On March 21st 2014 the Fair Work Commission made significant changes to how apprentices are paid. Progression of pay rates is now linked to the amount of competency they achieve at trade school. If apprentices complete more than 25% of their trade school before their contract of training anniversary, they are now to be paid at the 2nd year apprentice rate.
Pay increases for new apprentices kick in from 01/01/2014. New apprentices will be paid on average an extra $45 – $145 per week extra. These increases do not apply straight away to existing apprentices. Employers thinking of employing an apprentice would be able to employ an apprentice under existing conditions if employed before 01/01/2014. Further, employers are now required to reimburse apprentices for trade school fees and material/ book costs.