apprenticeships and traineeships offer?
Apprenticeships and traineeships are
available at a variety of qualification levels in most occupations, including
international trades and a wide range of emerging industry sectors.
In fact, they are offered in more than
500 occupations, from agriculture and horticulture to construction, public
service, hairdressing and tourism (see the AustralianApprenticeships website for a full list).
What is the difference between an
apprenticeship and a traineeship?
Apprentices are trained in a skilled
trade and on completion of their training become a qualified tradesperson in
their area (such as an electrician, a plumber, a carpenter, a hairdresser or a
bricklayer). Trainees, on the other hand, are trained in a vocational area such
as hospitality, retail or office administration. Apprenticeships also involve a
greater commitment for both the apprentice and employer, with all parties
required to agree in order for the training contract to be cancelled and new
employers required to continue with the training contract in the event that
your employer sells the business.
What do apprenticeships and
Completing an apprenticeship or
traineeship allows you to combine practical work with a course of structured
training, meaning that you learn theory and work towards a nationally
recognised VET qualification while employed in the industry.
The advantages of
apprenticeships and traineeships
- Training is flexible: Apprenticeships and
traineeships are flexible and can be full time, part time or school-based.
- Training is competency-based: Some years ago,
apprenticeships and traineeships could take several years to complete as
there was a set time period allocated to training. More recently, they
have become competency based, meaning that you can finish your training
once you have reached the appropriate skill level.
- You may be awarded credit: In many cases, you may
be awarded “credit” for prior learning or work experience and be able to
complete your apprenticeship or traineeship earlier than expected.
- They offer varied experiences: Training can take place both
on and off the job and you may complete some of your training working
directly in the industry but also attend classes at TAFE or another
Registered Training Organisation (RTO) one or two days per week.
- You “earn while you learn”: As you are working in
the industry, you begin earning money straight away. This also means that
you are eligible for employment benefits such as workers’ compensation and
apprenticeships and traineeships
Full-time apprenticeships and traineeships involve full-time work, which
is usually around 36 to 38 hours per week. Part-time apprentices and trainees
are employed on a permanent basis for fewer hours per week than full-time hours
(generally around 15 to 21 hours per week).
Apprenticeships usually range from three to four years in duration,
including two to three years of formal training delivered at an RTO one day per
week or in larger study blocks throughout the year. Traineeships usually range
from six months to three years in duration.
Apprenticeships and traineeships aren’t just for school leavers and
young people either. There are plenty of opportunities for adult and mature age
apprentices and trainees, who may be able to gain credits for previous
education, training, work experience or life experience through Recognition of
Prior Learning (RPL). Existing workers may also be able to undertake an
apprenticeship or traineeship through their workplace.
School-based apprenticeships and
Many industries allow students to begin part of their apprenticeship or
traineeship while still in school. This means that you combine paid employment,
off-the-job training (at TAFE, for example) and your secondary school studies.
This is a great option if you have your mind set on a trade but still want to
finish school. Schools can usually cater for this by providing “time release”
from school subjects; for example, allowing you to attend your training one
afternoon per week. School-based apprenticeships and traineeships are available
in many of the fields mentioned above, including anything from traditional
trades (such as plumbing) to business services, hairdressing and retail. It’s
best to speak to your school’s career adviser to ensure that there are
appropriate arrangements in place to cater to your training requirements.
Some schools may also offer the VET in Schools program, which allows you
to undertake a vocational course, from certificate I through to certificate IV,
as part of your studies in Year 11 and 12. There are also specialised RTOs
(both government-run and independent) that allow students to combine their
senior studies, a Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualification and a
Apprenticeship and traineeship entry requirements
Apprenticeships and traineeships generally don’t require you to have a
prior qualification, meaning that they are available to anyone who is legally
able to work — school students included (see above for details).
To gain an apprenticeship or traineeship, you can take following steps:
- Decide which career area best suits you,
remembering that there are more than 500 apprenticeships and traineeships
to choose from. You can find more information on apprenticeships and
traineeships at the Australian Apprenticeships website, the Careers Guide website, the Australian Apprenticeships Pathways website and the Australian Apprenticeships and Traineeships Information Service website.
- Find an employer willing to take you on as an
apprentice by looking for job vacancies and contacting your local Job
Services Australia provider, Group Training Organisation, Australian
Apprenticeships Centre or employers in your preferred industry. You will
need to have an up-to-date résumé and may be required to complete job
applications and attend interviews.
- Once you find an employer, ask them to contact
your local Australian Apprenticeships Centre or Skills and Training
Information Centre. They will help you and your employer to complete the
necessary paperwork and sign up to the National Training Contract.
Where are apprenticeships and traineeships offered?
The training component of apprenticeships and traineeships is offered by
registered training organisations (RTOs), which may include schools, Technical
Education Centres (or similar RTOs) that combine secondary study with training,
TAFE institutes and private providers. See Types of institutions for more
information about providers.
The employment component may be completed through a wide variety of
employers (such as private businesses or the public service) or through Group
Training Organisations, which employ apprentices and trainees under a National
Training Contract and place them with host employers.