Apprentice entitlements

As an apprentice you'll get the same entitlements as other employees, such as annual leave, sick leave, public holidays and breaks.

You also need to know about your entitlements for your training, like whether you get paid to attend training and who pays for your training fees. Find out about: 

There may also be specific entitlements in your award that apply as well. Read about: 

Best practice tip

You should also check your training contract for other entitlements.

There may be entitlements in awards and registered agreements that apprentices don't get.

Time spent at training

Off-the-job training is time spent in structured training delivered by a Registered Training Organisation (RTO). It's often delivered at a site away from the workplace and referred to as trade school. It doesn't include:

  • normal work duties or
  • supervised practice on the job.

Payment for time spent at training

Apprentices

The time you spend at trade school is paid time and is included in your ordinary hours of work (eg. 38 hours). You need to agree with your employer about how often you will go to trade school (eg. 1 day per week or week blocks of training).

If you don't go to trade school when you're supposed to, you don't get paid for that time (unless you're on sick leave or another type of leave).

School-based apprentices

The payment for trade school isn't worked out based on the actual hours you go to training. Instead, you get paid for 25% of the hours you work for your employer each week.

This payment for training:

  • only applies when you're a full-time school student
  • is paid at the full-time apprentice hourly rate (including any all-purpose allowances)
  • can be averaged over a semester or the year.

If you aren't a full-time student you have to be paid your hourly rate for all the time spent in training.

Example: Payment for training for school-based apprentices

Sean is a full-time school student doing a school-based apprenticeship. He works 8 hours per week with his employer.

Sean must be paid:

  • for the 8 hours per week he works with his employer and
  • 2 hours per week for his off-the-job training (being 25% of 8 hours).

In total, Sean needs to be paid 10 hours per week.

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Overtime and shiftwork

You can't be required to work overtime or shiftwork if it stops you from going to your RTO, unless it's an emergency.

Training costs - fees and textbooks

You have to be reimbursed for:

  • all the fees charged by your RTO that are related to your training
  • the cost of your prescribed textbooks for your apprenticeship.

These costs need to be reimbursed within:

  • 6 months of starting the apprenticeship or a stage of the apprenticeship (eg. start of second year) or
  • 3 months of starting training with the training organisation (whichever is later).

When training costs aren't reimbursed

An employer doesn't have to reimburse you for fees and textbooks if:

  • your progress in the course is unsatisfactory
  • your employer pays the costs and fees directly to the training organisation or
  • any part of the fees are reimbursed to you by the Government
  • you aren't working for them at the set time that the costs have to be reimbursed.

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More award entitlements

Find more information about apprentice entitlements in your award by selecting from the list below.

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Queensland apprentices

If you're an apprentice in Queensland you may have different entitlements. Use our Pay Calculator to help find out if you're covered by a different award.

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Think a mistake might have been made?

Mistakes can happen. The best way to fix them usually starts with talking.

Check out our Help resolving workplace issues section for practical advice on:

  • figuring out if a mistake has been made
  • talking to your employer or employee about fixing it
  • getting help from us if you can't resolve it.

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