Trainees and Apprentices - Policy

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1. Purpose and Objectives

This policy outlines traineeship and apprenticeship provisions at The University of Queensland.

This policy supplements and applies in accordance with traineeship and apprenticeship provisions specified in the Enterprise Agreement and the Vocational Education, Training and Employment Act 2000.

2. Definitions, Terms, Acronyms

Act - Vocational Education, Training and Employment Act 2000

Apprentice or Trainee - staff member employed pursuant to an apprenticeship or traineeship approved by the relevant State or Federal Training Authority

Australian Qualification Framework (AQF) - national framework for qualifications in post-compulsory education and training

Authorised Officer – the officer authorised to exercise the relevant HR power or function in accordance with the HR Authorisation Schedule

Award - Supported Employment Services Award 2010

Enterprise AgreementThe University of Queensland Enterprise Agreement 2014 – 2017

Traineeship or Apprenticeship - formal training arrangement between UQ and a staff member which leads to an AQF certificate level qualification

Traineeship Scheme - traineeship approved by the relevant State or Territory Training Authority, which is applicable to a group or class of staff or to an industry or sector of an industry or an enterprise

Relevant State or Territory Training Authority - the bodies in the relevant State or Territory which exercise approval powers in relation to traineeships and register training contracts under the relevant State or Territory vocational education and training legislation

3. Policy Scope/Coverage

This policy applies to persons employed by the University to undertake a traineeship or an apprenticeship.  

4. Policy Statement

Traineeship provisions are set out in Section 5 of this policy and are based on the Award. Traineeship provisions must be applied in accordance with the intent of the Award. Apprenticeship provisions are set out in Section 6.

Proposals for employment under this policy should be referred to the relevant Human Resource staff for assessment and recommendation to the appropriate Authorised Officer for appointment.

It is not intended that existing staff are displaced from employment by trainees or apprentices.

5. Traineeships

5.1 Training conditions

A trainee must attend an approved training course or training program prescribed in the training contract or Traineeship Scheme.

Employment as a trainee will not commence until the relevant training contract has been signed by the University and the trainee and lodged for registration with the relevant State or Territory Training Authority. If the training contract is not in a standard format then employment as a trainee will not commence until the training contract has been registered with the relevant State or Territory Training Authority. The University will ensure that the trainee is permitted to attend the training course or program provided for in the training contract and will ensure that the trainee receives the appropriate on-the-job training.

The University will provide a level of supervision in accordance with the training plan during the traineeship period. The provisions of the relevant State and Territory legislation dealing with the monitoring by officers of the relevant State or Territory Training Authority and the use of training records or work books as part of this monitoring process will apply to traineeships.

5.2 Employment conditions

5.2.1 Duration of the traineeship

A full-time trainee will be engaged for a maximum of one year’s duration, except in respect of AQF III and AQF IV traineeships which may extend up to two years full time, provided that the trainee is subject to a probation period of up to one month which may be reduced at the discretion of the University. Trainees must be employed on a fixed-term basis in accordance with the Enterprise Agreement.

A trainee is entitled to be released from work without loss of continuity of employment and/or wages to attend the approved training, subject to the provisions in the Award.

Trainee hours shall be the hours worked per week including the time spent in approved training.

By agreement in writing, and with the consent of the relevant State or Territory Training Authority, the University and the trainee may vary the duration of the traineeship and the extent of approved training provided that any agreement to vary is in accordance with the relevant traineeship scheme.

Where the trainee completes their qualification earlier than the time specified in the training contract then the traineeship may be concluded by mutual agreement.

Termination of employment of trainees is dealt with in the training contract, or in the Act. The University must provide written notice to the trainee at the time the action is commenced.

Where UQ continues the employment of a trainee after the completion of the traineeship period, the traineeship period will be counted as service for the purposes of any relevant entitlements, subject to the conditions in the relevant policy and/or procedures.

5.2.2 Overtime and shiftwork

Reasonable overtime and/or shiftwork may be worked by the trainee provided that it does not affect the successful completion of the approved training and provided that;

  • No trainee will work overtime or shiftwork on their own unless consistent with the provisions of the training contract.
  • No trainee will work shiftwork unless the shiftwork makes satisfactory provision for approved training. Such training may be applied over a cycle in excess of a week, but must average over the relevant period no less than the amount of training required for non-shiftwork trainees.
  • The trainee wage will be the basis for the calculation of overtime and/or shift penalty rates, unless the University and trainee agree in writing that the trainee will be paid at a higher rate, in which case the higher rate will apply.

5.2.3 Other employment conditions

Trainees will be employed in accordance with the Enterprise Agreement, unless specifically varied by the Award or the Act.

Any trainee who fails to either complete the traineeship or who cannot for any reason be placed in full-time employment at the University on successful completion of the traineeship is not entitled to any severance payments payable pursuant to termination, change and redundancy provisions or provisions similar thereto.

5.3 Wages

The minimum wage payable to full-time trainees will be as provided in the Award and in accordance with Section 5.2 - Employment conditions. These minimum wages will only apply to trainees while they are undertaking an approved traineeship.

The wage level of a traineeship is set out in Schedule C of the Award. Note that 20 per cent is the average proportion of time spent in approved training which has been taken into account in setting the minimum wage for most full-time traineeships.

Where a person was employed by the University immediately prior to becoming a trainee with UQ, such person will not suffer a reduction in the rate of pay by virtue of becoming a trainee.

5.4 Part-time traineeships

The minimum wage payable to trainees who undertake a traineeship on a part-time basis will be as provided for in section C.5.2 of the Award.   

Where the approved training for a traineeship is provided off-the-job by a registered training organisation, for example at school or at TAFE, the rates will apply only to the total hours worked by the part-time trainee on-the-job.

Where the approved training for a part-time traineeship is undertaken solely on-the-job or partly on-the-job and partly off-the-job, the relevant minimum wage in clauses C.5.2(a)–(e) of the Award minus 20% applies to each ordinary hour worked by the trainee.

5.5 Employment conditions for part-time trainees

A part-time trainee will receive, on a pro-rata basis, all employment conditions applicable to a full-time trainee. All the provisions of this policy will apply to part-time trainees except as specified in this section.

A part-time trainee may, by agreement, transfer from a part-time to a full-time traineeship position should one become available.

The minimum engagement periods specified in the training contract shall apply to part-time trainees.

6. Apprenticeships

Apprentices must be employed on a fixed-term basis in accordance with the Enterprise Agreement. Apprentices and the University are subject to the provisions of the formal indenture arrangements entered into for each apprenticeship.

Apprentices are subject to a probationary period of 90 days (three months).

An apprentice’s rate of pay is prescribed in the Enterprise Agreement as being calculated according to the following percentages of the rate prescribed in Schedule 4 for a HEW 3.1 staff member:

  • Year 1 40%
  • Year 2 55%
  • Year 3 75%
  • Year 4 90%

provided that an apprentice entering their indenture after the age of 21 years will be paid a minimum of Level HEW 3.2 for the term of their indenture.

7. Dispute Settlement

For matters not dealt with in the Act, the procedures to avoid industrial disputation contained in the Enterprise Agreement will apply to trainees and apprentices.

Chief Human Resources Officer Dr Al Jury
Chief Human Resources Officer Dr Al Jury