Research: Quality apprenticeship employment

The International Labour Organization (ILO) approved their Recommendation for quality apprenticeships in mid-2023. This recommendation provides a framework for quality apprenticeships internationally, however has not been mapped or tested against Australia’s apprenticeship system.

The proposed research aims to:

  • Map Australian and targeted international apprenticeship models against the ILO apprenticeships recommendation.
  • Understand what individuals perceive as ‘quality employment’ and how this differs to the ILO framework for apprenticeships. This will include differences between groups, e.g. is ‘quality employment’ different for employers vs industry vs apprentices?
  • Understand where there are gaps in quality of employers, and where employers are performing strongly.
  • Develop recommendations around support and improvements for employers to become ‘quality employers’.

Research stages

Stage 1: Mapping

  • How do Australian frameworks match to the ILO framework?
  • At what phase of the apprenticeship do the standards relate?
  • What does existing data show us about achievement against the ILO framework?

Stage 2: Perceptions

  • What do apprentices, employers, and industry believe is quality?
  • How does this match or mismatch against the ILO and Australian frameworks?

Stage 3: Employer data

  • How are employers performing against the frameworks?
  • Where are gaps in quality for Australian and international employers?
  • Recommendations to improve quality.

It is expected that stage one of the research will be released in early 2024, with stages two and three commencing at this time.

Current work: Mapping

The GAN Australia research team is finalising the full mapping of the ILO Recommendation against Australian frameworks. The mapping will be circulated to Australian Apprenticeship industry stakeholders for feedback. Additional feedback will be collected through interviews and workshops with interested stakeholders.

If you would like to contribute by providing industry stakeholder feedback, please contact GAN Australia at

A draft heat map of the ILO Recommendation and Australian system can be downloaded here.

More information

Further information about this research will be shared through the GAN Australia newsletter, on our Insights blog, and on our social media. You can subscribe to the newsletter, find our social media pages, or send us an enquiry about this project through the Contact us page.