The VACC Helpline Provides:


  • Free Automotive Apprenticeship Help / Advice & Signup Service

  • Fast Visa Checking Service - VEVO (Immigration Dept)

  • VACC JobFinder -  Free Job Advertising Service

These free services are available for employers, apprentices and all other parties across Melbourne and Victoria.

For assistance contact:
P: 03 9829 1133 (9-5pm Mon-Fri)

Service Descriptions:

1. ‚ÄčFree Automotive apprenticeship help and advice service for employers, apprentices, parents, schools, Tafes, Apprenticeship Network Provider's covering Melbourne and Victoria. We have a wealth of information which may be useful to employers and apprentices at any time before or during the apprenticeship. e.g incentives, how to fill out smart forms (claimed on-line), credits, probationary periods, cancellations, reduced time, how to change the Tafe, suspensions, change of business ownership and more. Save yourself some time and call if you find yourself unable to get the right answers from other sources. 
2. Free service to sign up your new apprentice into a training contract via an Apprenticeship Network Provider – within 14 days from the start date. (3 month probationary period is included in the Training Contract and not separate from it). We can help you organise this.
P: 03 9829 1133 (9-5pm Mon-Fri)

3. Fast visa checking service - VEVO - Immigration Department (need applicant's consent). If you employ a non-resident or non-Australian Citizen, best ensure you have evidence of their work rights. Provide passport number, country, name and date of birth. P: (03) 9829 1133. With the applicant's consent, we can email or fax evidence of work rights. Don't be caught out by the Immigration Department; fines can be over $20,000 for employing illegal persons or breaching work limitations.

4. VACC JobFinder - Free Job Advertising Service (open for the public to view) - for automotive employers wishing to list vacancies for qualified persons, admin staff, management or apprentices on the website. Employers wishing to place an automotive vacancy can call or email details to the following:
P: 03 9829 1133 (9-5pm Mon-Fri)

5. Contact List available – approx 30 website links to help find an employer offering an automotive apprenticeship. Employers can also advertise vacancies.
P: 03 9829 1133 (9-5pm Mon-Fri)


Apprenticeship Information - Automotive

You can download most Apprenticeship related forms here from the Victorian Registration & Qualifications Authority:

14 Day Ruling - From start date of Apprenticeship - If an apprentice has started or recommenced an apprenticeship with an employer, a Training Contract needs to be completed with assistance from an Apprenticeship Network Provider (ANP). Contact needs to be made with an ANP within 14 days from the start date. They will then book an appointment to come out and complete a Training Contract. All ANP services are free. We can streamline this process for you. 

P: 03 9829 1133  

3 Month Probationary Period (inclusive to the 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. Only one cancellation form is required, either from the apprentice or employer to be lodged to the Apprenticeship Network Provider who helped complete the Training Contract.

Cancellation forms - (after 3 month probationary period). For apprenticeships there are 2 forms (Apprentice and Employer cancellation forms). These forms should be used after the written warning process has been instigated and there has been no improvement with the situation at hand. Both parties need to come to an agreement on the cancellation date and appropriate notice given. If agreement can't be made to cancel the apprenticeship, speak to an Authorised Officer from VRQA P: 1300 722 603. Otherwise call the VACC Helpline for the cancellation forms. P: 03 9829 1133 W: There are grounds for instant dismissal. e.g Workplace theft, workplace intoxication, workplace violence. Speak to VACC Industrial Relations before acting.
P: 03 9829 1123 or Fair Work Info Line 13 13 94.  

Automotive Apprentice Pay Rates - Apprenticeship pay rates can only be paid if an Apprenticeship Training Contract has been completed (by an employer and apprentice) with help from an Apprenticeship Network Provider to register the apprenticeship with the State Training Authority.  

Note: If an employer decides to trial a person with the intention of putting them into an apprenticeship 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 for the time worked. 
P: 03 9829 1123 or Fair Work Info Line 13 13 94.

2 Different Pay Rates for Apprentices (under 21 at initial start date). Applies to 1st and 2nd year automotive apprentices who started under 21 years of age at the commencement date of their apprenticeship.  Evidence of completion of VCE or VCAL Yr 12 needs to be sighted by the employer for the apprentice to receive the higher rate. View Fair Work Australia link to award changes:

      1st Year Junior Automotive Apprentice
      No Year 12 Pass - 50% (of qualified rate)
      Year 12 Pass - 55% (of qualified rate)

      2nd Year Junior Automotive Apprentices
      No Year 12 Pass - 60% (of qualified rate) 
      Year 12 Pass -  65% (of qualified rate)

Contacts to Find out appropriate Automotive Apprentice Pay Rates:
VACC Apprenticeship Helpline (free service) P: 03 9829 1133  
E:  VACC members - P: 03 9829 1123
FairWork Info Line 13 13 94
Fair Work Australia  - ( Vehicle Manufacturing Repair, Services & Retail Award 2010 :  MA000089)

Apprenticeship Forms

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 W: E:

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 1123 W:

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 1123

Apply for your Trade Paper

A trade paper is a certificate issued by the Victorian Registration & Qualifications Authority that recognises the completion of an apprenticeship. Apprentices who started their apprenticeship after 1 January 1995 are eligible for a free trade paper.  If you started your apprenticeship before 1995, there will be a charge. To apply for a trade paper, apprentices complete an application through an online portal which is provided by VETASSESS.  To learn more and access the portal, see:

If you have any questions, please contact the VRQA - Apprenticeship Administrative Unit :  
P:1300 722 603  (option 6)

Competency Based Progression and Completion

Once a Training Contract has been completed to register the apprenticeship, the allocated Registered Training Organisation (e.g TAFE) should make contact to organise a Negotiated Training Plan (NTP). The RTO will then setup an Evidence Folio (or some type of training record book) in alignment with the NTP. The NTP is an overview of what the apprentice will do over the 4 levels of the apprenticeship. Don't forget to ask about selecting elective subjects (approx 12 - 16) tailored to meet the business needs. If you don't ask, they will  automatically give you the generic modules!

Your RTO should then make regular contact each year (3 to 4 times/yr) confirming the apprentice's progress with you keeping the Evidence Folio (Training Record Book) up-to-date in alignment with the NTP. The employer should train and observe the apprentice in relation to the workplace task using the NTP and the Evidence Folio as a basis to show how much of the apprenticeship has successfully been achieved.

Each workplace task should then be updated in the Evidence Folio (or in liaison with the RTO's evidence record) keeping it up-to-date certifying competence of that particular workplace task. (sometimes RTO's may use alternative documentation to record progress)

The employer needs to keep a pulse on this as it effects pay increments and completion of the apprenticeship controlled by the RTO. With competency based training and a fast learning apprentice, completion may occur in less than 4 years. This is what Competency Based Training is all about.

Employers need to pay attention when speaking to the  RTO (e.g TAFE) about the progress or completion of the apprentice. Note: They instigate completion of the apprenticeship with employer written confirmation and then notify the State Training Authority (VRQA) of the agreed apprentice completion date.

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 input on selecting elective modules suited to your business, but you will need to request this when negotiating the training plan.

Evidence Folio (Training Record Book - can be several names) - 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.The employer, signs off on a unit once the apprentice becomes competent in that particular unit in the workplace. Completion of a unit may require several attempts to reach competency before the employer signs off on that unit. It's good to find out what your apprentice studied at TAFE the week before and then try and implement the on-the-job component in the workplace to consolidate learning. 

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 12 month anniversary date, your apprentice should receive a pay increment on the progression date.

Otherwise the 12 month anniversary date is used as the pay increment (a safety net) even if your apprentice has not completed that particular level. 

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, but don't forget there is always the 12 month safety net for pay increases.

The 4 pay increments also reciprocate the 4 levels of training (as outlined in the Negotiated Training Plan) over the duration of the apprenticeship and your Training Provider is supposed to keep regular contact with you (at least 4 times a year) checking on the apprentices progress.

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).

The Safety Net is from the old Time Based system, but Competency Based can over ride it only if the apprentice is ahead in training for both on and off the job components. 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. As mentioned, your Training Provider should be able to verify the date of completion of a particular level. 

Completion of Apprenticeship - Once the Training Record Book (Evidence Folio) has been completed, your Training Provider (eg.TAFE ) should request employer written and signed confirmation that the apprentice is working at a qualified standard. Upon receipt of Employer Evidence they will advise the State Training Authority (VRQA) of completion of the apprenticeship. If in doubt, contact your Training Provider (e.g TAFE) who is supposed to keep in touch with you several times during each year up until completion.

Taking on an Out-of-Trade Apprentice - (Recommencing)

Out-of-Trade Apprentices  Starting with Another Employer - Anniversary Dates – If an apprentice has completed time with a previous employer and recommences with you, the start date (with your business) cannot be used  to calculate anniversary dates. This is because you do not know how long a break there has been between Training Contracts which will effect anniversary dates.

Once you have them signed up into a Training Contract and you receive confirmation from the VRQA (State Training Authority) of the apprenticeship, you can then use the completion date and calculate backwards 12 months at a time to find anniversary dates (as a safety net). 

Also check with your Training Provider (e.g TAFE) on the date your apprentice finishes a level. If that date is less than the 12 month anniversary date, your apprentice will receive their pay increment early. If the date is after the anniversary date you apprentice will receive the pay increment on the anniversary date (as a safety net).  
P: 03 9829 1133  

Potential Employer Incentives

$4000 Employer incentives - Federal Govt - ($1500 commencement & $2500 completion incentive). Note: recommencement incentive is only $750 for apprentices from previous employers. Note: These are only the basic incentives. Click on the below link for further details on all available Federal Govt Apprenticeship Incentives.
P: 03 9829 11333  

$4000 Employer Payment - Support for Adult Australian Apprentices  Wage Subsidy – 25 yr old or above apprentice entering a skills shortage trade. (Note: from 1st July 2019 the age range will drop to 21 yr olds and above). Assessment for eligibility is compared against the National Minimum Wage - Fair Work Australia. An employer may be eligible to receive a $4000 one-off-payment at the 12 month point, if the apprentice pay rate is equivalent to or above the National Minimum Wage. Note: (2nd year Adult Apprenticeship pay rates from The Vehicle Manufacturing RS&R Award 2010 happen to be equivalent to the National Minimum Wage).
W: (Enter Automotive Award Code - MA000089)  
P:13 38 73 

$21,000 Disabled Apprentice Wage Support - approx $103/wk wage subsidy & help with tuition at TAFE. 
P: 13 38 73  

Up to $10,000 Youth Bonus Wage Subsidy through JobActive - for employing eligible Job Seekers (15 - 24yr old) registered with a Jobactive Provider. They may offer you up to $10,000 (with a 'kickstart' payment of up to 40% of the total wage subsidy after four weeks of a job starting), if you take on a new employee/apprentice, that meets one of several criteria listed via the below link.  P: 13 17 15 (to find your local Jobactive Provider) - Click here to download a summary of all jobactive Wage Subsidies

National Work Experience Programme ( 4 weeks - max of 25hrs/wk) The National Work Experience Programme is part of jobactive. It is a work experience programme which places job seekers in real life work experience placements over a 4 week duration (up to 25 hrs/wk). The Job Seeker continues to receive income support and assistance from their jobactive provider during this programme placement. The Australian Government purchases personal accident insurance and public and/or product liability insurance to cover job seekers while they undertake their placements in your workplace. For the purposes of the Fair Work Act 2009, a Job Seeker is not an employee while undertaking a placement in your organisation. For further information: W: P: 13 62 68 

This gives you time to decide if the Job Seeker is suitable over the 4 week duration without costing you a cent. After the 4 weeks, you should then be able to make an informed decision on whether or not you wish to take on the Job Seeker into employment or an apprenticeship. You may also be eligible to apply for up to a $10,000 wage subsidy for employing them and also if you put them into an apprenticeship approximately $4000 of incentives through the apprenticeship system.W:      W:  Ph: 13 17 15 (to find your local Jobactive provider).

$1000 - Youth Jobs PaTH - under 25 yr old Job Seekers  (from 1st April 2017) Internship duration 4-12 weeks

From 1 April 2017, young job seekers under the age  of 25 years who are registered with jobactive, Transition to Work or Disability Employment Services and have been in employment services for at least 6 months will be eligible. The internship provides incentives of $1,000 upfront to the business to host an intern and a $200 fortnightly payment to job seekers on top of their income support.
P: 13 17 15 

Apprentice Incentives (Certificate 3)

$20,000 Trade Support Loan - from 1st July 2014 - for apprentices in skills shortage trades. If you complete the apprenticeship - receive a 20% reduction off the loan. Re-payments start via Tax Office once your income reaches a particular level. Contact your Apprenticeship Network Provider or call.
P: 13 38 73  

$7300 Living Away From Home Allowance -  approx ($77/wk 1st yr, $38/wk 2nd yr, $25/wk 3rd yr)
P: 13 38 73  

Youth Allowance – available to apprenticeships and traineeships - Centrelink
P: 13 36 33 

Low Income Health Care Card - for discounts, eg -TAFE fees, Bills, Medical, Travel - Centrelink
P: 13 36 33  

Travel Payment: for apprentices required to attend block release training relating to their apprenticeship where they have to stay away from their home overnight. Employer to pay for travel costs of reasonable transportation (to TAFE & returning Home only). (e.g cost of the Train Ticket if using public transport) This may also include meal costs which exceed those incurred travelling to and from work (e.g. dinner if in-transit returning home on the last evening of TAFE. W: 
P: 03 9829 1133

TAFE Fees - 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 ). Members of VACC can speak to VACC Industrial Relations for a definition of  'unsatisfactory progress'  Ph 03 9829 1123 or employers and apprentices can speak to the VACC Helpline.
P: 03 9829 1133
Fairwork Australia P: 13 13 94  

Discounted Car Registration - Vic Roads  In July 2018 the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority in conjunction with Vic Roads announced extending  discounted Car Registration to Trade Apprentices.

To be eligible for this discount you need to meet one of the following criteria:

  • You regularly use your own car, ute or van to get to and from work between the hours (8.30pm to 5.30am)   note: that's night time hours
  • You use your own car, ute or van for approved work purposes.

You also need to:

  • Hold a current Victorian Driver's Licence (not a Learner's permit)
  • You have your active Apprenticeship Registration Number (on the VRQA letter you received when you started your apprenticeship)
  • You have received your registration renewal in the post
  • Your car needs to be registered in your name.

Vic Roads may also request employer confirmation that you use your car for work purposes or for the unusual hours (suitable for Baker's Apprentices), so before applying ensure your employer will support you. Go to the below link or call.
P: 13 11 71