Changes to pay rates for apprentices have come into effect which will mean increases for many young workers.

The changes come after a Fair Work Commission decision in 2013, which made adjustments to the standard rates for a number of awards.

Pay rates for first and second-year apprentices are being increased, and adult apprentice rates have been added to modern awards that previously had none.

There are other changes on way to be phased-in over the next two years.

These include adding competency based wage progression to certain awards; adding school-based apprentice provisions to some awards; adding wage protections for adult apprentices who have worked for their employer before starting an apprenticeship and; adjustments to award conditions for travel costs, training time, training fees and attendance at training.

The pay increases only affect apprentices that start an apprenticeship from 1 January 2014. Apprentices that started before this date will not be covered.

The adjustments to award conditions about travel costs, training time, fees and attendance at training affect all apprentices, regardless of when they started.

The Fair Work Ombudsmen has put up ‘PayCheck Plus’, an online tool for calculating the appropriate rate of pay. It is accessible here. 

The full findings of the modern award review are available here.