Overview of Employment programs – Trainees and Graduates
Finding opportunities for South Australians as trainees or graduates is important – it increases our diversity and secures the future of a strong public sector for our State. The Office of the Commissioner for Public Sector Employment coordinates the South Australian Government Traineeship and Graduate Program and works with agencies to support those employed in the program.
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 traineeship 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 Industry and Skills (DIS) 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 DIS 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 the South Australia’s Training and skills commission brochure.
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
- 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. The Office of the Commissioner for Public Sector Employment 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.
- 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. The Office of the Commissioner for Public Sector Employment 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.
What are the age eligibility requirements for trainees and graduates? 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 of the Commissioner for Public Sector Employment? The Office of the Commissioner for Public Sector Employment provides assistance and support to agencies employing trainees and graduates through this program, and their supervisors. The Office of the Commissioner for Public Sector Employment 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 of the Commissioner for Public Sector Employment by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. What is the role of my agency Human Resources consultant? Each agency will have a Human Resources consultant nominated as a liaison who will liaise with the Office of the Commissioner for Public Sector Employment about vacancies, candidates, appointed applicants and progress. The Office of the Commissioner for Public Sector Employment can provide support and advice directly to supervisors and trainees/graduates in regard to performance or other concerns and also discuss any other issues that arise and provide referral or advice. 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 South Australian 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 of the Commissioner for the Public Sector Employment. 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.
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 of the Commissioner for Public Sector Employment as soon as an issue arises. The Office will act on a neutral basis and will provide support to agencies and supervisors to reach a mutually agreed outcome. The Office 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 of the Commissioner for Public Sector Employment as soon as an issue arises. The Office 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 for Industry and Skills – 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 of the Commissioner for Public Sector Employment as soon as the issue arises. The Office 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 for Industry and Skills – 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 of the Commissioner for Public Sector Employment to discuss on a case by case basis. All training contract changes must be approved by Department for Industry and Skills – Regulation and Contracts Management.
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 of the Commissioner for Public Sector Employment 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 of the Commissioner for Public Sector Employment 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 of the Commissioner for Public Sector Employment website. 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 here.
Useful links and documents
- Welcome to the South Australian Public Sector
- Public Sector Values
- Code of Ethics for the South Australian Public Sector
- Public Sector Act 2009
- Guideline of the Commissioner for Public Sector Employment: induction
- Guidelines of the Commissioner for Public Sector Employment Performance Management and Development
- Commissioner’s Determination 3.1: Employment Conditions
- The obligation on employees to report they have been charged with a criminal offence (Commissioner’s Guideline)
- SA Public Sector Interim Award
- South Australian Public Sector Entry Level Employee Competency Framework
- Aboriginal Employment
- Communicating Confidently – A guide to appropriate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander terminology
- Aboriginal Employment Industry Clusters: Sharing the Lessons Learned (PDF) 196KB
- Independent Commissioner Against Corruption SA
- Training and Skills Development Act 2008
- Health Care Act 2008
- Super SA
- Trainee and Apprentice Services –WorkReady – Apprenticeships and Traineeships
- Social Media Guidance for Agencies and Staff
- MEGT – Australian Apprenticeship Centre
- State Government Skills Register
- State Government Graduate Register