Last updated 13 October 2016

The Education (Work Experience) Act 1996 (Qld) (Work Experience Act) permits participation in work experience for children who are students and at least 14 years of age (see definition of student in sch 1 of the Work Experience Act). The child must be enrolled in an educational establishment with written consent from a parent or guardian (s 12 Work Experience Act). The arrangement must be in writing and must not be entered into unless the responsible body holds suitable insurance for workers’ compensation (ss 6, 8 Work Experience Act). The work experience must not be arranged until the child’s educational establishment has suitable insurance indemnifying the child and the work experience provider against liability for personal injury or property damage suffered by the student, the work experience provider or another person arising out of the work experience (s 9 Work Experience Act).

Apprenticeships and traineeships can be complex employment relationships. The formalities of entering into a valid apprenticeship or traineeship are found in the Further Education and Training Act 2014 (Qld) (FET Act).

Apprentices and trainees are employees and consequently they can access workers’ compensation, if they are injured, and the protections found within the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth).

Employers must provide adequate training for apprentices and trainees including the provision of proper facilities, a range of work and appropriate supervision.

An application to cancel an apprenticeship can be made by agreement of all parties, at the behest of the apprentice or at the employer’s initiation. Where the employer initiates the cancellation outside the apprentice or trainee’s probationary period, a show cause process must be undertaken. Details of how to cancel an apprenticeship or traineeship are found in pt 2 div 6 of the FET Act.

Further practical information about the rights and obligations of apprentices and trainees (including how to make a complaint or appeal a decision) can be found at the Queensland Department of Education and Training website.