The TAFE default is to put apprentices through their formal training within 3 years, regardless of how old or how skilled they are.
If employers confirm the TAFE assessments, competency based progression means that the apprenticeship will progress at the same rate. That means apprentices will complete in 3 years, rather than 4. It also means that apprentices will only spend 9 months on each pay stage, as opposed to the traditional 12 months.
But are apprentices competent at the rate TAFE assesses and puts them through? Can apprentices perform to your workplace standards, just because they passed a TAFE assessment?
Apprentice Progression audits your apprentice’s progress to make sure they can do the job to your satisfaction before they progress to the next pay level. This can save you money because you only pay higher rates when they are competent at work.
This chart shows the wage gap that opens up if an apprentice is signed off too early. The distance that opens up between the TAFE default and an Apprentice Progression audit is not just the difference in time it takes to complete, it is also the difference in wages paid to your apprentice.
The longer you wait for help, the more this difference grows.
Apprentice Progression does not recommend that all apprenticeships should revert to 4 year durations. It is important that there are incentives for good performance. But we do believe that recognition of competency achievement should be based on performance at work, not based on how TAFEs structure their school years.