Automotive Apprenticeship Helpline | Visa Checking Service | Job Advertising Service


Auto Apprenticeship Helpline | Visa Checking Service | Job Advertising Service  

P: (03) 9829 1133  E: 

The VACC Helpline provides a free:

  • Automotive Apprenticeship service
  • Visa checking service
  • Job advertising service 

to employers, apprentices and all parties involved in the automotive industry across Melbourne and Victoria.

Services Available

  • Free service to signup your new apprentice into a Training Contract via an Australian Apprenticeships Centre – within 14 days from the start date. (3 mth probationary period is included in the Training Contract and not seperate from it). We can help you organise this. Just call P: 03 9829 1133  E:
  • Free Automoitve apprenticeship help and advice service for employers, apprentices, parents, RTO's, AAC's covering Melbourne and Victoria.
  • Fast Visa checking service via online VEVO - Immigration Dept (with permission from applicant). If you employ a non resident or non Australian Citizen, best ensure you have evidence of their workrights. Provide passport number, country, name and date of birth. P: 03 9829 1133. We can email or fax evidence of workrights.

  • VACC Job Finder - Free service to advertise employer vacancies for qualified personnel or apprenticeships in automotive.  Applicants looking for an automotive job can also view the site hereP: 03 9829 1133  E:

  • Contact List – find a job or advertise a job -  approx 25 website links & some phone numbers. P: 03 9829 1133  E:


Automotive Apprenticeship Info

  • The Automotive Training package has been updated from AUR05 to AUR12. You may need to speak to your TAFE (or Training Provider) to find out if you need to update your apprentice's training to the new package. If your apprentice has (or almost) finished  the schooling component of the apprenticeship, you may be able to keep them in the old AUR05 package to completion. The TAFE can note it as a disadvantage. For further information go to the Australian Skills Quality Authority website below:

  • Credit Requests – for previous placements in the same trade or prior experience in a workshop - to reduce time at the start of the apprenticeship. P: 03 9829 1133

  • How to Calculate Anniversary Dates – pay increments for apprentices recommencing from another employer. Don't get caught out with outstanding back pay. Call to check anniversary dates and keep watch for competency based progressions also effecting pay increments. P: 03 9829 1133  E:

  • For recommencing apprentices (change of employer), check the previous training contract has been cancelled (with authorisation from the apprentice- ask for a copy of the cancellation form) and do a new training contract to register the apprenticeship within 14 days. P: 03 9829 1133  E:

  • Suspension Form - used for shortage of work, Illness, Travel Overseas, Injury related to work, Injury not related to work, Maternity Leave.  Puts the apprenticeship on hold for the agreed specified duration and re-adjusts completion date. Both parties need to be in agreement to action a suspension. P: 03 9829 1133

  • Variation to the Training Contract  Form - used to change Contract Details eg: Extension of completion date, Change of TAFE (RTO), Change of Attendance Type e.g part-time to full-time, Change of Apprentice Name + evidence, Change of Qualification. P: 03 9829 1133

  • Statement Of Completion Form - used to complete an apprenticeship before the nominal completion date. Off-the-Job training and On-the-job training needs to be completed and the apprentice needs to be working at a qualified level. Ph 03 9829 1133

  • Notification Of Change Of Employer Details  Form - Used when a business is sold. In order for the new business to be eligible for any employer incentives this form must be completed showing old and new business details and date of sale.

    Apprentices are classified as an asset and move across with the sale of the business. There is no additional probationary period with change of ownership. P: 03 9829 1133
  • Cancellation forms - For apprenticeships there are 2 forms. One for the employer and one for the apprentice to complete once both parties come to an agreement on the cancellation date and appropriate notice is given. P: 03 9829 1133


  • 14 Day Ruling - From start date - Contact ACC within 14 days - Book in Signup

If an apprentice has started or recommenced an apprenticeship with an employer, a Training Contract needs to be completed with assistance from an Australian Apprenticeships Centre (AAC) person.

Contact needs to be made with an AAC within 14 days from the start date. They will then book an appointment to come out and complete a Training Contract. All AAC services are free. P: 03 9829 1133  E:

  • 3 Month Probationary Period (included in Training Contract)

There is a 3 month probationary period, included in the Training Contract for apprenticeships. This allows the employer to pay apprenticeship pay rates and it allows the apprentice to accumulate time completed towards their apprenticeship.

During the probationary period either party may terminate the Training Contract with one week's notice without any repercussions from the other party.

  • Automotive Apprentice Pay Rates

Apprenticeship pay rates only be paid if a Training Contract has been completed to register the apprenticeship. 

Note: If an employer decides to trial a person and should things not work out between either party (and no Training Contract is completed), the employer will need to back pay the appropriate non-apprentice pay rates.

  • To check or confirm  automotive apprentice pay rates contact:

VACC Members - VACC Industrial Relations P:  03 9829 1123

Non VACC members  - Fair Work Australia P: 13 13 94 ( Enter Automotive Award Code - MA000089)


  • 1st July 2014 - All Apprentice pay rates increased.

To confirm or check apprentice pay rates speak to VACC Industrial Relations P: 03 9829 1123     (or non VACC members call Fair Work Australia P: 13 13 94, apprentices contact P: 03 9829 1133 or E: 

  • 1st January 2014 - pay increment for new starts 1st year automotive apprentices

1st Year Automotive Apprentices

From 01/01/14 all new starts 1st year automotive apprentice pay rates go up from 42% to 47% of qualified rate.  

2nd Year Automotive Apprentices

Most 2nd year increases won't kick in till completion of the 1st year which would happen on or after 01/01/15.

  • 1st January 2015 - 2nd pay increment for new 1st & 2nd year automotive apprentices

1st Year Automotive Apprentice Starts - 2015

No Year 12 Pass - 50% (of qualified rate)

Year 12 Pass - 55% (of qualified rate)

2nd Year Automotive Apprentices - 2015

No Year 12 Pass - 60% (of qualified rate)

Year 12 Pass -  65% (of qualified rate)

Fair Work link to award:


  • Competency Based Training - Has been in for over 3 years

From  1st January 2011 competency based training commenced for automotive apprenticeships.     There should be regular contact (approx 4 times/yr) with your Training Provider advising you of the apprentices progress through the Training Record Book in alignment with the Negotiated Training Plan.

You need to keep a pulse on this as it effects pay increments and completion of the apprenticeship.

Some employers seem to be stuck on the old system and have been caught out unaware their apprentice has completed because they thought they were only confirming completion of schooling for the apprenticeship. Be aware of what you say and sign when speaking to your Training Provider (e.g TAFE).

Note: TAFE's & Training Providers are called Registered Training Organisations (RTO's) accredited to provide training in the respective apprenticeship.

  • The Negotiated Training Plan

A Negotiated Training Plan (NTP) organised by the Registered Training Organisation (RTO) is an overview of the 4 levels of training required for the apprenticeship.  You can have an imput on selecting elective modules suited to your business, but you will need to request this, when speaking to your RTO about the NTP.

  • The Training Record Book (evidence book)

The Training Record Book (TRB) in alignment with the NTP,  is the detailed stepping stones used to keep track of the apprentice's progression through the apprenticeship with the employer, signing off on a unit once the apprentice becomes competent in that particular unit. Completion of a unit may require several attempts to reach competency before the employer signs off on that unit.

  • How to Work Out Apprentice Pay Increments

When an apprentice completes a level of training (as per the NTP and TRB) contact your RTO and ask for the date of progression. If the date of progression is less than the anniversary date, your apprentice should receive a pay increment. Otherwise the 12 month anniversary date is used as the pay increment.

Alternatively, if the NTP is not adhered to, you need to calculate each 25% of training completed (on-the-job and off-the-Job) for pay increases, up until completion of the apprenticeship.

  • Safety Net - 12 Month Pay Increment

As a safety net, if the apprentice reaches the 12 month point (and is yet to complete a level), pay increases will occur provided there are no mitigating circumstances (e.g.suspended due to injury or shortage of work).

Speak to VACC Industrial Relations for pay rates and advice. P:03 9829 1123.  Non VACC members call Fair Work Australia P: 13 13 94.

  • Completion of Apprenticeship 

Once the Training Record Book has been completed your Training Provider should request employer signed confirmation that your apprentice is working to a qualified standard before advising the Apprenticeship Commission (VRQA) of completion of the apprenticeship.

If in doubt, contact your Training Provider (RTO) who is supposed to keep in touch with you several times during each year.


Employer Incentives (Certificate 3)

Assessment for eligibility to this program is taken from the National Minimum Wage - Fair Work Australia and once assessed may be paid to either the apprentice ($13,000 over 2 years) or the employer ($4000 one-off-payment at 12 mth point). 

It is more beneficial for the apprentice to receive this initiative than the employer (do your maths). Start your apprentice on 1st year Adult Apprenticeship pay rates (keep the pay rate under the National Minimum Wage) for eligibilty to go to the apprentice. P:13 38 73 wage/Pages/default.aspx ( Enter Award Code - MA000089)

  • $4000 Employment Start up for Businesses Program - State Government Initiative from Business Victoria. Started 1st August 2013 to assist small to medium businesses (less than 200 staff) with unfilled vacancies to employ unemployed young people (15 - 25 years of age) into full-time employment and undertake accredited training in line with employment.   Payments are $1000 - 8 week point. $3000 - 16 week point.  Applications need to be lodged within 2 weeks from the start date. Go to this website to apply:         For further information call Business Victoria - P: 13 22 15

Apprentice Incentives (Certificate 3)

  • $5500 Tools For Your Trade Payments -  milestone points - $800 @ 3mths, $1000@ 12mths, 24 mths, $1200 @ 36 mths &  $1500 on completion P: 13 38 73

  • Note: Tools For Your Trade Payments will stop 1st July 2014. The Australian Government will honour any due milestone payments before this date. Milestone payments due on or after 1st July 2014 will stop. 
  • Trade Support Loan - from 1st July 2014 - up to $20,000 available for apprentices in skills shortage trades. (interest free - like HECS-HELP). If you complete - receive a 20% reduction off the loan. Re-payments via Tax Office once you earn $53,345 or more. Contact your Australian Apprenticeship Centre or call. Ph 13 38 73

  • Apprentice Travel Allowance Scheme supersedes the Apprentice Accommodation Allowance as from 1st March 2014. Maximum of $200 - one claim per year. For further information click here:

  • Travel Payment - from 1st Jan 2014 amendments have been made to The Vehicle Manufacturing RS& R Award 2010 section 15.4. For apprentices attending block release training requiring an overnight stay (or more).  The employer must pay for reasonable travel costs to the apprentice travelling to the TAFE to commence training and also the return journey once the training has ended for that particular block. e.g If using your car, use google maps to estimate distance traveled to and from and keep your petrol receipts to show how much petrol was used to do this. e.g. If travelling by train, use your Heath Care Card for a fare concession and show the ticket receipt to your employer for reimbursement. You may also be reimbursed for reasonable meal expenses in relation to the above. Speak to your employer before attending your next block release requiring an overnight stay.              

  • $13,000 Support for Adult Australian Apprentices  Wage Subsidy – 25 yrs and above entering a skills shortage trade – Apprentices may be eligible to receive the subsidy if the employer pays below The National Minimum Wage rate (or 1st Yr Adult Apprentice pay rates from the Vehicle Manufacturing Repair, Services & Retail Award 2010 - Modern Award) Payments are: $150/wk 1st yr, $100/wk 2nd yr - claim forms are lodged to the AAC and paid in arrears. This is taxed depending on income. For Further information:  P: 13 38 73 wage/Pages/default.aspx ( Enter Award Code - MA000089)

Things to do and be aware of:

  • Apprenticeships can be started at any time during the year unlike secondary schools and universities.

  • Always ask for a resume and check references to ensure information matches what you have been told by the applicant.

  • If taking on an out of trade apprentice (from a previous employer) - ask for a progress report to gauge the level of schooling they have achieved. Ask for a copy of the cancellation form to ensure that the previous training contract has been cancelled. When an apprentice changes employers they need to cancel the current contract and do a new training contract with the new employer. The apprenticeship duration will be reduced from time served. P: 03 9829 1133

  • From 1st January 2014, any fees paid by an apprentice for the purpose of the apprenticeship, shall be reimbursed by the employer within 6 months from the start date, or 3 months from the start of training (e.g TAFE), whichever is the later unless there is unsatisfactory progress.

  • From 1st January 2014 if an apprentice has to travel and spend time away (requiring an overnight stay) for block training in relation to the apprenticeship (as agreed by both parties), an employer is required to pay for reasonable travel costs including travel, meals and accommodation whilst in transit. 

  • TAFE/ Training Provider Fees can be expensive. Valid Health Care Cards may provide significant fee concessions. Fee rates are pro rata as the year moves along.

  • Prior to the start date of employment, your new apprentice should sign an "Offer of Employment" letter. Contact VACC Industrial Relations for a copy to be posted, faxed or emailed. P: 03 9829 1123.

  • Call an Australian Apprenticeships Centre person within 14 days from the start date of the apprenticeship (or VACC Helpline). They will then book an appointment to complete a Training Contract. Call as soon as you decide on a start date. The Training Contract can only be back dated no more than 14 days from the day of contact. P: 03 9829 1133. (we can book it in for you)

  • If you wish to pay apprenticeship rates, the applicant needs to be apprenticed to the company via the Training Contract. If you do not go ahead with a Training Contract, then you will need to pay (or back pay) the appropriate non apprentice pay rates. Contact VACC Industrial Relations for these rates. P: 03 9829 1123 or Fair Work P: 13 13 94 for non VACC members.

  • The Training Contract includes a 3 month probationary period during which either party may terminate the apprenticeship given one weeks notice without any repercussions. An Apprentice or Employer cancellation form needs to be lodged to your Apprenticeships Centre (only one cancellation form is required during probation). P: 03 9829 1133

  • Training Contracts are a legal document and must be completed by an authorised person. An authorised person is one who represents an Australian Apprenticeships Centre. These centres are contracted by The Australian Government to carry out such duties.

  • You have a duty of care to provide a safe workplace environment with structured training and supervision to the apprentice.

  • Keep open good communication lines between yourself and your apprentice. This will go a long way in creating a good working relationship and hopefully creating a long term employee and a valued asset to your business.


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