What are the benefits of hiring an apprentice?


Choosing to hire a trade apprentice or trainee is a strong investment for your business and will set you up to foster a thriving workplace environment. Not only will you be able to sculpt an individual from the ground up and work to your preferred specifications and unique style, but there are also a number of financial benefits that come with an apprentice.

Having an apprentice means you will be able to grow your business, whilst actually improving your profit-to-loss margins. If you haven’t considered taking on an Australian apprentice yet, then you should do so immediately.

What are Australian apprenticeships?

Firstly, what does an Australian apprenticeship entail for you as an employer?

Essentially, when you hire an apprentice you are offering men or women of working age to work and study in a particular trade (within your business). There are a great many industries an individual can apply to, and all of them involve a mixture of on-site training or work, with classroom-based learning programs.

What’s involved in hiring an apprentice?

Typically, a prospective apprentice will go out of his or her way to contact employers directly to seek work. If none have approached you, however, it’s up to you to track some down. There are a number of ways you can go about this.

Background work before hiring an apprentice

Firstly, you should contact any training organisations or TAFEs in the area, as most apprentices will come from a pathway program or a pre-apprenticeship qualification. You could also speak with careers teachers at secondary schools in your area to see if they know of students looking to take up a trade apprenticeship. You can also advertise in your local paper or online.

Once you’ve found interested apprentices, it’s important to lay out expectations so you’re both on the same page from day one — communication is key.

An apprentice can work part-time or full-time depending on whether they’re still at school, so you’ll have to agree on a system that suits both parties. This is also a good opportunity to discuss working hours, conditions, and pay.
What are the steps for signing up your apprentice?
Once you’ve found your candidate, you’ll need to choose a registered training organisation or TAFE to take care of the off-site learning program. This is between you and your apprentice to decide upon, but ultimately you should be looking at a reputable organisation that offers a relevant and in-depth program.

Next, you’ll need to contact an Australian Apprenticeship Centre in your area to run you through the training contract between you and your apprentice (which is done at no cost to you).

Prior to any work on site, your apprentice must also undergo a one-day safety induction course at a certified training organisation. This is known as ‘White Card’ training, and will ensure they’re away of all the necessary safety precautions. Builders Academy run regular White Card short courses — contact us on 1300 534 262 for more info.

Builders Academy launches Cert IV in Plumbing & Services
What incentives are available for my business?
Fortunately for employers, the Australian Government is committed to supporting the building and construction industry by encouraging businesses to hire apprentices through an Australian apprenticeships incentives program. This is especially applicable for skills shortage occupations or those with a lack of viable workers.

Incentives will vary depending on your industry, state, current trends in the workforce, and a number of other factors. To give you an idea of the type of incentives you can expect, here is a brief summary of what’s available:

  • Financial payments up to the value of $4,000
  • Workers Compensation exemption
  • Payroll tax rebates
  • Additional incentives are available to aid in the employment of individuals with disabilities, who are mature aged, an Indigenous Australian, or school-based.

Government benefits are likely to change at any time without notice, and eligibility differs from state to state. To learn more about the incentives potentially available to you, please visit Apprenticeship Support Australia.

Is there any additional assistance available for businesses hiring a trade apprentice?

If you’re employing an apprentice aged 25 years or over in a position listed on the National Skills Needs List, then you may be eligible for further financial support.

Employers looking at hiring an apprentice with a disability in a Certificate II or higher level qualification may be able to receive assistance from the Disabled Australian Apprentice Wage Support.

To see if you’re entitled to any other government programs or other forms of assistance, speak to your Apprenticeship Network provider to assess your options.

The Australian Apprenticeship Support Network

The Australian Government invests up to $200 million each year into this network to assist employers and apprentices respectfully throughout the duration of the apprenticeship. This aids employers in particular to recruit and train their apprentices, whilst serving as a reputable source of information and relevant resources.

With more than 420 locations throughout Australia, you’ll usually be able to find one that’s conveniently located near you. Visit the Australian Apprenticeships site to locate a network provider closest to you.