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Managing contracts

You must agree and sign a formal training agreement with every apprentice or trainee you employ

A training contract is a legally binding and formal agreement between an employer and an apprentice/​trainee.

The training contract outlines your obligations as an employer, including the on-the-job training requirements, to support your apprentice or trainee to achieve the qualification they are working towards. It also includes the duration of the contract and probationary period.

You should also know some other important facts about training contracts:

  • Your Australian Apprenticeship Support Network provider or AASN will provide the training contract for you and your apprentice to review and sign.
  • A training plan endorsed by a Registered Training Organisation or RTO must accompany the contract - your AASN will work with you and your apprentice to find one if you are not connected with an RTO already.
  • You cannot pay someone as an apprentice unless it's under a formal training contract.
  • If your apprentice/trainee is under the age of 18, the training contract must be signed by a parent or guardian.
  • You must be registered to employ apprentices and trainees before you enter into a training contract. Learn more and register here.
  • You and your apprentice/trainee should be clear about the supervision and on-the-job training requirements in the contract. Both parties should also be clear about their obligations under the contract.

If you need help with training contracts, contact the Skills Infoline on 1800 673 097 or speak to your AASN.

Making changes to a training contract

Apprenticeships are flexible and can be changed to suit the needs of your business and your apprentice.

Over the course of training, you or your apprentice may want to change the arrangements in the training contract such as the hours of training, the qualification or the training provider.

Changes can be made to the training contract with the agreement of the employer and the apprentice (and their parent or guardian if they’re under 18).

To make a change to your training contract, complete the relevant form and submit it using our contact details on the form. See Forms for employers.

We’ll advise you in writing whether the change has been approved and the contract altered.

What you need to know

Changes to the training contract must be agreed by both parties – employer, apprentice (and parent/guardian if the apprentice is under 18 years). It’s unlawful for any person to pressure or use unfair tactics to gain agreement to a change.

During a dispute you continue to provide your apprentice with work, training and wages, and they continue attending training and work.