Office for the Public Sector

People

For Supervisors

Overview of Employment programs – Trainees and Graduates

As part of the Premier’s Building a Stronger South Australia – A Modern Public Service Policy, the Office for the Public Sector is leading the Flexibility for the Future initiative.

This initiative asks Public Sector employees to consider part-time and flexible working arrangements. By increasing the opportunities for Public Sector employees to voluntarily work part-time, the Sector can reinvest in new trainee and graduate positions.

All trainees employed as part of the program are offered a 12 month employment contract and employed under a Training Contract, (Contract of Training (COT), to complete a Certificate III level qualification. The majority of traineeships being offered are administrative where participants complete a Certificate III in Business.

Graduate participants are also offered a 12 month employment contract and enrolled to complete Certificate IV in Project Management Practice to complement their previous studies.

To be competitive for future Government employment opportunities after the 12 month contract, a participant must:

  • successfully complete their study component (or COT for trainees)
  • achieve satisfactory performance throughout their employment and be verified by their immediate supervisor
  • uphold the public sector values and Code of Ethics.

Overview of Training Contract

A Training Contract is a legal document that shows the trainee and the employer have come to an agreement about some important aspects of their traineeship such as:

 

  • the traineeships is a 12 month contract with a public sector agency
  • the trainee will undertake a Certificate III in Business with TAFE SA one day a week until the qualification is completed
  • the trainee will be supervised in the workplace for the other 4 days
  • the traineeship is full time equating to 37.5 hours per week

 

The Training Contract, sometimes called the ‘Contract of Training’ (COT), is a requirement for all trainees.  Graduates do not need to enter into a Training Contract.

 

The Training Contract is a legal document and is governed by State legislation (Training and Skills Development Act 2008). It needs to be signed by the trainee, the employer (agency) and a parent or guardian (if the trainee is under 18). By signing, all parties are agreeing with all the information contained in the contract, and they are bound by it.

Apprenticeship Network Provider MEGT facilitate the agreement and signing of the Training Contract before it is submitted to Regulations and Contract Management, Department for State Development for assessment and approval.

Regulations and Contract Management must be advised of and approve any changes to the Training Contract.

Every Training Contract has a predetermined probation period of 60 days from commencement of employment.

On completion of the qualification and on-the- job training requirements, the Training Contract Completion form is submitted to DSD Contracts and Regulation Management.

You can read Trainee, Apprentice and Employer Information for more information about the steps from sign-up to sign-off of a Training Contract, and you can find out more about the Traineeship and Apprenticeship system by reading WorkReady South Australia’s Traineeship and Apprenticeship System Information booklet.

 

 

Certificate III in Business - Trainees

The Certificate III in Business will provide trainees with an introduction to working in administrative roles in Government and how this relates to their individual workplaces.

The program is delivered through a combination of face-to-face training and workplace based assessments. The program is designed to facilitate learning through a combination of off-the-job and on-the-job training where trainees will undertake work tasks related to study areas. The combination of study and workplace tasks assists the trainees in developing the competencies, skills and knowledge required to work effectively as a South Australian public sector employee.

The trainees will require support from you as their supervisor, workplace managers, colleagues and specialist staff (e.g. Workplace Safety Representatives) when completing their learning tasks and assessments. Upon completion of all learning tasks and assessments, lecturers will guide trainees through the assessment checklists.

What is a Unit of Competency?

A Unit of Competency describes the skills and knowledge required to undertake the job function described and is the smallest unit that can be assessed and recognised.

The Units of Competency are:

Core Units

  • Apply knowledge of WHS legislation in the workplace

Elective Units

  • Organise workplace information
  • Design and provide text documents
  • Work effectively with diversity
  • Deliver and monitor a service to customers
  • Organise personal work priorities and development
  • Write simple documents
  • Produce spreadsheets
  • Uphold the values and principles of public service
  • Use workplace communication strategies
  • Comply with legislation in the public sector
  • Work effectively in the organisation
  • Contribute to workplace activities

You will need to work with your trainees to develop a workplan that outlines the tasks to be undertaken in the workplace, link these to their competency outcomes and align with the performance management and development processes of your workplace. Senior Employment Programs Consultants from the Office for the Public Sector can assist you with the development of this plan where needed.

 

What is the training schedule?

The trainee will undertake a combination of face to face training and workplace learning. The trainee is required to attend TAFE SA one day per week until the qualification is completed. TAFE SA will provide a schedule once your trainee has been enrolled and commenced in the workplace.

Certificate IV in Project Management Practice - Graduates

The Certificate IV in Project Management Practice course is facilitated by TAFE SA through a blended delivery approach incorporating online training and face-to-face sessions. The program is designed to facilitate learning through a combination of off-the-job and on-the-job training where graduates will undertake work tasks related to study areas. This diverse learning assists the graduate to develop the skills and knowledge required to work effectively as an employee of the South Australian Government.

Graduates will require support from you as the supervisor, workplace managers, colleagues and specialist staff (e.g. project managers) when completing learning tasks and assessments.

What is a Unit of Competency?

A Unit of Competency describes the skills and knowledge required to undertake the job function described and is the smallest unit that can be assessed and recognised.

The Certificate IV in Project Management comprises nine units including three core units plus six elective units

Core Units

  • Apply project scope management techniques
  • Apply project time management techniques
  • Apply project quality management techniques

Elective Units

  • Apply project information management and communication techniques
  • Apply project procurement procedures
  • Apply project risk management techniques
  • Apply project stakeholder engagement techniques
  • Uphold and support the values and principles of public service
  • Apply government processes

You will need to work with your graduates to develop a workplan that outlines the tasks to be undertaken in the workplace, link these to the competency outcomes and align with the performance management and development processes of your workplace. Senior Employment Programs Consultants from the Office for the Public Sector can assist you with the development of this plan where needed.

What is the training schedule?

The graduate will undertake a combination of online and face to face training. TAFE SA will provide a schedule once your trainee has been enrolled and commenced in the workplace.

Performance Management and Development

During the induction of your trainee/graduate, you are required to facilitate the development of the trainee/graduate’s performance agreement, in alignment with the performance management and development process for your agency. This agreement provides clarity around expectations, priorities, establish their professional development needs and identify where they might need specific support or development, as well as assisting them to understand how their work links to the strategic goals and objectives of your agency.

Performance management and development is a set of every-day practices that are used to foster the best possible performance from individuals, work-groups and organisations as a whole. By leading regular meaningful performance conversations, you play a vital role in ensuring your agency’s trainee or graduate understands what is expected of them, can realise their potential and make the most of their unique strengths. This is particularly important for new trainees and graduates, as it may be their first experience of performance conversations in the workplace.

Performance management and development is a two way process between a supervisor and employee that is collaborative, regular and ongoing. While it is mandated that all employees participate in a performance management and development review at least twice a year, informal conversations can and should take place on a regular basis. These regular conversations enable you to provide and receive feedback on the trainee/graduates progression at work. It also enables any issues to be discussed and resolved in a prompt manner.

The information and tools available within the Performance Management and Development section of this website provide more information to support you with this process.

FAQs

Program Information

 

What are the age eligibility requirements for trainees and graduates under Flexibility for the Future?

Traineeships within the program are open to people between the ages of 17 and 30 years.

There are no age restrictions on Graduate positions. Graduates must have completed their study within the last three years or be completed before commencement of employment.

What is the role of the Office for the Public Sector?

The Office for the Public Sector, is responsible for implementing the Flexibility for the Future initiative across Government which includes, updating the respective Determinations, Guidelines, contract management and providing support to agencies. The Office for the Public Sector – Employment Programs team is responsible for assisting agencies employing trainees and graduates and their supervisors.  Office for the Public Sector has service agreements with Maxima to provide pre-employment services and TAFE SA to deliver training for trainees and graduates.

Who do I contact if I have questions?

Your Human Resources Consultant or Director are your first contact point for any questions or concerns.  If they are not able to assist you can contact the Office for the Public Sector – Employment Programs team by emailing [email protected] .Your email will be responded to within 48 hours.

What is the role of my agency Human Resources consultant in relation to the Flexibility for the Future initiative?

Each agency will have a Human Resources consultant nominated as a Flexibility for the Future liaison. They will liaise with the Office for the Public SectorEmployment Programs team about vacancies, candidates, appointed applicants and progress.

The Office for the Public Sector Employment Programs team can provide support and advice directly to supervisors and trainees/graduates in regard to performance or other concerns. The Office for the Public Sector – Employment Programs team can also discuss any other issues that arise and provide referral or advice.

Do I have to provide ongoing employment?

Trainees and graduates are employed under a term contract of 12 months only.  The purpose of the program is to assist participants to develop their skills and capabilities in the workforce, to be better positioned to compete for roles both within the South Australian Government, and in the private sector.

What induction should I provide to my trainee/graduate?

Trainees and graduates must be inducted following usual agency induction processes. For new employees to the Public Sector, induction supports role clarity, self-efficacy or self-confidence and social integration.

All agency induction process must incorporate, as a minimum, information and education to all new employees in respect to:

  • Overview of the purpose and functions of the South Australian public sector;
  • The priorities of the South Australian Government and the relevant agency;
  • Code of Ethics for the South Australian Public Sector and the Public Sector Values:
  • Independent Commission against Corruption and the Office for the Public Integrity including the Independent Commissioner Against Corruption Act 2012 and the Directions and Guidelines issued by the Independent Commissioner Against Corruption, and public officer responsibilities;
  • Work health and safety obligations; and
  • Working with diversity and disability.

More information can be found in the GUIDELINE OF THE COMMISSIONER FOR PUBLIC SECTOR EMPLOYMENT: INDUCTION

What support do trainees and graduates receive?

As a supervisor, you are a primary support for the trainee or graduate who reports to you.  Other supports available to trainees and graduates include Human Resources consultants in your agency, mentors, TAFE SA lecturers and the Office for the Public Sector Employment Programs team. Trainees and graduates can also access their agency EAP supports.

Who pays for the travel costs for my regional trainee/graduate to attend training?

All employees are responsible for their own travel costs to and from training, within the metropolitan area. If a trainee or graduate is required to travel from a regional centre to attend training, their agency is responsible for providing transport and accommodation if required.

What is mentoring and how is this different from my role as the supervisor

Mentoring is an informal relationship, whereas the supervisor/trainee graduate is a formal relationship. Supervisors hold a position of responsibility for trainees and graduates that mentors do not have. Supervisors are responsible for the delegation of tasks, performance management and well-being of trainees and graduates in the workplace.

Workplace mentoring is a professional support and learning partnership between employees designed to facilitate professional and personal growth for the both mentors and mentees. Mentoring is a dynamic process that utilises the sharing of knowledge and experience, in professional conversations to support mentees develop their own professional capabilities and career pathways. Group mentoring is offered through the program.

Trainee Information

What is the probationary period for trainees?

A trainee will have entered a Contract of Training (COT) under the Training and Skills Development Act 2008.

Probationary periods are built into the training contracts to allow trainees and their employers to modify or withdraw from the traineeship should either party decide not to continue. The probationary period for a Training Contract up to 24 months is 60 days, from commencement of employment.

 

What is the probationary period for graduates?

The probationary period for your graduate will be in the contract of employment as specified by your agency. Refer to your Human Resources consultant for more details.

If the two contracts (employment and training) were signed on separate dates when does the probation period start and end?

There is a 60 day probationary period under the Training Contract which begins from the first day of employment, even if the Training Contract is signed at a later date.

How do I terminate a trainee’s employment?

Should you be experiencing any concerns or difficulties regarding your trainee it is recommended that you contact the Office for the Public Sector – Employment Programs team as soon as an issue arises. The Office for the Public sector will act on a neutral basis and will provide support to agencies and supervisors to reach a mutually agreed outcome. Office for the Public Sector will liaise with Regulation and Contract Management should any amendments need to be made to the Training Contract.

What is a training contract suspension and when is it used?

If you are experiencing any concerns or issues regarding your trainee contact the Office for the Public Sector – Employment Programs Team as soon as an issue arises. The Employment Programs Team will provide supports to reach a mutually agreeable solution.

The suspension of a training contract effectively pauses the contract and moves the end date forward by the length of the period of suspension. Suspension may be granted for a variety of reasons and are assessed on a case-by-case basis, coordinated through Department of State Development – Regulation and Contract Management.

In what circumstances can a Training Contract be extended?

Should you have concerns that a trainee is having difficulty meeting their study or work obligations you should contact the Office for the Public Sector– Employment Programs Team as soon as the issue arises. The Employment Program Team will provide supports and work with you and the trainee to reach a solution.

Extensions are granted on case-by-case basis and must be applied for and granted by Department of State Development– Regulation and Contract management.

When an application to extend the term of the training contract, is made, this extends the employment contract period and any other obligations under the contract of training.

The end date for my trainee is coming up soon, what do I need to do?

Ensure your trainee is up to date with all of their training and will complete all assessments at least one month prior to their end date.

What happens if my trainee is having difficulty with the training component of the Traineeship?

In the first instance you should make contact with the TAFE SA Lecturer to discuss any concerns.

Can a trainee take on higher duties?

Contact the Office for Public Sector – Employment Program team to discuss on a case by case basis.

All training contract changes must be approved by Department of State Development Regulation and Contracts Management.

Graduates

What happens if my graduate has not finished their training by their employment contract end date?

In the first instance you should make contact with the TAFE SA Lecturer to discuss any concerns.

Can a graduate take on higher duties?

Contact the Office for Public Sector – Employment Programs Team to discuss on a case by case basis. It is recommended you utilise the Performance management and development processes of your agency to discuss and identify suitable development opportunities for your graduate.

Please note that any changes to duties may affect the existing employment contract and study requirements.

Aboriginal trainees and graduates

Where do I get assistance for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander employees?

The Office for the Public Sector provides support for Aboriginal trainees / graduates through the following initiatives:

Aboriginal Mentoring Program

This program is designed to support Aboriginal trainees / graduates during their employment by providing access to a mentor.

Aboriginal Employment Register

The Aboriginal Employment Register can provide support to Aboriginal Trainees/Graduates upon completion to apply for public sector vacancies.

For further information on these initiatives, please visit the Office for the Public Sector website:   http://publicsector.sa.gov.au/people/diversity/aboriginal-and-torres-strait-islander-people/

Other support services for Aboriginal employees

Health services – Nunkawarrin Yunti of South Australia: http://nunku.org.au/

Aboriginal Services Directory

The Aboriginal Services Directory provides a listing of organisations that provide social and community services to Aboriginal people.  The Directory can be found at:   http://aboriginalservicesdirectory.com.au/#s=1

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