I want to cancel a training contract

You cannot just terminate an apprentice or trainee or pull them out of an apprenticeship or training position for another job. There is a legal process that must be followed and the training contract needs to be officially cancelled.

When would you cancel a training contract?

  • The apprentice/trainee quits
  • You terminate the apprentice/trainee’s employment
  • The apprentice/trainee is not coping with the apprenticeship/trainee.

How to cancel a training contract

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

If both parties agree to a cancellation:

  1. Complete a Cancel Training Contract form.
  2. You and your apprentice/trainee (and a parent/guardian if they are under 18) complete and sign the form.
  3. Forward it the Training Services NSW.
  4. You will receive a letter from Training Services NSW confirming that your Training Contract has been cancelled and stating the cancellation date.

Note that 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. Put your request for cancellation in writing including details of the apprenticeship/traineeship, why the apprentice/trainee does not consent and the contract identification number.
  2. Training Services NSW will write to your apprentice/trainee to formally request notification of agreement or disagreement with the cancellation.
  • If your apprentice/trainee replies and agrees, the cancellation will go ahead.
  • If your apprentice/trainee does not reply within 21 days the cancellation will still go ahead.
  • If your apprentice/trainee replies and does not agree then a Training Services NSW officer will contact you to arbitrate and hopefully resolve the issue.
  • If the parties still do not agree on cancellation the matter will be decided by the Vocational Training Tribunal.

A request from the apprentice/trainee to cancel the contract without your consent will be processed in a similar fashion.

In breach of contract

If you terminate your apprentice or trainee or move them to another job without first cancelling the training contract you are breaching the contract.

You could also experience problems later on. For example your employee could insist that you reinstate them in their former job.

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Effect on Incentive Payments

Your eligibility for Commonwealth incentives ceases with the cancellation of the apprenticeship or traineeship. Your Australian Apprenticeship Centre can provide advise on eligibility and assist you to claim outstanding incentive payments.

Trainee apprentices in the construction industry

The construction industry can employ apprentices under different contract arrangements in some trades. You still have a training contract in place but it is only binding on you and your apprentice while they are employed by you.

You are required to notify Training Services NSW within 14 days that the apprentice has been terminated so your record can be amended.

Check your industrial award for details.

Alternatives to cancelling


  • you can arrange to transfer the training contract to another employer. This is often done when employers no longer have appropriate work available in their organisation.


  • contracts can be suspended for a period of time, eg when an apprentice/ trainee is unable to work due to a temporary illness.

Get advice - talk to

  • your Australian Apprenticeship Centre
  • a training advisor from your local Training Services NSW Office ph 13 28 11.

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Page last updated: 27 July 2016