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Hair & Beauty Australia Industry Association


Posted January 23, 2017

We have been teaching you lately all about apprentices, so let’s quickly wrap up the ideas we have shared with you so far –

All of this important – but it’s also a lot. And many of you are asking the question – who is going to pay for this apprenticeship, their training and materials? Where is the money going to come from?

Changes to apprenticeship conditions of employment have changed across all industries. This came into effect from the 1st of January 2015 and was applied to both new and existing apprentices. HABA understands that this is an unwelcome extra cost to businesses and want our members to know that as your representative organisation, we have made every effort to avoid these changes. However, we are the last award to make these changes and up until 2015 you did not have to cover the RTO component. The Fair Work Commission has now added these changes to our award, and it is the law. So the best we can do is give you accurate, up to date advice about exactly what you are required to pay for.

Employers are now required to reimburse their apprentices for the cost of courses (that are part of their training) and all prescribed textbooks. This needs to be done either:

  • within 6 months of commencement of the apprenticeship;
  • at the relevant stage of the apprenticeship; OR
  • within 3 months of commencement of the training at the RTO
    whichever comes latest.

HABA suggests that salon owners should reimburse these costs directly to the apprentice rather than paying the costs through the RTO. This helps hair and beauty salon owners minimise hassle recouping any money paid if there is unsatisfactory progress in your apprentice. Claiming money back from the RTO can be a lengthy process – so communicate clearly with your apprentice and ensure that reimbursement is up to date for their level of training.

In the instance that an apprentice needs to attend block release training that requires an overnight stay, the employer must pay for excess travel costs incurred on the trip. This can include travel to and from such a training, accommodation costs incurred while travelling and any reasonable expenses on the trip, like meals.

Excess travel costs do not include any payment for time or expenses while not travelling to and from block release training, and the costs of excess travel can be deducted from the amount that an apprentice is eligible to receive for travel costs under the Government Apprentice Assistance Scheme. This only applies if the apprentice receives this assistance package or if the employer has advised them in writing of the availability of this assistance package. To see whether your apprentice is available for the Government Apprentice Assistance Scheme, please contact your State’s Apprenticeship  Centre.

None of the above will apply if the apprentice could attend a different RTO or if there isn’t clear communication and agreement between the employer and the apprentice about attending a distant RTO.

HABA understands that additional costs can make taking on new apprentices a bit harder and more difficult for salon owners. What we need to remember is that without apprentices, our industry cannot sustain itself or grow. Apprentices are the future of our industry and it’s important to recognise that we must all play our part to ensure that 20 years from now, there is still a Hair and Beauty Industry to be part of in Australia. So HABA recommends taking on new apprentices, training them well and making them into productive members of our industry, setting them up for a career for many years to come.

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