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Aquaculture Operator Level 3

Apprenticeship and traineeship details

Please refer to the Declaration Policy for the requirements relating to apprenticeships and traineeships.

Please refer to the Norfolk Island Policy for apprenticeships and traineeships on Norfolk Island.


Job summary:
A trainee undertaking this role will acquire a range of skills in culturing aquatic animals. Aquaculture facilities may include hatchery, grow-out or stock holding facilities. Popular species currently farmed in Queensland include tiger prawns, barramundi or freshwater native fish. The range of work activities undertaken may include:

  • monitoring stock and environmental conditions

  • producing algae &/or live-feed cultures

  • feeding and handling stock

  • collecting and recording growth, production, and water quality data

  • cleaning breeding tanks and controlling diseases and pests

  • using small plant and equipment and maintaining treatment equipment

  • harvesting aquaculture stock and carrying out on-farm post-harvest operations

  • developing a broad knowledge of basic food handling & safety procedures including maintaining the temperature of seafood and seafood stocking

A high level of safety standards and wearing protective clothing will be essential.

You will need to have attributes appropriate to the demands of the industry, including:
  • a passion for aquaculture and enthusiasm to learn more

  • a strong work ethic and ability to work safely in and around water

  • an ability to work outdoors and sometimes in challenging environmental conditions

  • ability to handle seafood

  • a capacity to work both unsupervised and as part of a team

  • self motivated and driven to improve

  • The traineeship will take approximately two years during which you will be employed and paid while you train. A competency based assessment may reduce the time required to qualify as long as the trainee can show they have the skills to do the job.

    Upon completion of you traineeship you will have skills in aquiculture and will be a trained aquaculture operator.

    Australian Standard Classification of Occupations:


    Available Contract Modes:
    • Full-time
    • The lodgment of a second training contract where one of the training contracts is full-time will be reviewed by the Department to determine if each of the parties to each training contract can meet their obligations. There must be a clear separation between the training and employment requirements for each training contract and must not be replicated through the one occupation only.

    • Part-time
    • Minimum of 15 hours per week over each 4 week period throughout duration of apprenticeship/traineeship.

    • Casual NOT PERMITTED in Queensland
    • School-based
    • 7.5 hours per week of paid employment. This may be averaged over a 3 month period.

      Over the period of a year, the employer must provide at a minimum the equivalent of 375 hours (50 days) of paid employment.

      For a school-based trainee to be eligible to complete in this traineeship they must have met the minimum paid employment requirement as outlined below:
      - 24 month full time nominal completion duration - 100 days minimum (750 hours)
      Note: Each school-based traineeship has minimum paid employment requirements that are unique to the traineeship. Please refer to each traineeship in QTIS for further information.

    Apprentices/trainees with a disability are entitled to work less than 15 hours per week when averaged over a 4 week cycle. They must be a holder of a disability pension and Pension concession card to be approved.

    Other requirements for school-based:
    School-based requirements
    Students not enrolled in years 10, 11 or 12 may be eligible to enter a SAT provided there are exceptional circumstances warranting consideration and all other entry requirements are met, including being of an age where it is legal to undertake paid employment.

    Before a student not in years 10, 11 or 12 commences a SAT, a business case supporting the arrangements must be provided to and approved by the Department of Employment, Small Business and Training (DESBT).

    Delivery of training to school-based trainees
    Limits have been imposed on the amount of institutional training which may be delivered to school-based apprentices, based on the nominal term of a full time training contract. This restriction does not apply to school-based traineeships.

    Traineeship Probation/Duration Details:
    All apprenticeships have a nominal term - this is the timeframe that is on the Traineeship training contract.

    Mode Start Date End Date Probation Period (days) Nominal Term (months)
    Full-time 02/03/2020 60 24

    Minimum education standard:

    Minimum entry age:
    The Child Employment Act states that the minimum age for apprentices and trainees is 13 years of age, unless otherwise stated.

    Entry Requirements:
    Students not enrolled in years 10, 11 or 12 may be eligible to enter a SAT.

    As a general rule, only Australian citizens and New Zealand citizens who have entered Australia on a valid passport have unrestricted rights to employment in Australia.

    Visa holders may engage in apprenticeships or traineeships provided their work rights allows this, based on information and advice provided by the Australian Government.

    Supervision requirements
    Please refer to the Declaration policy, table 15 for the requirements on supervision.

    Modified supervision arrangements available: NO

    Employers are required to provide, or arrange to provide the facilities, range of work, supervision and training as detailed in the training plan.

    Qualified person for traineeships
    1. A person who has satisfactorily completed a traineeship in the trainee's calling, and is the holder of a completion certificate issued under an Act, or
    2. A person who holds a certificate of recognition issued under an Act, certifying the person has the necessary skills and knowledge in the calling, or
    3. A tradesperson in the trainee's calling, as defined under a specific industrial instrument, or
    4. A person who holds a relevant qualification in the traineeship calling, or
    5. A person individually, or persons collectively, who has/have documented competence (achieved through an RPL or training pathway) or demonstrated competence in all the competencies the employer is required to provide training for under the trainee's training plan (note - cannot be a person or persons currently undertaking the same traineeship), or
    6. A person undertaking a traineeship, at a higher level than the trainee's, whose traineeship incorporates supervisory or coordinating skills and who has documented competence (achieved through an RPL or training pathway) in at least one of the competencies the employer is required to provide to the trainee under the training plan and who is supervised by a person who qualifies under (1), and/or (4) and/or (5).

    And, where a worker is required to have a licence to practice the calling/occupation, the qualified person holds a current workers licence.

    Adequate supervision of apprentices and trainees cannot solely be provided from an offsite location by electronic means. Electronic means include, but are not limited to, telephones, radios and webcams.

    The level of supervision will normally range between direct, general and broad as per the below guidelines:
    - Direct - Close monitoring of work ensuring understanding and identifying potential risks and/or hazards
    - General - Occasional monitoring to ensure progress is occurring
    - Broad - Quality checking of completed tasks.

    Licensing requirements - NIL


    Qld declaration date:

    Implementation date:

    Qualification details

    Certificate III in Aquaculture

    Qualification code:

    Qualification content:
    Click here for more details

    Training package:
    SFI - Seafood Industry Training Package - SFI


    Queensland User Choice program funding details

    The Queensland User Choice program funds Skills Assure suppliers (RTOs) for the provision of services to eligible apprentices and trainees.
    For more information, please visit User Choice in Queensland.

    Funded under the User Choice Program:

    Full Price - Priority Population Groups:

    Queensland Government Contribution - All Other Students including SATs:

    Number of funded units of competency:


    Funding restrictions:

    • Existing Workers with an active registration number commencement date from 1 January 2017 are eligible for funding under the User Choice program for Priority 1, 2 and 3 qualifications
    • Full Price is only applicable to priority population groups
    • Queensland Government Contribution is applicable to all other students
    • Queensland Government Contribution may be the same as Full Price, depending on qualification priority and thin market status

    Funding not available for new commencements from:

    User Choice Training Catalogue Item:

    DELTA Qualification ID:

    Industry training group:
    Primary Industry - General

    Industrial relations details

    Since 1 January 2010, all private sector employers and employees in Queensland, including apprentices and trainees, have their wages and conditions of employment covered by the Fair Work Act 2009 and modern awards. This legislation is administered by the Commonwealth Government Fair Work Ombudsman's office.

    Apprentices and trainees are considered employees and may receive entitlements the same as other employees such as: annual leave, sick leave, public holidays, superannuation, workers compensation and allowances. Apprentices and trainees must also receive a pay slip to cover full details of the pay for each pay period. Pay slips have to be given to an employee (including apprentices and trainees) within 1 working day of pay day and be either in electronic form or paper hard copy.

    Parties should make enquiries with the Fair Work Ombudsman on Ph: 13 13 94 or at to determine the correct industrial instrument and entitlements.

    When employment is ceasing the employer or the employee (apprentice/trainee) must provide the appropriate notice periods as per the relevant award or registered workplace agreement. A notice period is the length of time that an employer or employee (apprentice/trainee) has to give to end employment. Additional information about notice periods can be found at:

    Unfair dismissal is when an employee (apprentice/trainee) is dismissed from their job in a harsh, unjust or unreasonable manner. Additional information about unfair dismissal can be found at:

    Public sector and local government workers in Queensland remain under the state industrial relations system. Additional information about wages and conditions of employment for employees (apprentices/trainees employed by state or local government) can be found at: