Apprenticeships and traineeships
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Apprenticeships and traineeships

Help & advice

​​​​​Earn and learn in entry-level roles

Apprenticeships and traineeships offer practical, transferable skills and the foundation for a solid career. And they’re paid positions, so apprentices and trainees earn as they learn.

The difference between an apprenticeship and a traineeship

Both apprenticeships and traineeships involve a training contract between employer and employee and formal and on-the-job training to learn a trade or occupation. Both deliver a nationally recognised qualification upon completion.

An apprenticeship is usually longer than a traineeship and the contract is slightly different. For example, in an apprenticeship (once an initial probationary period is complete) both the employer and the employee have to agree to end the training contract. In a traineeship, either the employer or the employee can end the contract.

Apprenticeships and traineeships are available in a wide and fast-growing list of industries ranging from traditional trades to telecommunications and information technology.

Apprentice working on a bathroom unit 

School-based apprenticeships and traineeships (SBATs)

If a student is enrolled in VCE or VCAL, an SBAT can offer them the opportunity to combine school with part-time employment and Vocational Education and Training (VET). An SBAT becomes part of their senior secondary school program and their school study timetable.

A number of people are involved in arranging an SBAT, including the student, their parents, the employer, the RTO, the school and an Australian Apprenticeship Centre.

SBATs require approximately two days a week consisting of both training and employment, contribute towards the student’s VCE or VCAL, lead to a nationally recognised qualification and include paid work.

Further information about SBATs is available on the Department of Education and Training (DET) website.

Researching options

This website is a starting point for research about apprenticeships and traineeships. If a student is seriously considering these options, they’ll find additional information through the links below.

Other options for finding more information include: 

  • talking to potential employers, or people they know who have been an apprentice or trainee.
  • review of job listings to help them develop a sense of which roles and industries best match their interests and abilities.
  • considering pre-apprenticeship training to prepare for the apprenticeship they want.
  • understanding skills in demand – as well as their interests, abilities and aspirations, encourage students to consider ongoing work opportunities. An apprenticeship or traineeship in an in-demand field will help boost their chances of finding a better job. 

More information