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What Age is a Mature Age Apprenticeship?

What Age Adult Apprenticeship

The question we are often asked is, "Does MIGAS employ mature-aged apprentices?" The answer is "yes", but let’s break it down further.

What is a mature aged apprentice, or adult apprentice?

In Australia, any person who is aged 21 years or older at the commencement of their Australian Apprenticeship is considered a mature aged apprentice, or adult apprentice. The same is applied to Australian Traineeships and mature aged trainees.

Do mature aged apprentices get paid higher than a normal apprentice?

All Australian apprentices are paid subject to the relevant award for the industry in which they are working. Awards detail the legal entitlements of an employee, such as minimum wages and conditions, per the industry or position in which they are employed.

These awards also cover the general apprentice pay rate (commencing under the age of 21) and the adult apprentice pay rate (commencing at age 21 or over) which is typically at a higher rate.

There are two award systems that an Australian apprentice may be paid under – State-based and Federal.

  • State-based – minimum wages and conditions are met under a State legislation. These obligations differ between States and Territories in Australia.
  • Federal – national minimum wage and national employment standards apply.

MIGAS pays the Federal award and we go above and beyond to pay in accordance with Fair Work Australia’s national recommendations.

Some apprentices will also work under an Enterprise Bargaining Agreement (EBA), depending on their Host Employer.

  • EBA – wages and conditions established by an individual organisation that is binding to its employers and employees.

It’s important to clarify that if you start your apprenticeship under the age of 21 you will remain on a general apprentice pay rate for the full duration of your apprenticeship, even if you turn 21 shortly after commencing.

How long does a mature aged apprenticeship take to complete?

Australian Apprenticeships are competency-based, which means that the time they take to complete depends on how quickly the skill levels and competencies are achieved by the apprentice.

An apprenticeship typically takes around three to four years, depending on the trade specialisation.

Previous experience or skills in the relevant trade could reduce the training period for a mature aged apprentice. A person can have their previous skills and experience in the relevant industry assessed and formally recognised, and applied to the competencies of their apprenticeship training, thereby reducing the amount of time it takes to complete the qualification.

Skills and experience are formally assessed by Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).

  • Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) – an assessment and evaluation of previous experience, skills and knowledge obtained in a trade industry for formal acknowledgement. An RPL assessment may result in reduced training/study needed for a qualification. RPL must occur at the commencement of qualification.

Contact a TAFE institution or other Registered Training Organisation (RTO) for an RPL assessment and details about RPL costs.

Does MIGAS employ mature aged apprentices and what do we look for?

Yes. MIGAS employs mature aged apprentices and trainees. We strongly encourage you to apply for any of our advertised positions where you feel you have the suitable skills and experience to excel. (The only roles we can’t consider you for are the school-based opportunities, which have the additional requirement that you are currently enrolled in high school in order to commence).

If you are a mature aged applicant, we recommend highlighting the additional skills and experience you have acquired. This could be as simple as including a letter of reference in your resume from a previous employer where you completed some labour hire and/or work experience.

MIGAS recruits and employs Australian Apprentices and Trainees of all ages and hosts them with businesses for the duration of their qualification training.

Recruitment of the apprentice/trainee is specific to the requirements of the hosting business and we aim to place the right person in the apprenticeship/traineeship job. Our Recruitment team analyses a number of different factors when recruiting for apprenticeship positions, including the commitment of the apprentice candidate as well as the cultural fit for the hosting business.

Age has no impact on which apprenticeship and traineeship qualifications are available to a person.

Ready to start your career journey? Search our Jobs Board for current apprenticeships.


Published 19/01/2018

In the spirit of reconciliation, MIGAS Apprentices & Trainees acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their Elders past and present and emerging, and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.