The training contract is used to register the apprenticeship and traineeship and legally binds the employer and apprentice or trainee (the 'parties'*) for the term of the apprenticeship or traineeship (nominal term). The training contract has a start date and the nominal term set by the department for the chosen apprenticeship or traineeship, determines the end date.
*Apprentices and trainees under 18 years of age and under the care and control of a parent or guardian, are required to have their parent or guardian provide signed consent to the apprenticeship or traineeship, however they are not a party to the training contract.
Once a training contract is registered, the apprentice or trainee and employer (and parent/guardian/school if required) will work with the chosen training organisation to develop the training plan. The plan will outline what training is required and where/when it will occur.
Once the training plan has been finalised, the training organisation will provide the apprentice or trainee with a training record, where they can keep a record of all training completed.
Addressing any problems
Problems can be more likely to occur in the early stages of training and if not addressed they can lead to a breakdown between parties. A training contract places obligations on an employer and the apprentice or trainee and if these are not being met, or other problems arise, mediation should occur to resolve the matter.
The Australian Apprenticeship Support Network (AASN) provider and the Department of Employment, Small Business and Training can help parties resolve training-related problems to ensure a foundation for a quality training arrangement moving forward.
Changing the training contract
During the term of the apprenticeship or traineeship, some details of the training contract may need to be amended. The responsibilities of the apprentice or trainee, employer and training organisation vary depending on the type of change required:
- extension of the probationary period
- amendment of the training contract (employment) mode
- extension of the training contract nominal end date
- change of training organisation
- transfer of the training contract from one employer to another (either temporarily or permanently)
- sale or change of ownership of the employer's business
- change of qualification
- suspension of the training contract
- cancellation of the training contract.
A number of these amendments can be done through myApprenticeship, an online self-service website which allows apprentices and trainees to securely view and easily initiate changes to their training contract.
Completing the training contract
Once an apprentice or trainee and the employer agree that the apprentice or trainee has successfully completed all the requirements of the training plan, they can commence the completion process with the training organisation.
The apprentice or trainee will receive two certificates. The training organisation will issue the qualification certificate demonstrating that the qualification has been completed. The department will issue the completion certificate proving that the apprentice or trainee has acquired all the skills of the apprenticeship or traineeship.
Cancelling the training contract
Cancelling the training contract (and therefore the apprenticeship or traineeship) may be necessary. However, cancellation should be used as a last resort, where the reasons are due to issues such as communication breakdown or behavioural. If parties do not both agree to cancel the training contract, an application should be made to the department for a decision.
If the training contract is still in the probationary period at the time of the proposed cancellation, the party wishing to cancel can end the apprenticeship or traineeship by giving written notice to the other party. The ATIS-023 Probationary periods information sheet provides further details.
The cancellation of the training contract is not to be confused with the employment contract. For further information on the effect of a cancellation of a training contract on the employment contract, contact the Fair Work Ombudsman on 13 13 94.