If you’re an apprentice or trainee, you have the same rights as any other worker.
For example, you have the right to:
- a safe and healthy work environment
- access amenities (like toilets or a lunch room)
- annual leave, sick leave and holiday pay
- public holidays
- join a union.
For more about general employee rights, visit our employment rights pages.
As well as these general rights, apprentices and trainees have specific rights and entitlements including:
- You should receive proper training.
- You shouldn't be treated differently because you’re an apprentice or trainee.
- You should get paid for time you spend at training.
If you are an apprentice you are also entitled to:
- have your training costs (including the cost of travel to training) paid for or reimbursed
- be provided with any equipment or clothing you need for work
- not be expected to work overtime if it stops you going to training
- receive time-based wage increases (if you're a second-year apprentice you should get paid more than a first-year apprentice, and so on).
Note that the entitlements above don't apply to trainees.
To find out more about wages and conditions for apprentices and trainees, contact the Fair Work Ombudsman on 13 13 94 or visit the Fair Work Ombudsman website.
Apprentice and trainee obligations
As well as having rights, when you sign up for an apprenticeship or traineeship, you have certain obligations.
You’re expected to:
- sign a training contract
- understand your work responsibilities and commit to fulfilling them
- understand your training obligations and commit to fulfilling them.
For more about rights and obligations for apprentices and trainees and their employers, see the National Code of Good Practice for Australian Apprenticeships.
You have to sign a training contract before you start your apprenticeship or traineeship. It's a legal agreement that needs to be signed by:
- your employer
- your parent or guardian (if you're under 18).
The contract specifies things like:
- the hours you’ll be working
- how long you'll be employed
- the type of apprenticeship or traineeship you'll do
- the kind of training you'll do (on the job and off the job)
- when the training starts and how long it goes for
- where you'll do your on-the-job training
- which Registered Training Organisation (RTO) you'll do your off-the-job training with.
Your training contract is a very important document, so make sure you keep it somewhere safe in case you need to check it for any reason.
Cancelling a training contract
During the first three months of your apprenticeship or traineeship, you or your employer can cancel your training contract. This three-month period is called your ‘probationary period’.
After the probationary period is over:
- an apprenticeship training contract can only be cancelled or suspended if you both agree to cancel it
- a traineeship training contract can be cancelled or suspended by either the employer or the trainee without agreement from the other person.
Where to go for help
If you think you're not being treated fairly, or you're having problems with your employer or training provider, there are things you can do. Our how to solve problems with your apprenticeship or traineeship page can help you find out what your options are for resolving problems.
Video interviews with apprentices, trainees and employers that tell you about different apprentices and trainees.
A free app to help you explore careers that can begin through an apprenticeship or traineeship. Search for jobs and training and get advice on apprentice and trainee rights.
Victorian Government information about apprenticeships and traineeships in Victoria.
A checklist and a video explainer for your entitlements and obligations under a training contract.
The Australian Government's apprenticeships and traineeships scheme.