Beginning the recruitment process

Once the decision has been made to engage an Australian Apprentice, there are a number of ways to find one: 

You can also:

If you are interested in employing an Australian Apprentice, you should read the National Code of Good Practice for Australian Apprenticeships, which is available on the Australian Apprenticeships publications page. It explains in plain English what is involved in entering into a training contract.

Contact your local Australian Apprenticeships Centre for more information about hiring an Australian Apprentice.

What will it cost?

Taking on an apprentice has a cost in terms of time and money. The ongoing costs that you will need to cover will include:

  • Wages – which will need to meet at least the minimum requirements of relevant federal awards and state awards if you are not in the federal system; (see Awards and Employment Contracts in this section)
  • Superannuation – 9% (currently) of ordinary time earnings.  For further information about ordinary time earnings click here to view the ATO website.
  • Workers Compensation Insurance – which is also typically set at a percentage of earnings but may vary greatly from one insurance company to another, so it is worth shopping around, (note specific requirements may vary across jurisdictions); and
  • Any training costs and fees you are paying to a registered taining organisation (RTO) during the apprenticeship.

In addition to these sorts of costs your time should also be taken into account:

Farmer/Farm Manager's Activity Est. Hrs
Getting information on awards, employers' responsibilities etc
Preparing paperwork
Conducting interviews
Follow-up paperwork
Preparing contracts, paperwork and workplace
1st week Induction and training process
1st Month Probationary support and training
2nd/3rd Month Probationary support and training

These are probably quite conservative estimates of how long it will take you to conduct recruitment and induction of one apprentice.

Other costs to consider are:

  • Paying to send staff on other essential training courses especially in OH&S, use of machinery and chemicals or animal husbandry;
  • Your time in doing the regular paperwork that goes with being an employer;
  • Your time in providing the ongoing support needed to keep your apprentice/s and employee/s happy, motivated and able to do the job right;
  • Providing uniforms or work clothes;
  • Purchasing extra sets of equipment or vehicles; and
  • Developing facilities for staff on your farm.

There are skills shortages in many rural sectors of Australia. The industry has had a ‘poor image’ as a career choice for young people. Isolation and distance can make it difficult to get city people to apply for rural jobs. Jobs are often short term, sometimes offering relatively low rates of pay and poor long-term prospects. So, even if you decide that you should employ an apprentice, it may not be that easy to get the right person.

However it is important to be confident that you have selected the right person. An Australian Apprenticeship involves legal agreements to support an apprentice, and so it is important that you understand your responsibilities in the contract as well as theirs.

This may be a good reason to consider a group training option, where the onus of employment of the apprentice is with the group training organisation.

See the section Guide to Recruiting Rural and Related Australian Apprentices which will help you to make the right choice of apprentice.

Useful background reading:

‘A complete guide to apprenticeships and traineeships in New South Wales’ and ‘Supervising your apprentice or trainee’ *   - © State of NSW, Department of Education and Training

Relevant Links:

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