All apprentices and trainees have to be employed under the right industrial arrangement, according to federal and state government regulations.
Trainee and apprentice award wages may vary depending on the following:
- The industry or job one is involved in
- The years of school completed
- The years of training that one has
- The type of traineeship or apprenticeship
- The award, agreement or contract covering the employment of an apprentice / trainee.
The national minimum wage generally acts as a safety net for all employees in the national workplace relations system, as it provides the minimum rates of pay for employees that are not covered by agreements or awards. This basically means that employers and their employees cannot agree to a pay rate that is less than is set by apprentice award wages. Also, depending on the job, apprentices may be entitled to other loadings or allowances.
There are special national minimum wages that are set for apprentices, trainees and juniors that are not covered by any other agreement or award. The minimum rates for junior employees are as follows:
- $5.87 for those under the age of 16 years
- $7.55 for those at the age of 16 years
- $9.22 for those at the age of 17 years
- $10.90 for those at the age of 18 years
- $13.17 for those at the age of 19 years
- $15.59 for those at the age of 20.
The apprentice award wages are:
- $10.22 for those in their 1st year of apprenticeship
- $12.08 for those in their 2nd year of apprenticeship
- $14.87 for those in their 3rd year of apprenticeship
- $17.65 for those in their 4th year of apprenticeship
Remember that for employees to be paid trainee wages, they must be registered as trainees. You will not be paid as a trainee just because you are new to a job. In addition to apprentice award wages, Australian apprentices may also be eligible for various incentives and allowances meant to support them through their apprenticeship. Some of these incentives are:
Tools for your trade payment
This incentive is available to eligible apprentices undertaking Australian apprenticeships at the certificate iii or iv level in an occupation on the National Skills Needs List, a horticultural occupation if in rural and regional Australia or a certificate ii, iii or iv in an agricultural occupation.
Living away from home allowance
This is available to eligible Australian apprentices undertaking a certificate ii or higher level qualification if they are homeless or have to move away from their parental / guardian home in order to start or remain in an Australian apprenticeship.
Support for adult Australian apprentices
This financial support is available to adult workers aged 25 years and above to enable them upgrade their skills through Australian apprenticeships at the certificate iii or iv level in occupations listed on the National Needs List.