Apprentice and trainee hosting policy

The Department of Trade, Business and Innovation (the department) acknowledges there are organisations and employers that are not recognised group training organisations (GTO), who employ apprentices and trainees and ‘host’ them out to other employers in order to gain the skills relevant to their apprenticeship or traineeship. 

All organisations involved in the hosting of apprentices and trainees are encouraged to undergo the process for recognition as a GTO, however it is understood that this may not be appropriate in all cases.

The department is committed to supporting organisations and employers to increase apprenticeship and traineeship opportunities for Territorians and recognises that hosting arrangements can provide a valuable service to an industry, industry sector, community or geographic region. 

This policy provides a framework to ensure that hosting arrangements are underpinned by high quality training and support, appropriate monitoring and supervision for apprentices and trainees, with an emphasis on the successful completion of an apprenticeship or traineeship.

This policy aims to ensure high quality training for apprentices and trainees employed under hosting arrangements by providing a framework for the:

  • application for and approval of organisations as hosting employers
  • approval and registration of the Contract of Training for hosting arrangements
  • ongoing monitoring and evaluation of outcomes achieved by hosting arrangements, and
  • compliance with the requirements of this policy and the other relevant Australian and Northern Territory legislation.

Guidelines and procedures

Types of hosting arrangements

The following are examples of hosting arrangements that may be approved by the department:

  • industry bodies employing apprentices and trainees and placing them with member organisations
  • labour hire organisations, or
  • individual employers placing apprentices and trainees with other individual employers on an informal, ad hoc basis for the purpose of gaining specific skills, or providing continuity of work in times of business downturn.

Hosting arrangement responsibilities

The legal employer must ensure that host employers understand their responsibility for ensuring that all relevant legislation, policies and any other required procedures and practices are applied in the workplace where the apprentice or trainee works on a day-to-day basis. The legal employer of an apprentice or trainee is ultimately responsible for all employment related matters concerning an apprentice or trainee and, together with the host employer must ensure:

  • appropriate wages are paid and employment conditions provided to an apprentice or trainee in accordance with the relevant modern award or workplace agreement
  • compliance with occupational health and safety requirements in accordance with relevant Australian and Northern Territory legislation
  • workplace policies are in place to comply with relevant Australian and Northern Territory anti-discrimination legislation
  • compliance with the Northern Territory Employment and Training Act 2004 as it relates to apprenticeships and any related policies
  • apprentices and trainees have appropriate supervision, receive suitable training and on the job experience with appropriate support, and
  • host employers are approved by the department to host an apprentice or trainee in their workplace.

Approval of hosting arrangements

To ensure apprentices and trainees receive high quality training and appropriate supervision and support, the department will approve hosting arrangements where it can be demonstrated that legal and host employers can comply with all requirements set out in this policy.

Individual employers

Under the Australian Apprenticeships Support Services (AASS) contract, applications for employer and host employer approvals are assessed and approved by Australian Apprenticeships NT on behalf of the department. Where compliance with the approval requirements for hosting arrangements cannot be established, Australian Apprenticeships NT will refer applications to the department for a decision.

Industry bodies and labour hire companies

The department will evaluate written applications from industry bodies and labour hire companies to enter into hosting arrangements. Evaluation of applications may take up to four weeks.

As part of their application, such organisations must provide the department with a business case setting out:

  •   how the requirements of this policy will be met, and
  •   how the organisation will remain financially viable.

Labour hire organisations seeking to enter into hosting arrangements are required to provide evidence that an employer - employee relationship exists between the organisation and an apprentice or trainee (for example, that the apprentice or trainee is directly employed). 

Hosting arrangements will not be approved where a labour hire organisation and prospective apprentices or trainees are involved in a system of contracting whereby an apprentice or trainee is deemed to be an independent contractor.

In evaluating applications from industry bodies and labour hire companies the department may seek advice from other relevant Northern Territory and Australian government agencies including, but not limited to:

  •   NT WorkSafe
  •   Electrical Workers and Contractors Licensing Board, and
  •   Australian Government Department of Industry.

Conditions of approval

Approval to employ apprentices and trainees under hosting arrangements is subject to both organisations agreeing to and complying with the following conditions:

Compliance with relevant legislation and policies

Legal and host employers must comply with all relevant Australian and Northern Territory legislation, regulations and policies including but not limited to:

Compliance with the contract of training

Legal and host employers agree to comply with all responsibilities and obligations set out in the Contract of Training and training plan.

Supervision, support and training

Legal and host employers are required to demonstrate that processes are in place to ensure apprentices and trainees:

  • are appropriately supervised in the workplace
  • have access to support and mentoring, and
  • are released from the workplace to attend off the job training where relevant.

Legal employers must conduct face to face monitoring visits to each hosted apprentice and host employer at least monthly.

Records of monitoring visits, issues raised and action taken must be maintained by the legal employer at least for the duration of the apprenticeship / traineeship.

Continuity of employment

Legal employers must make all reasonable attempts to provide continuity of work for the duration of the apprenticeship or traineeship. Where a host employer can no longer provide work on a day-to-day basis, the legal employer is required to continue to pay the apprentices or trainee appropriate wages for a period of at least two weeks or until a new host employer is engaged, whichever occurs first.

Engaging host employers

The legal employer is required to apply to Australian Apprenticeships NT for approval of host employers and must have obtained such approval prior to hosting an apprentice or trainee.

Prior to the commencement of a hosting arrangement, legal employers must:

  • inform Australian Apprenticeships Northern Territory that a hosting arrangement will occur
  • ensure that the host employer is approved to host an apprentice or trainee, and
  • ensure the host employer complies with all employment and workplace requirements.  

Notification of change

The legal employer must advise Australian Apprenticeships NT within seven days of any changes that occur in the employment of a hosted apprentice / trainee including change of host employer.

Interstate hosting arrangements

Legal employers who intend to place an apprentice or trainee with a host employer that are located outside the NT are required to inform Australian Apprenticeships NT prior to the commencement of the placement.

The interstate host must be approved prior to the hosting arrangement commencing.

Monitoring and evaluation

The department will monitor the on-going operation and outcomes of hosting arrangements on a regular basis. As part of this process, legal and host employers may be required to provide department officers with access to relevant employment and training documentation including, but not limited to:

  •   timesheets
  •   training record or log books, and
  •   personnel files.

Responsibilities

The responsibility for developing and maintaining this policy rests with the director of Training Services.

The executive director of Workforce NT is responsible for approving this policy.

Definition

A hosting arrangement is defined as follows:

An organisation that employs apprentices and trainees (legal employer) and places them in the work place of another employer (host employer) to allow the apprentice or trainee to work on a day-to-day basis. Apprentices and trainees employed by such organisations may spend their entire apprenticeship or traineeship with one host employer who can offer a well-rounded training and employment experience. Alternatively, they may be placed with a number of host employers who can each offer a specialised area of training for part of the apprenticeship or traineeship.

Review

This policy will be reviewed annually.

Signed on 30 August 2014 by:

Gareth James
Executive Director
Workforce NT

Last updated: 22 June 2017