Some Tips to help you find an Australian Apprenticeship
Searching and applying for an Australian Apprenticeship is very much like hunting for any job.
An employer has to create a vacancy and decide to use Australian Apprenticeships as a way to employ and train their staff.
You can find Australian Apprenticeships job vacancies in most places where job ads are listed, such as in newspapers and online websites.
You can also apply directly to employers who may be interested in employing Australian Apprentices, even though they may not have a vacancy advertised.
To do this you'll need to do some research work to identify potential employers, and then put together a job application that highlights your achievements in school and work and informs employers of the benefits of Australian Apprenticeships.
Here are some suggested steps to help you in your job hunting.
Step 1 - Use the Australian Apprenticeships Pathways website
The ‘Search’ menu on the Australian Apprenticeships Pathways website (www.aapathways.com.au) allows you to view and consider a wide range of potential Australian Apprenticeships occupations. Make sure that you select your State or Territory to view information relevant to where you live.
Potential Australian Apprenticeships occupations are displayed as ‘Job & Training Descriptions’ which summarise the training to be completed during an Australian Apprenticeship and provide other relevant information such as the approximate duration required to complete the underpinning qualification.
You can search for Job & Training Descriptions using several methods:
by Industry Group;
by Trade Occupation;
- by Job Pathway Charts which illustrate potential career directions in many industries that start with Australian Apprenticeships.
Step 2 - Start your research
A) Search job ads
On the Australian Apprenticeships Pathways website click on ‘Self Help’ and then select the ‘Australian Apprenticeships Job Sites’ option. Here you can search through a variety of job vacancy websites (start with www.jobsearch.gov.au - select your State or Territory and then select ‘Advanced search’ in the left hand menu. Once there scroll down and select ‘Apprenticeships/Traineeships to target your search results).
You can also look in the employment section of newspapers. Don’t forget to check your local newspaper too.
If you’ve searched using ‘Step 1’ above, you will also find some links to online job sites at the bottom of the Australian Apprenticeships job and training descriptions.
B) Let people know about your search
Let your friends, family and neighbours know of the industry or occupations that interest you and ask them for any employer contacts they may have.
C) Contact your local Australian Apprenticeships Centre
You can request a copy of the general promotional material that Australian Apprenticeships Centres use to promote apprenticeships and traineeships. A typical kit of Information will usually include brochures and other information about employer incentives and the assistance that Australian Apprenticeships Centres offer employers who are taking on apprentices or trainees.
Use this information when contacting potential employers or submitting your resume online to notify employers of some of the benefits of taking on an Australian Apprentice.
This site has an Australian Apprenticeships Centre search feature, to help you contact an organisation that services your local area. Australian Apprenticeships Centres may also be able to suggest some local employers you could contact or other local level job hunting hints.
D) Tap into other resources
These include: industry and employer association websites, Group Training Organisations, and Job Services Australia providers. (See 'Other Help' below for contacts).
What questions should you ask of these resources?
The key statement is “I’m looking for an Australian Apprenticeship in… (quote the industry or occupation title here)”.
Following this statement, you should ask a couple of questions.
“Can you please provide me with any job hunting assistance in my area for this type of Australian Apprenticeship?”
“Can you please provide me with some updated, general information about the industry and the benefits for an employer to take on an Australian Apprentice?”
E) Research lists of local employers
One of the best resource is the Yellow Pages Directory (hard copy or via the internet at www.yellowpages.com.au).
Build up a list of local employers who you think may be interested in employing an Australian Apprentice in the occupation that you are interested in, and write down their addresses and telephone numbers.
Step 3 - Contact an employer
If you would like to apply for an Australian Apprenticeship with an employer that does not have a current position advertised, it is wise to contact the employer by telephone and ask for the name of the person responsible for hiring new staff and their job title. You should also check the address where this person is located, and if possible ask for the person's email address. Once more, write down all these details.
Some internet job advertisements may already include an employer contact name and number or email address which you can use for Step 4.
Step 4 - Prepare a brief covering letter
A covering letter accompanies your resume (or CV) and other documents when you apply for a position with a prospective employer. Your covering letter should address the person who is the appropriate contact for the employer (identified in Step 3) and include the following:
- Your interest in becoming an Australian Apprentice with their company;
- A copy of your resume (see 'Getting Started' in the 'Self Help' menu for a sample resume);
- A copy of the Australian Apprenticeship Job & Training Description for the occupation you are interested in and if possible the Job Pathway Chart for the industry;
- A copy of information about government incentives and other information for employers provided by your local Australian Apprenticeships Centre.
We suggest that you advise the employer in your covering letter that you will contact them in 5 days time to discuss your letter with them, then post or email the letter and other documents to the employer.
A sample covering letter can be found in 'Self Help' under the 'Selling Yourself' menu option.
Step 5 - Follow up in five to seven days time
Contact the employer in five to seven days time via telephone. Ask for the person that you sent the letter to. Introduce yourself and ask if they have received your letter and, if they have, ask if they are interested in employing you as an Australian Apprentice.
If the person has not received your information, you can either confirm their contact details and offer to send or email another copy, or directly express your interest in an Australian Apprenticeship and ask about employment opportunities at the company.
The Australian Apprenticeships Pathways website brings together links to a range of resources to support your job hunting efforts.
- Click here to download a 'Pathway to an Australian Apprenticeship' flowchart that shows the steps outlined above;
- Links to resume and covering letter writing information - See 'Self Help', then go to the 'Getting Started' and 'Selling Yourself' options (www.aapathways.com.au/Self-Help);
- Links to Career information websites such as My Future (www.myfuture.gov.au) - See ‘Self Help’, then go to the 'Career Services' option;
- Links to websites that advertise Australian Apprenticeships vacancies including: www.jobsearch.gov.au; and www.jobsearch.com.au - See ‘Self Help’, then go to the ‘Australian Apprenticeships Job Sites’ option;
- For information on the support available to employers and Australian Apprentices after recruitment - See the 'Workplace Guide' section (www.aapathways.com.au/Workplace-Guide/Employers-and-Industry).
Other useful resources