New Apprentice Pay Rates – Myths and Facts


There have been a number of conflicting headlines, articles and general perceptions in the trade on the degree to which the new pay rates will impact apprentice employment and training.

To assist employers with their new apprentice sign ups in 2014 I have listed below some myths and facts in relation to the Fair Work Commission decision on the increase in pay rates from 1 January 2014.

I would welcome your feedback to this blog via commenting here, on how you see the increase impacting on your decision to employ an apprentice.

Myth:    The new rates apply to all current apprentices.
Fact:     Only apprentices commencing from 1 January 2014 are affected by the change.  There is no impact on current apprentices.

Myth:    New rates will increase for all year levels.
Fact:     New pay rates apply to stage 1 and stage 2 apprentices.

Myth:    New rates will be up to $100 or 31% higher from January 2014.
Fact:     Increase is phased in over 2 years with approximately $40 per week in 2014 and the balance from January 2015 if the new apprentice has completed year 12.

Myth:    Increase will be the same for all new apprentices.
Fact:     Apprentices with a year 12 completion receive an approx. increase of 31% over 2 years.  Apprentices who have not completed year 12 receive an approx. increase of 19% over 2 years.

Myth:    Current apprentices who recommence in 2014 receive the higher rate.
Fact:     Increase applies only to new apprentices commencing after 1 January 2014.

Myth:    The increase applies by the same amount for 3 year apprenticeships.
Fact:     3 Year apprenticeship rates will increase by a smaller amount, approx. 18% for Year 12 completions and 9% without year 12, phased in over 2 years.

Myth:    Competency based pay progression will apply from 2014 based on completion of each competency.
Fact:     The principle of competency based pay progression will be adopted.  However, there is no decision on how this will be applied.

It is also a fact that the sooner the apprentice is trained both on and off the job, the sooner his productivity will provide a return to the employer.  Many employers enjoy this benefit by putting the apprentice on the trowel during the first year.

For more information on wages and the Modern Award MA000020 visit our website pages:

Geoff Noble

8 Responses to “New Apprentice Pay Rates – Myths and Facts”

  1. Busterfry Bricklaying Pty Ltd

    I want to employ an apprentice who has worked for me as a Labourer for 8 months. He has just turned 21 and is not eligible for the adult apprenticship grant. It seems his new pay level at his age will have priced him out of my affordability comfort zone and price range.
    Surely this has not been thought out completely. It seems the age gap between the ages of 21 and 25 has been ignored.

    • BAB

      I know it’s tough employing an apprentice between 21 and 25 years of age. However, we often see bricklayers getting other benefits like maturity and productivity from their older apprentices. Your apprentice will soon pay his way if he gets trowel time and learns quickly. If the TAFE you choose has flexible training this can also work well with assessments on site and less time off the job. Another of our blogs would be worth a read Adult Apprentices Make Good Business Sense.

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  3. Rolance

    Hi, i am 1years apprentices mature age 27+ and i would like to know how much is mature age pay rate?


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