Having your apprenticeship cancelled before you have completed your qualification can be a scary situation. Suddenly the plan for your future seems to have collapsed and you have no idea what to do next. But all is not lost. Many people find themselves in this position for reasons that are often outside of their control. With the right help and a level head you can and will get back on track.
First things first, evaluating the situation calmly with an open mind will help you to choose the best course of action. Take time to understand whether your apprenticeship is definitely cancelled, who has communicated this, how they are cancelling it and why.
As soon as you have a clear view of what is happening get in touch with your apprenticeship support network provider. This point cannot be emphasised enough. Your provider will be able to give you the most appropriate advice to your particular situation and will also be able to contact your employer to understand their side. They have full access to your training contract meaning they can inform you when it is truly cancelled and alert you to whether or not you are free to pursue other options.
So let’s run through what you need to know about the process and your rights:
How can an apprenticeship be cancelled?
Sadly, like jobs, apprenticeships can also be cancelled before the end of your contract as a result of events outside of your control. Apprenticeships are most often cancelled because of downturns to the industry, lack of available work or the business going into administration.
When you sign your training contract you will be given a probation period. This normally lasts for the first 3 months of your placement. Whether you are within or outside your probation period when your apprenticeship is cancelled impacts the process and what you can do next.
- Within your probation period: Either you or your employer is able to terminate your training contract at any point without the agreement of the other party. This unfortunately means that you have little negotiating power if your apprenticeship is cancelled during this period.
- After your probation period: You and your employer can only cancel the training contract if you are both in agreement to do so. This means that you can discuss the reasons for the cancellation and maybe find an alternate solution such as suspension or a transfer. (Note that this only applies to apprenticeships, traineeships can be cancelled by the employer without both parties agreeing at any time).
Your training contract is a legally binding document in which both you and your employer make a commitment to completing the apprenticeship. To cancel this commitment after the probation period both you and your employer need to consent and sign a specific form which is then submitted to the Australian Apprenticeship Support Network (AASN). This means you can oppose and prevent the cancellation if that’s what you think is best for you.
There are some exceptions where the AASN can cancel a contract without you or your employer’s agreement:
- Your employer has ceased business.
- Your employer has ceased operating the business where you are employed.
- There has been substantial change to you or your employers circumstances, affecting the capacity to perform the obligations under the training contract.
- Your employer has moved the business to a place where it is impractical or unreasonable for you travel.
- The training contract contains misleading or untrue information.
- Your employer is failing to comply with their obligations.
- If you are a school student and the school has withdrawn their support for the your participation in training.
- The training contract was registered in error.
What to do next
If you have agreed to cancel your apprenticeship with your current employer there are a few steps you should take:
- Firstly, as mentioned before, get in touch, and keep in touch with your apprenticeship support network.
- Make sure your schooling and profiling are up to date. These documents belong to you and can help you to prove the experience and skills you have gained during your time as an apprentice. They can also get you credit for what you have already covered if you choose to continue your apprenticeship elsewhere, so you don’t have to start again from the beginning.
- If you want to continue learning your trade you can make arrangements to continue your apprenticeship with a new employer. You will need to sign new training contract and begin a new probationary period and it is likely that you will have to re-interview for a position.
There are industry boards that can assist in getting you a job including:
- NECA Education & Careers (vacancies page)
- Need an apprentice – http://www.needanapprentice.com.au/
- ElectricianXchange – https://www.electricianxchange.com/
If your apprenticeship has been cancelled and you want to continue to succeed in your chosen trade, get in touch with the experts at NECA Careers & Education today.