Wage rates for Australian Apprentices
An Australian Apprentice is usually paid a training wage that is less than the average award wage.
However, many employers choose to pay above the stipulated minimum wage to ensure they:
attract the best candidates when recruiting
build a healthy relationship with existing Australian Apprentices and, in turn, retain their services after the completion of the training period.
Australian Apprenticeships wage levels
You must pay Australian Apprentices for the time they spend training. The wage level will vary according to:
the level of qualification
the year of training the Australian Apprentice is in
the industry and sector of the Australian Apprenticeship
the type of Australian Apprenticeship eg school-based, part-time or full-time
whether the Australian Apprentice has finished school
previous skills already acquired by the Australian Apprentice.
As Australian Apprentices become more skilled and achieve the competencies detailed in the training plan, they progress through each wage level.
Awards set out minimum wages and conditions of employment for specified employees, including those of Australian Apprentices.
Awards may include:
minimum rates of pay and allowances
overtime, shift penalty and other penalty rates
hours of work
leave provisions, for example sick/personal leave or recreation leave.
Awards may be federal or state:
Federal Awards apply in more than one state or territory. All federal awards have a clause that identifies who is bound by the award, for example employers who are members of the Australian Hotels Association or Master Builders Association.
State Awards are made by state or territory industrial tribunals. These are similar in content to federal awards, and also set out minimum pay and conditions of employment for groups of employees. They cover all employers and employees in the industry or occupation to which the award relates.
More than one award may apply to an employee but provide different parts of the overall employment package.
You need to determine which award or awards cover your employee. The easiest way to find out is to call WageLine in your state or territory.
Other wage related costs
With other costs such as superannuation, workers’ compensation, entitlements or requirements, you will generally treat an Australian Apprentice the same as all other employees, although some state and territory governments offer exemptions on workers’ compensation and/or payroll tax.