Employers are both beneficiaries and supporters of the training system in Western Australia providing skilled staff for real workplaces.

If you run a business you know all too well how important it is to plan for the future and adapt to a changing market environment.

Having a trainee can help you develop the skills of your workforce and could be the smartest decision you make. Here you will find information about how to employ a trainee and what is expected of you as an employer. You'll also get an understanding of the required employment conditions, probationary periods, and how you can receive financial support as an employer of a trainee.

How to employ a trainee

If you are considering employing trainees for the first time, you have lots of options. Not only are there now more than 400 traineeships available in Western Australia, the way they're managed is now far more flexible.

Traineeships are open to people of all ages and involve recruiting people either directly or through a group training organisation, but that's only the beginning.

You can also start training:

  • Students through training in schools - school based trainee ships and School Trainee ship Link
  • Aboriginal students through Aboriginal School Based Training
  • School leavers
  • Mature workers wanting to start a new career
  • Existing workers with skills but lacking qualifications
  • Existing workers without experience in their area of interest
  • Trainees on a part-time basis.

The Australian Government provides employers with financial incentives to employ trainees including those in school based training, adult trainees, and out of contract trainees. The State Government also provides payroll tax exemptions and workers compensation rebates for employers of trainee.

Where do I start?

You can employ a trainee directly or become a host employer through a group training organisation. An employer can recruit a trainee in the same way as they recruit other employees, for example by advertising in newspapers or on the internet.

Place a vacancy on Jobs Board
Jobs Board is ApprentiCentre's free online apprenticeship/traineeship vacancy listing service for employers wanting to advertise vacant positions and job seekers wanting to find positions for trainee ships available.It's updated regularly so check it out.

Host through a group training organisation
Group training organisations employ trainees and place them with host employers. Group training arrangements can assist employers who do not have sufficient work to employ a person for the full term of a traineeship, or who are unable to provide all aspects of the required training. Group training organisations are set up in some geographical areas and others for particular industry sectors.

Contact a group training organisation for further assistance with hosting a trainee or contact a group training organisation contracted to participate in Aboriginal School Based Training.

Through the traineeship out of contract list
ApprentiCentre has a list of apprentices and trainees that currently have a training contract cancelled but wish to continue their apprenticeship/traineeship and are looking for new employers. If you are looking for a trainee that has already started their trainee ship (for example a 2nd or 3rd year) contact ApprentiCentre on 13 19 54 and they can forward your details on to specific trainees looking for new employers.

Registering the trainee contract
It is a legal requirement that you and your trainee enter into a training contract within 21 days of them commencing employment as a trainee with you. Contact an Australian Apprenticeships Centre (below) to organise this contract as soon as your trainee starts work.

Expectations and where to get help
Not only do you gain a skilled workforce by employing trainees, but you can also apply for financial incentives and benefits.

You have a responsibility to train your trainees and provide them with appropriate conditions that comply with the National Code of Good Practice which details the obligations of both employers and trainees. A copy is available from the Australian Apprenticeships Centre where you sign your contract.

Find out more:
Telephone:13 38 73 (Australian Apprenticeships Centre)
Website:Australian Apprenticeships


By taking on a trainee you are committing to supporting and encouraging them as your employee.

You are responsible for providing:

  • Employment, training and supervision over the course of their traineeship
  • Every opportunity to learn the skills they need to complete their qualification
  • The time they need off work to complete off the job training if this is required (formal training and assessment, whether undertaken on or off the job, must be in paid working time)
  • A safe working environment that complies with industrial relations and occupational health and safety regulations.

You are required to work with your registered training organisation to develop a training plan and review your trainee's progress regularly.

Probation period
To make sure you are both comfortable and happy with your training arrangement, there is a probation period of one month for each year of the traineeship.This time is included in the total term of the traineeship.

During this probation period, the traineeship can be cancelled by either party.

Employment conditions and wages

Trainees must be employed under an Industry Award or Workplace Agreement.

Minimum wages vary according to industry type, the stage of trainee ship and the age of the trainee. Industry awards may regulate wages and conditions of employment.

Find out more:
Details of rates applicable are available from Wageline on 1300 655 266
State awards information can be found atthe Department of Commerce
Federal awards information can be found at Fair Work Australia or 1300 799 675

Who pays for the training?

The Department of Training and Workforce Development pays for approved off-the-job training. Training conducted in the workplace is the responsibility of the employer.

What financial support can I expect as an employer?

This section outlines the financial benefits you can expect as an employer of a trainee .

Australian Government incentives

You may be able to take advantage of financial incentives to reduce the cost of training if you:

  • Take on a trainee in an area of skills shortage
  • Take on a school based trainee
  • Employ a trainee to work in regional or rural Australia
  • Employ a trainee with a disability
  • Take on a mature age trainee.

Find out more:
Telephone:13 38 73 (Australian Apprenticeships Centre)
Website:Australian Apprenticeships

Payroll exemption

You are exempt from payroll tax for the wages of trainees.

Find out more:
Telephone:(08) 6551 1000 (Department of Finance)
Website:Department of Finance

Funding for training

If you have taken on a new trainee, the Department of Training and Workforce Developmentfunds most training.

If you have an existing trainee, funding may be available if they are doing a Certificate IV or above.

While trainees are required to pay some fees to their registered training organisation, some employers may pay this on their behalf.

Western Australian Government workers compensation rebate

You are entitled to claim a worker's compensation rebate for your Certificate III and above trainees who commenced their training after 1 January 2009.The rebate is payable after the trainee has completed the first year of their training contract.

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