School based apprenticeships and traineeships policy

The Northern Territory (NT) Government, through the Department of Trade, Business and Innovation - Workforce NT (the department) is committed to providing pathways for Territory students to successfully transition from school to work through school based apprenticeships and traineeships.

The school based apprenticeships and traineeships policy has been developed to provide a broad framework for the continued growth of school based apprenticeships and traineeships in the Northern Territory through:

  • clearly defining the roles and responsibilities of key parties
  • setting minimum standards for employment and training arrangements that underpin school based apprenticeships and traineeships.

School based apprenticeships and traineeships are formal, structured employment and training arrangements subject to a registered Contract of Training, training plan and a relevant industrial instrument. 

School based apprenticeships and traineeships are characterised by a structured pattern of work engagement, school and training where the training is part of, and contributes to, a student’s secondary education and must be endorsed by the school.

School based apprenticeships and traineeships aim to:

  • increase the attainment of nationally recognised qualifications that translate to Northern Territory Certificate of Education and Training outcomes
  • improve the retention of students at the senior school level, and
  • increase completion of senior secondary schooling.

School based apprenticeships and traineeships also aim to provide students with an increased ability to perform in the workplace, leading to increased career choices and opportunities to transition from school to full time apprenticeships, traineeships, employment or further education and training.

Guidelines and procedures

Eligibility for participation in school based apprenticeships and traineeships

Participation in school based apprenticeships and traineeships is open to any student enrolled in a registered school aged 15 years or older.

The continued implementation of formal employment and structured Vocational Education and Training (VET) arrangements into Northern Territory secondary schools requires a flexible approach from and effective communication between the key parties in order to maximise career and further education and training opportunities for Territorians.

The department will continue to work with schools, employers, Registered Training Organisations (RTOs), industry bodies, unions, regional and remote communities and other Australian and NT Government departments to increase School Based Apprenticeship and Traineeship opportunities for Territorians by facilitating access to and direct participation in the labour market

Key principles for school based apprenticeships and traineeships

The School based apprenticeships and traineeships policy is based on two key principles that are critical to the success of School based apprenticeships and traineeships arrangements.

Principle 1 - Flexibility

The pattern of work, training and study for School Based Apprentices and Trainees should balance:

  • learning needs of individual students
  • workplace needs of employers
  • school and Northern Territory Certificate of Education and Training pattern requirements, and
  • RTO training delivery requirements.

Principle 2 - Communication

All parties involved in the operation and management of School based apprenticeships and traineeships must ensure that mechanisms for regular and effective communication are in place prior to commencement.

Key responsibilities

The primary responsibility for the management of school based apprenticeships and traineeships lies with the parties to the Contract of Training - the employer, apprentice or trainee, parent or guardian (if under 18 years of age).

The RTO is responsible for developing the agreed training plan consistent with the Nationally Agreed Training Plan Principles and the qualification packaging rules set out in the training package. The training plan is developed in consultation with the employer, the apprentice or trainee, the parent or guardian (if under 18 years of age) and the school.

Roles and responsibilities of school based apprenticeships and traineeships parties

The Northern Territory Employment and Training Act (the Act) and the Contract of Training set out the statutory and contractual requirements for the operation of all apprenticeships and traineeships including school based and the responsibilities of employers, apprentices and trainees, their parents or guardians (where under 18 years of age) and RTOs.

School based apprentices and trainees

Anyone undertaking a School Based Apprenticeship and Traineeship is required to comply with the requirements of the Contract of Training and the training plan. School Based Apprentices and Trainees are responsible for contributing to their own learning and ensuring that they work towards attaining both school and apprenticeship or traineeship outcomes.

Parents and guardians

Where School Based Apprentices and Trainees are under 18 years of age their nominated parents or guardians are bound by the relevant obligations of the Contract of Training and are also signatories to the training plan. School Based Apprentices’ and Trainees’ parents or guardians are required to support the School Based Apprentice and Trainee to comply with the Contract of Training, training plan and attain both school and School Based Apprenticeship and Traineeship outcomes.

Parents and guardians are also responsible for ensuring the school is notified of the intent to undertake a School Based Apprenticeship or Traineeship prior to commencing and ensuring the Principal has completed and returned the Evidence of Endorsement for a School based Apprenticeship or Traineeship Form prior to the sign up visit by the Australian Apprenticeships Support Network provider.

Employers and employing organisations (including group training organisations)

Employers must comply with all legal, regulatory and policy requirements in relation to the employment of apprentices and trainees. Additionally, employers must assist School Based Apprentices and Trainees to balance study, work and training commitments and develop cultural and diversity awareness in the workplace.

Registered training organisations (RTOs)

RTOs are responsible for the provision of accredited training in accordance with all legislative, regulatory, policy and contractual requirements and must ensure their operations comply with the current national VET regulator standards for RTOs.

RTOs that provide training to School Based Apprentices and Trainees are also responsible for ensuring the School Based Apprentices’ and Trainees’ results in relation to progress are submitted to the relevant school VET Coordinator on or prior to the date(s) specified by the school.

Department of Trade, Business and Innovation

The department through Workforce NT is responsible for managing the NT VET system including:

  • regulation of apprenticeships and traineeships including School based apprenticeships and traineeships
  • provision of operational and strategic training advice to industry, RTOs, schools, Australian and NT Government departments and the community in general
  • provision of funding to support VET training for Territorians, and
  • collection, management and reporting of VET data.

The Australian Apprenticeships Support Network provider will also provide advice and assistance to schools, RTOs, employers and students on the development of policies and the implementation of School based apprenticeships and traineeships on behalf of the department.

Schools

The School Principal is required to complete the Evidence of Endorsement for a School Based Apprenticeship / Traineeship form prior to the Contract of Training being registered. In addition the school is responsible for maintaining a register of students undertaking School based apprenticeships and traineeships and distributing information to relevant staff within the school.

Schools are responsible for processing School Based Apprentices’ and Trainees’ results and ensuring that appropriate credit is recorded for Northern Territory Certificate of Education and Training.

Schools must ensure that RTOs are informed of relevant dates and deadlines for the reporting of School Based Apprenticeships’ and Traineeships’ results.

Schools should ensure that School Based Apprenticeship and Traineeship arrangements are underpinned by adequate support for School Based Apprentice and Trainees including pastoral care, mentoring, literacy and numeracy support.

Schools should have policies and procedures in place to manage all administrative and credit recognition processes. In addition staff should be provided with access to relevant professional development and flexible timetables should be created to enable all obligations of School based apprenticeships and traineeships to be met. These policies and procedures should be communicated to all relevant stakeholders.

The Australian Apprenticeships Support Network provider

The Australian Apprenticeships Support Network provider is contracted by the Northern Territory and Australian Governments to provide a range of apprenticeship and traineeship administrative, support and regulatory services. These include:

  • provision of information and advice to employers, apprentices, trainees and other interested parties
  • administration of the Contract of Training, and
  • monitoring apprentices and trainees in the workplace, the Australian Apprenticeships Support Network provider may also visit School Based Apprentices and Trainees at school.

Workplace engagement

Parties engaged in School based apprenticeships and traineeships must comply with the following requirements: 

Compliance with relevant legislation and policies

Under apprenticeship and traineeship arrangements employers are responsible for ensuring compliance with all relevant Australian and Northern Territory Government legislation, regulations and policies including, but not limited to:

Minimum days in the workplace

School Based Apprentices and Trainees must undertake a minimum of 48 days per year of paid work from the date of commencement of the School Based Apprenticeship or Traineeship.

This minimum requirement should not be interpreted in a way that artificially limits the amount of time School Based Apprentices and Trainees spend in the workplace. The pattern of school, work and training must be negotiated between the school, employer, School Based Apprentice’ or Trainee’ parent or guardian and RTO prior to commencement of a School Based Apprenticeship or Traineeship and should be flexible in order to reflect the learning needs of individual.

Averaging of hours

The averaging of hours of employment and training should be permitted for all Contracts of Training. School Based Apprenticeship and Traineeship hours of employment and training may be averaged over three months. 

Wages and conditions

Wages and conditions for School based apprenticeships and traineeships arrangements are set out in the relevant industrial instruments, for example, Modern Awards or Certified Agreements.

Information relating to pay and conditions can be accessed through the Australian Apprenticeship Support Network provider Workplace Relations Information Service.

Further advice on pay and conditions can be sought through the Fair Work Ombudsman.

Off-the-job training

Unless otherwise stipulated in an industrial instrument, employers of School Based Apprentices and Trainees are not required to pay wages to students for the time spent in ‘off the job’ training provided by the RTO if the training is provided at premises other than the workplace.

Workplace supervision

The Act sets the requirements for workplace supervision of apprentices and trainees at one supervisor to one apprentice or trainee. Applications to exceed this ratio (up to a maximum ratio of one supervisor to four apprentices or trainees) may be lodged through the Australian Apprenticeships Support Network provider for consideration.

Workplace induction

Employers are required to provide a workplace induction for anyone commencing a School Based Apprentices or Trainees. The induction should cover Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) requirements, wages and conditions and organisational policies and procedures.

The Australian Apprenticeships Support Network provider is also required to provide an induction for both the employer and School Based Apprentices and Trainees in relation to the Contract of Training obligations, roles and responsibilities and requirements of the Act.

Working with children clearance

It is mandatory for people who have contact or potential contact with children under the age of 18 years in certain specified areas of employment and or training to hold a Working with Children Clearance Notice (Ochre Card). Further information can be found in the Care and Protection of Children Act.

Articulation from school based apprenticeships and traineeships to a full or part-time apprenticeship or traineeship

Where a School Based Apprentice or Trainee is no longer enrolled in a registered school and the Contract of Training remains in place, arrangements must be made through the Australian Apprenticeships Support Network provider to convert the arrangement to either a part time or full time apprenticeship or traineeship.

School based apprenticeships and traineeships training delivery

School based apprenticeships and traineeships qualifications

In consultation with stakeholders, the department will determine and identify qualifications suitable to be undertaken as School based apprenticeships and traineeships.

Qualification levels

School based apprenticeships and traineeships are available in most Certificate II and III level qualifications. Applications to undertake Certificate IV level qualifications and above will only be considered where the qualification has been determined by industry to be entry level and will be assessed by the department on a case-by-case basis.

Nominal duration

The nominal duration of a School Based Apprenticeship and Traineeship qualification will be prescribed by the department in accordance with current approval processes. Information regarding the nominal duration for each qualification is available on the NT Apprenticeship and Traineeship Database.

Training modes

Training may be delivered by the RTO off the job, on the job or a combination of both. The pattern of school, work and training must be negotiated between the school, employer, School Based Apprentice’s or Trainee’s parent or guardian and the RTO prior to commencement of a School Based Apprenticeship or Traineeship and should be flexible in order to reflect the learning needs of individual School Based Apprentices or Trainees.

Training delivery location

RTOs should, where possible, ensure that off the job training is delivered locally. Where local delivery is not feasible students may apply to the Australian Apprenticeships Support Network provider to access the Apprentice and Trainee Travel and Accommodation Subsidy Scheme. Off the job training for School Based Apprentices or Trainees must be delivered in the Northern Territory.

Parents, guardians and schools are responsible for ensuring appropriate accommodation and supervision arrangements are in place for School Based Apprentices and Trainees required to travel to attend training.

Approval will not be granted for School based apprenticeships and traineeships to travel interstate to attend off the job training.

User choice funding

The department supports training for apprenticeships and traineeships through the User Choice Program. RTOs successful in applying for User Choice funding for school based apprentices and trainees are required to enter into a Training Contract with the department. For more information refer to the User Choice Funding Policy.

Interstate-based registered training organisations

Interstate RTOs seeking to apply for User Choice funding to deliver training to school based apprentices and trainees in the Northern Territory must:

  • ensure training is only delivered in the NT
  • maintain a permanent presence in the NT
  • demonstrate provision of adequate support services to school based apprentices and trainees and employers, and
  • apply for such funding according to the process set out in the User Choice Funding Policy.

School based apprenticeships and traineeships in the electrotechnology industry

Following consultation with electrotechnology stakeholders, the department has agreed  that the following rules will apply to school based electrotechnology apprentices:

  • employers of electrotechnology apprentices must hold a current NT Electrical Contractors License
  • all school based electrotechnology apprentices are required to register with the Northern Territory Electrical Workers and Contractors Licensing Board
  • the employer is required to provide a minimum of two days per week on the job training under the direct supervision of a licensed electrical tradesperson and the school is to release the students for these two days
  • block release is the preferred method of training for the electrotechnology industry 
    • school based electrotechnology apprentices should undertake a pattern of block release training at the RTO based on two by two week blocks per year with the option of a further one week block to complete any outstanding competencies
  • employers and supervisors must ensure apprentices record their workplace activities using electronic profiling. The profiling system must record: 
    • work exposure and practice undertaken against industry standards
    • the level of supervision provided 
    • equipment worked on
    • dates
    • other relevant important information
  • the apprentice’s profile will cover the spread of work experiences and all the critical requirements of competence for all parties to review - RTOs in the electrotechnology industry train and assess in partnership with the apprentice and the employer (supervisor / tradesperson) and use the information in the profile to help monitor, guide and support the apprentice’s development towards competence - Profiling also helps to identify if there are areas requiring further attention or improvement
  • employers must sign an undertaking to clearly identify that electrotechnology apprentices will not be involved in work on any live systems or equipment
  • training both on and off the job aims to have school based electrotechnology apprentices who commence in Year 11 complete the equivalent of Stage One of the apprenticeship by the time they complete Year 12
  • the department prefers that school based electrotechnology apprentices are either hosted to or employed by employers who will engage the apprentice on a full-time basis when they complete their schooling.

Responsibilities

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

The responsibility for approving this policy rests with the executive director of Workforce NT.

Review

This policy will be reviewed annually. 

Signed on 7 August 2015 by:

Wendi Masters
Executive Director
Workforce NT

Last updated: 13 December 2017