How do I cancel my training contract?

Is this you?

  • I want to cancel my apprenticeship/traineeship.
  • I have quit.
  • My employer's business has closed down.
  • There is no more work.
  • I have found another job somewhere else.
  • I have been sacked.
  • My employer has told me to leave.

Cancelling your training contract

If you are a registered apprentice or trainee you will have a training contract in place.

Both you and your employer, or either of you individually, can apply to Training Services NSW to have your training contract cancelled.

If both you and your employer consent to cancel the training contract this is called a mutual cancellation and can be arranged by applying to Training Services NSW.

If either you or your employer do not consent, for example

  • you are not able to contact your employer
  • your employer does not agree with cancelling the contract
  • your employer wants to cancel and you do not agree

then you or your employer can apply individually.

Legal aspects

  • Your training contract is created under the NSW Apprenticeship and Traineeship Act 2001. The Act says that your training contract is binding on both you and your employer and can be cancelled only if certain procedures are followed.
  • You can view a copy of the NSW Apprenticeship and Traineeship Act at the NSW legislation web site if you wish.

Don’t break your contract

If you leave your apprenticeship or traineeship without cancelling the training contract not only are you breaching the contract you could also experience problems later on. For example, your employer insists that you return to your former job, or you may be blocked from starting a new apprenticeship or traineeship because your old training contract was still registered.

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Transfer or suspend your contract instead

Instead of cancelling you can transfer your training contract to a new employer - this sometimes occurs when employers run out of suitable work or their business closes.
You can also suspend your training contract for a period of time if needed, such as situations where you are sick and unable to go to work.

Effect on incentive payments

Cancellation could mean that you are no longer able to receive government incentive payments and allowances. Check with your Australian Apprenticeships Centre or look at the Centrelink incentives web site if you want to know more about this.

Training course

Cancellation of your training contract does not stop you from continuing your apprenticeship/traineeship with another employer.

You should continue to attend your off-the-job training program while there is a possibility that you will enter into a training contract with a different employer.

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Trainee Apprentices in the construction industry

If you are a “trainee apprentice” in the construction industry you are in a different situation to other apprentices and trainees. You still have a training contract but it is only binding on you and your employer while you are employed.

Once you cease employment with that employer the training contract is no longer in force. However, you or your employer should notify Training Services NSW immediately that you cease employment so that your record can be amended, otherwise you may experience delays if you recommence your training with a new employer.

Section 12 of the Apprentice and Traineeship Act requires your employer to notify Training Services NSW of the termination of your employment within 14 days.

If both parties consent to cancellation:

1) If both you and your employer agree that the training contract should be cancelled the process can be quite straightforward. This process is called a mutual cancellation, because both parties agree mutually to the cancellation.

2) You need to give a written notification of the cancellation of the training contract, signed by both you and your employer, to your nearest Training Services NSW office. You will need to complete a cancellation form.

3) You will receive a letter from Training Services NSW confirming that your Training Contract has been cancelled and stating the cancellation date.

If either party to the apprenticeship/traineeship is uncertain about cancelling the training contract, immediate assistance should be sought from the nearest Training Services NSW office.

It is important that no coercion takes place for either party to agree to a mutual cancellation of an apprenticeship/traineeship.

If only one party consents to cancellation:

1) If your employer does not agree with the cancellation of the apprenticeship/traineeship, you should contact the nearest Training Services NSW office for assistance - ph 13 28 11.

2) The office will ask you to put your request for cancellation in writing.

3) Training Services NSW will write to your employer to formally request notification of agreement or disagreement with the cancellation.

  • If your employer replies and agrees with the cancellation, the cancellation will go ahead.
  • If your employer does not reply within 21 days the cancellation will still go ahead.
  • If your employer replies and does not agree then a Training Services NSW officer will contact you to help. This will probably involve discussing the reasons for the proposed cancellation with both you and your employer in anticipation of reaching agreement on the future of your apprenticeship/traineeship.
  • If the parties still do not agree on cancellation the matter will be decided by the Vocational Training Tribunal.

4) Alternatively, the situation could be that your employer may wish to cancel the training contract and you do not agree. The same process described above will occur, with Training Services NSW writing to you in the first instance, followed by intervention by a Training Services NSW officer if agreement and finally by referral to the Vocational Training Tribunal.

Your training contract

If you are a registered apprentice or trainee you will have a training contract in place. If you are not sure if you are registered you can call 13 28 11 and speak to a Training Services NSW staff member who will assist you.

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For assistance and information, call Training Services NSW on 13 2811.

Page last updated: 27 July 2016