Australian Apprenticeships encompass all apprenticeships and traineeships and combine time at work with training. They can be full-time, part-time or school-based.

Apprenticeships are available to anyone of working age and do not require any entry qualifications, they can be a school-leaver, re-entering the workforce or simply wishing to change careers. They are the best way to combine training and employment, and can lead to a nationally recognised qualification.

Australian Apprenticeships offer:

  • A great way to get a head start in a chosen career
  • Paid work and structured training that can be on-the-job, off-the-job or a combination of both
  • ‘Competency based’ which means you can complete your training faster if you reach the required skills level
  • Existing skills and prior experience are recognised and course credit granted, potentially reducing formal training time. Available as full-time or part-time, also available part-time in many schools
  • Leads to nationally recognised qualifications and skills which provide the basis for further education and training over the course of your working life
  • A pathway from school to work

Finding an apprenticeship / traineeship

  • Find out as much information as possible about the business
  • Do some networking. Talk to friends, relatives, careers teachers and people in the industry. For example, if the young person is interested in doing an apprenticeship in horticulture, ask a gardener how they got to where they are now – a lot can be learned about job prospects and the field of work itself
  • There are usually many Australian Apprenticeships advertised on JobSearch
  • Click on Victoria then occupations and you can specify a search for Australian Apprenticeships only
  • Go to a Disability Employment Service and ask for their assistance
  • An Australian Apprenticeships Centre or Group Training Company may be able to assist
  • Check the employment section in a newspaper and search other jobs databases
  • Check community notice boards for advertisements

The Australian Apprenticeships Job Pathways website is a great site full of information on the linkages between qualifications and understanding how career pathways can be developed no matter what industry area you are involved in. There are downloadable resources available for career practitioners as well that are very informative and make a useful guide for parent information evenings or professional development of other teaching staff.

Incentives and Assistance

There are three types of assistance for employers of Australian Apprentices with a disability:

Disabled Australian Apprentice Wage Support is available to an employer who currently employs an Australian Apprentice with a disability and has been assessed as a person requiring assistance. Evidence must be provided to support a claim for assistance.

Assistance for Tutorial, Interpreter and Mentor Services is payable directly to the Registered Training Provider in respect of an Australian Apprentice with a disability who has been assessed as eligible for Disabled Australian Apprentice Wage Support and who requires additional assistance with off-the-job training. An Australian Apprentice with a disability may attract this form of assistance regardless of whether their employer receives Disabled Australian Apprentice Wage Support.

Employment Assistance Fund for necessary modifications to the workplace may be provided to employers of Australian Apprentices who are disabled. These may include such things as the purchase, lease or hire of equipment to help the Australian Apprentice in their work.
Visit Jobaccess or call 1800 464 800 for more information about the Employment Assistance Fund.

School-based Apprenticeships

An Australian School-based Apprenticeship is an Australian Apprenticeship which is undertaken at school and combines paid employment as an apprentice or a trainee, and off-the-job vocational training. It is undertaken at reduced hours so you can combine school and work and so is similar to a part-time Australian Apprenticeship. An Australian School-based Apprenticeship provides senior secondary school students with hands-on industry experience, and the ability to work towards or complete a nationally recognised qualification, while they complete their senior school certificate.

What does an Australian School-based Apprenticeship involve?
An Australian School-based Apprentice undertakes a combination of secondary school, paid work and vocational training undertaken on or off the job. An Australian School-based Apprentice can undertake training in a traditional trade or other occupation at the Certificate I, II, III, IV or Diploma or Advanced Diploma level.

Training delivered by a Registered Training Organisation may be undertaken for a couple of hours every week or for a longer block of time, less frequently. This will depend on the requirements of the Registered Training Organisation and the vocational training course. Australian School-based Apprentices will need to negotiate time-release from their school subjects to attend training and arrange to catch up on any material they miss.

The number of hours an Australian School-based Apprentice needs to be employed per week differs between States and Territories based on their legislation. Some Australian School-based Apprentices can undertake their paid employment outside of school hours, such as on the weekend, however others must take time during school hours to work and this depends on the requirements of the employer.

How long will it take?

An Australian Apprenticeship can take from one to four years to complete, depending on the type of Australian Apprenticeship, the industry and the qualification you do. Course Credits may be granted for any skills and prior experience in the workplace, potentially reducing the formal training time. Australian Apprenticeships are ‘competency based’ which means training is completed as soon as the required skills are demonstrated.
Australian School-based Apprenticeships are a part-time arrangement which the Australian School-based Apprentice undertakes while they complete their senior school certificate, and can then continue full-time once they finish their schooling.

For more information about Australian Apprenticeships contact the local Australian Apprenticeships Centre, or call the Australian Apprenticeships referral line on 13 38 73 to find Australian Apprenticeships Centres in each region.

Group Training Organisations

Group Training Organisations are the largest employers of apprentices nationally. A Group Training Organisation is a company that employs apprentices and then hires apprentices out for short or long periods to employers who do not have the capacity to take you on full time. The Group Training Organisation acts as the employer for the whole apprenticeship period. At the completion of the apprenticeship, you may have worked for several different employers. This is extremely valuable as the apprentice has an opportunity to gain a wider range of trade and industry experience because the type of work varies in different workplaces.

To contact a Group Training Organisation, go to the Group Training Australia (GTA) website. GTA provides information for Jobseekers, Employers and provides contact details for Group Training Organisations across Australia as well as listing available jobs.