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Australian Apprenticeships

Have you thought about an apprenticeship as a career path? An apprenticeship career can really take you places - from the Australian outback mines to the fashion catwalks of Milan or the kitchens of Hong Kong.

With on-the-job training, you can earn while you learn and gain a nationally-recognised trade qualification on completion. You may also be eligible for financial or other assistance while undertaking your apprenticeship.

The Apprenticeship Community is here to support you from start to finish and we want nothing more than to see you succeed in your chosen career – wherever that may take you!​

Become trade qualified

Whether you’re still at school, a school leaver, or an adult wishing to change careers or gain new skills, an Australian Apprenticeship is a smart career choice.

Undertaking an apprenticeship is the time spent learning a skilled trade, under a qualified trades-person. There are many different apprenticeship trade qualifications to choose from, including construction, hairdressing, mechanics, engineering, horticulture, design – and many more.

The Apprenticeship Community supports you with a range of services including:

  • assistance when choosing a career path that suits you;
  • finding the right qualification and training provider;
  • assistance with lodging any paperwork;
  • advising you of any eligible incentives; and
  • ongoing support, including mentoring, to keep you on track with your apprenticeship.

We’re here to support you from your first day on the job until you complete and there is nothing we like better than to see you succeed.

You can check out our Frequently Asked Questions below for more information or contact us via our online form if you have any questions.

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Usually an apprenticeship is for a trade based industry such as electrical, building and construction, cooking, automotive, hairdressing, engineering and other trade-based qualifications. An apprenticeship qualification is longer in duration and can take up to 4 years to complete.

Traineeships cover industries that don’t require a trade certificate, for example business, retail, hospitality, IT, tourism and many more. A traineeship usually takes anywhere from 6 months to 3 years to complete, depending on the qualification and prior skills.

You can undertake an Australian Apprenticeship as a school leaver, if you’re re-entering the workforce or if you are an adult looking to change careers or gain skills for your industry. You can also begin an Australian Apprenticeship while finishing secondary school under a school-based apprenticeship arrangement

You may elect to study full-time, part-time, or a combination of both – earning and learning as you go!

You will need to be minimum working age but there is no maximum age limit to begin an apprenticeship or traineeship. You will also need to be an Australian Citizen, a New Zealand passport holder or hold a visa that allows you to engage in work in Australia. With the host employer you will need to be permanently employed for a minimum of 15 hours per week or 7.5 hours per week if undertaking a school-based apprenticeship or traineeship. You will not be eligible if you are a casual employee or sub-contractor.  

full time apprenticeship can take anywhere from 36 to 60 months and include qualifications from Certificate Level III to Advanced Diploma.

full time traineeship generally takes between 12 and 24 months and covers qualifications from Certificate Level II to Advanced Diploma.

The certificates are awarded based on competency which means the sooner you learn the skills and knowledge, the sooner you finish. You can also use additional real life experience to further reduce the certification time. Experience gained via formal or informal training, work experience, prior learning and on-the-job skills all count towards the attainment of your certificate and is called Recognised Prior Learning or RPL.

It really depends on your qualification, your employer and you.  However, there are minimum wage conditions for employers and employees across Australia. Visit the Fairwork website or phone 13 13 94.

Your employer will usually cover the costs of the training, but you will need to check with them.

The Australian Government and State Governments may also subsidise some of the costs, but you should check with your Registered Training Organisation (RTO) or Apprenticeship Community consultant first.

Your training provider is responsible for developing your training plan, delivering the training, assessing your achievements and issuing you with your qualification upon completion of your training. It’s important that you and your employer choose the right training organisation for you and they can either be a public provider such as TAFE or a private organisation with accreditation. The Apprenticeship Community can provide you with a list of Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) offering your qualification. Some providers are funded by the Government which means they can provide subsidised training or if you choose a training organisation that is not funded, your training will be delivered on a fee-for-service basis.

Make sure you and your employer think about the following things when choosing your training provider:

  • How much input will you and your employer have into the course?
  • Ask how and when the training will take place and when you will be assessed.
  • How often will your training provider visit you at work and provide feedback?
  • What other assistance can they provide?
  • What are the costs involved?

Choosing a career path is a big decision! Your likes, personality, preferences and talents will all come into play. Our Resources page offers quizzes, activities, tips and tricks to help you. 

What kind of apprenticeships are available?

Trade industries where you can undertake an Australian Apprenticeship include:

  • Agriculture and primary industries (Farrier)
  • Automotive industry (a range of automotive mechanic and specialist auto trades)
  • Aviation (including aircraft maintenance engineer and more)
  • Beauty (hairdressing)
  • Boating & marine (marine craft construction or mechanic)
  • Building & construction (including bricklayer, carpenter, plumber, tiler and many more)
  • Community services (children’s services para-professional)
  • Electro-technology and electricity supply (electrician, electronics & communications, airconditioning mechanic and many more)
  • Engineering (including electrical, mechanical, fabrication and many more)
  • Food & meat processing (meat retailing)
  • Forestry (forest products worker)
  • Furnishing and craftworkers (including floor technology, furniture making, glass & glazing and more)
  • Horticulture (including arborist, landscaper, parks & gardens and more)
  • Hospitality (including commercial cookery, baker, pastry cooking and more)
  • Jewellery and watchmaking (jeweller & watchmaker)
  • Manufacturing (including operators, technicians and fabricators)
  • Printing and graphic arts (including screenprinting, graphic pre-press and more)
  • Racing (jockey)
  • Textile, clothing and footwear (including shoe making, clothing and textile production and more)

Find out more in our A-Z Guide to Australian Apprenticeships & Traineeships 

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