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What are the costs involved in employing an apprentice or trainee?

The wages payable to apprentices and trainees are often lower than a full wage rate in recognition of the time the apprentice or trainee spends in structured training both on and off-the-job.

The employment conditions of existing full-time or part-time workers who undertake training under a training contract should be unchanged.

You can obtain information on employment conditions and rates of pay for industrial awards by contacting the Fair Work Ombudsman on 13 13 94 or visit You will need to provide them with details of the apprenticeship or traineeship being undertaken such as the qualification and nominal duration.

It is the responsibility of the employer to ensure that apprentice, trainee or any employees are paid according to the appropriate industrial arrangement.

What other cost apart from wages do I need to consider?

In addition to wages, there are costs incurred in the process of selecting and employing the right apprentice or trainee. These can include:

  • Administration costs: These are the administration related costs incurred by the employer in the process of hiring.
  • Advertising costs: Whatever monies are spent advertising 'positions vacant' by the employer.
  • Cost of providing special equipment: Any specialised equipment required by the apprentice or trainee not already available through the business.
  • Additional training costs:  You should talk to your registered training organisation (RTO) about any additional training costs or if you would like additional training offered to your trainees and apprentices and what that might cost you.
  • Superannuation: Employers must pay superannuation into the apprentice's or trainee's chosen superannuation fund.
  • Workers compensation: Employers should have full coverage for any potential work related injury or death.

For further information on potential additional costs such as superannuation contact the Australian Taxation Officer (ATO) on 131020.

For further information on wages and employment conditions contact the Fair Work Ombudsman on 131394 or visit