Let’s Talk Apprenticeships

Let’s Talk Apprenticeships

Are you looking to employee a new apprentice, or have already employed one from 5 October 2020 to 31 March 2022? Is the apprentice doing a Cert II or above?

If the answer to this is yes, the government has a wage subsidy for you. Eligible employers will receive a wage subsidy of up to 50% of the Australian Apprentice’s gross wage paid. I haven’t been able to find out if that covers if you are paying above the award wage.

The subsidy is a maximum of $7,000 per quarter per employee, paid in arrears. It is available for 12 months. However, if the apprentice is receiving any other form of government subsidy such as Supporting Apprentices and Trainees or JobKeeper.

Additionally, for women wanting to be tradies, the Australian Apprenticeship Support Network will deliver additional Gateway Services places and enhanced in-training support for a non-traditional trade occupation.


Fee Free Courses – JobTrainer, Apprenticeships


JobTrainer provides for school leavers and job seekers with fee-free short courses (subject to eligibility) to help develop new skills in sectors identified as economic growth areas.  A quick search of Tafe NSW gave these results for fee-free courses:

  • Cert II in Construction
  • Cert III in Carpentry and Joinery
  • Cert III in Electrical Fitting
  • Cert III in Plumbing
  • Cert IV in Electrical – Instrumentation
  • Cert IV in Civil Construction Design
  • Cert IV in Building and Construction (Building)
  • Cert IV in Plumbing and Services (Operations Stream)
  • Diploma of Building and Construction (Building)

There are many more to choose from, including ones to help you run a business.

Fee-free training applies to JobTrainer and Mature Age Workers Scholarships.

Apprenticeships are exempt from fees when undertaking an apprenticeship under the NSW Government’s Fee Free Apprenticeship – see the fact sheet on Apprenticeships and Traineeships here.  Traineeship fees are only covered to a maximum of $1,000.


Awards and Employment Expenses – Superannuation


The awards are available at the Fairwork site. There you will find the current wages – hourly and weekly rates, and applicable allowances. The onus is on you to get this right – so I do recommend talking to someone who deals with this.

On top of the wages payable, there is superannuation on wages at a rate of 9.5%, which increases to 10% on 1 July 2021. Currently the employee has to earn $450 in a month to be eligible for superannuation, but it was announced in the May 2021 budget that the minimum earnings will be abolished from 1 July 2022. At the time of writing, it is not yet law.

Superannuation is payable on what is called ‘Ordinary Time Earnings”, which include your base pay, over-award payments, commission, shift loading, annual leave loading, allowances and bonuses. There is also a Superannuation Choice Form that is to be completed by each staff member to choose their own or the default Super Fund.

As an employer if you don’t pay your employee superannuation by the due date, you have to lodge a superannuation guarantee charge form, and pay an administrative fee and interest. The interest is tax-deductible but the administrative fee and penalty amount is not.


Awards and Employment Expenses – Workers’ Compensation


Workers’ compensation is payable on the same wage amounts as superannuation, plus fringe benefits, long service leave payments, termination payments and directors’ fees, plus the superannuation amount.

Each industry has its’ own classification, plus there is a Dust Diseases contribution and Mine Safety Fund premium adjustment (if applicable).

As an employer, you must have workers’ compensation to cover any accidents and injury in the workplace. It doesn’t matter if you are a sole trader, in a partnership, a company or a trust.


Note: Superannuation and Workers’ Compensation may by payable on the amounts paid to contractors.

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