence, driving skills and tips for staying safe. Check out the GEARED site today.
While stress is usually referred to as a negative experience, not all stress is bad. Some stress can be helpful as it can motivate you to finish a task or even help you perform better in the moment.
However, if stress continues over a long period, it can have a negative impact on your physical and mental health.
Get around eight hours of sleep, take regular breaks, eat well, stretch, and take a walk. Allow yourself time to enjoy some of the good things life has to offer.
If you’re finding your training too hard, talk to your lecturers or trainers about your workload. If work's getting to you, talk to a colleague, your supervisor or your employer. The first step to making the situation better is talking to someone about it.
How can we help? Contact us
Bullying and harassment involves a more powerful person or group of people oppressing a less powerful person or group, often because they’re different.
These differences can be related to culture, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, ability or disability, physical appearance, age or economic status.
Workplace bullying affects the psychological and physical health of not only the aggressor and the victim, but also everyone in the workplace.
Bullying includes cultural insensitivity, unfair and excessive criticism, publicly insulting people, ignoring a person’s point of view, constantly changing or setting unrealistic work targets, and undervaluing someone’s efforts at work.
Harassment is unwelcome behaviour that humiliates, offends or intimidates. It is neither appropriate nor relevant to work.
Someone may be harassed through the use of words, actions, images, attitudes, and the creation of a hostile or threatening atmosphere.
Workplace bullying and harassment can occur through verbal or physical abuse, email, text messages, instant messaging or on other social media channels. In some cases, workplace bullying continues outside the workplace.
The most effective way to prevent or address bullying is for your employer to send a clear message that workplace bullying is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.
If you’re not sure where your money goes every week, it might be good to know that plenty of people feel the same way.
A budget helps you live within your means. It keeps track of the money you regularly earn and spend (rent, food, bills) and your disposable income – the money you spend on things you like.
A budget shows you exactly where your money's coming from and where you're spending it. Your budget may also show you where you might be able to cut your spending and save more.
Working out the right budget takes fine-tuning. Sometimes you'll underestimate what things cost or have to allow for an emergency. It's all about finding the right balance.
You also don't have to go without. In fact, if you want your budget to be successful, make sure you give yourself the occasional treat, such as buying lunch on Fridays
Once you've created your budget, monitor it for a few months to see if you're on track. You may need to make some changes if you discover your real world expenses are more or less than expected.
The MoneySmart website offers tips on budgeting, managing bills, getting out of debt, saving money, and living on a low income.
You can also call their free counselling service on 1800 149 689.
There's many ways you can experience good health at work.
There’s strong links between what we eat and how we feel. Your brain needs a mix of nutrients to stay healthy. Healthy eating also helps prevent chronic diseases such as Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer and ensures you stay in good shape.
A balanced diet includes:
Low levels of physical activity, including sitting at a desk for a long time, contribute to increased preventable disease and workplace injury.
Studies show that one hour of movement a day such as walking, swimming or cycling can undo the damage caused by long periods of sitting.
Exercise also reduces symptoms of depression and anxiety, boosts your self-esteem, helps you concentrate, sleep, and keeps your brain healthy.
Break up your day by using your down time to get some form of physical activity.
Smoking is the single largest cause of preventable death in Australia. Exposure to environmental smoke or second-hand smoke also causes harm.
The NSW Smoke-free Environment Act 2000 bans smoking in a wide range of public places in NSW, including areas of professional, trade, commercial, and other business premises. Check the smoking regulations at your workplace.
For smokers who are trying to quit and want help, your workplace may offer support or you can contact the NSW Quitline .
We often drink alcohol to change our mood, but the effect is temporary. Drinking isn’t a great way to manage difficult feelings.
Due to different ways that alcohol affects different people, there’s no standard amount of alcohol that’s safe for everyone. There will always be some risk to your health and social wellbeing.
You can minimise risk by:
The harmful consumption of drugs and alcohol can impact workplace safety. Your workplace may already have a drug and alcohol policy as well as programs supporting employees to address high-risk alcohol consumption.
As an apprentice or trainee, you must not be affected by alcohol or drugs while you are at work.
If you are taking prescription medication, make sure you’re aware of any side effects that may hinder your work activity.
The Alcohol and Other Drugs Information Service provides free 24/7 phone counselling, support, referrals and information for those affected by alcohol or other drugs. Phone: 1800 250 015.
Mental health is about wellness instead of illness. When you have good mental health, many things in your life reflect it. You experience increased learning, creativity and social connection. You have better relationships, productivity and physical health and you feel as if you’re part of a community.
Poor mental health can cause distress, impact relationships and day-to-day functioning, and is connected with poor physical health.
On this page:
Focus on your present emotions and thoughts in a non-judgemental way. By noticing your thoughts and feelings, you can question whether they're helpful and then encourage thoughts that will enable you make the most of a bad situation.
Remember, no one's happy all the time. Negative life events can strike anyone. That's why it's important to focus on aspects of your life you can control. Listing three things to be thankful for at the end of each day can help you view your life differently.
Your friends and family make you feel connected and cared for. It's not always possible to catch up face-to-face, but you can give them a call or chat online.
You can also get outside of your head and engage with the world by becoming a volunteer, getting involved in a club or experiencing the free culture or nature your city or region has to offer.
We all have bad days when we get tired or overwhelmed, especially when things don't go to plan.
If you're continually struggling to feel happy, cope with everyday life, find meaning or feel connected to others, you could be experiencing one or more of the following:
Help is available. The earlier you seek support, the better.
Your apprenticeship or traineeship will stand you in good stead to take on your chosen career and get off to a flying start. Once you’ve completed your studies, there are a number of pathways you can take.
Once you’ve completed your qualification, you and your employer may want to apply for Competency Based Completion . This allows you to finish your training before the scheduled end date of your training contract.
If you believe you are competent and your employer supports your application, you can submit your completed form at your local Training Services NSW Centre.
If your employer doesn’t support your request for a Competency Based Completion, you can ask Training Services NSW to help resolve the dispute.
Apprenticeships and traineeships are approved for a nominal term ranging from 12-48 months. This allows time for you to undertake integrated training with your employer and your training organisation.
It’s expected that at the end of your term, you’ll have completed your formal training (qualification) and met industry standards through your workplace training.
Once your training organisation and employer have advised us that you have successfully completed your training and met industry standards, you’ll be able to apply for your Certificate of Proficiency.
Find a job with another employer
Employers hold qualified apprentices and trainees in high regard. They know you have the right technical skills because you've completed a program designed by industry experts while undertaking workplace training with an employer like them.
Use your training record including your Certificate of Proficiency and your qualification, as evidence of your skills when applying for jobs.
Many former apprentices start a business after having worked for someone else as they've learnt something of what it takes to run a business.
Consider finding a mentor who can show you the ropes and guide you on best practices.
Before you start a business, it's important to be aware of your legal, regulatory and financial obligations. You can get specialist advice on day-to-day operations, including record keeping, sales, marketing and management staff.
There’s multiple websites that offer helpful advice:
Also explore these industry specific guides for starting or growing your own business .
Your qualification can be a stepping-stone to further study. It may offer you credit towards a higher-level certificate, diploma or university degree.
Some trades and occupations require a licence to work. The NSW Department of Fair Trading provides information on the types of licences and qualifications required for builders and other tradespeople.
If you want to become a specialist contractor, higher qualifications may also be needed.
Smart and Skilled funding is available for eligible students who wish to continue their education.
Write down your long-term goals. What skills do you need to reach them? What can you do if you lack a skill or the confidence to achieve something? How can you better utlilise your strengths, experience and passion?
Many people have secured their future through an apprenticeship or traineeship. By developing their skills in a real workplace, they've set a foundation for a great career.
There's plenty you can do right now to make your CV even more attractive to future employers.
Consider gaining experience and industry connections while helping your community .
Not only does it feel good to give back, volunteering can help you find a job by putting you in contact with respected business leaders in your community.
Volunteering boosts a CV and you may meet people who can be your referee or even become your employer.
Effective communication is an important life skill. Whether you're being interviewed, asking for a raise, speaking with clients, giving a presentation or rallying your team for a long-haul job, you need to be good at communicating.
It's never too early to start making professional contacts. Don’t forget your trainers are experts in their field and have a great link with industry and may know of projects that are to start in the future.
Training Services NSW is here to help you.
For confidential advice and support please call 13 28 11 to be directed to our nearest office or visit a Training Services NSW centre .