What is an Australian Apprenticeship?

Australian Apprenticeships start with an employer creating a specific job vacancy, or in some way recruiting a person as an Australian Apprentice. Australian Apprenticeship jobs can be available in every major Australian industry.

Australian Apprenticeships is the term covering both apprenticeships and traineeships and can offer a job pathway that combines training for a nationally recognised qualification with employment. This job pathway can begin at school with Australian School-based Apprenticeships.

Apprenticeship details can vary among States and Territories. Generally they normally last three to four years and are usually offered in the traditional trade industries such as plumbing, carpentry, building, electrical and hairdressing. Apprenticeship positions are often full-time but can be offered on a part-time basis in some cases.

Traineeship details can also vary among States and Territories. They normally last one to two years and are most often specific to non-trade areas such as hospitality, retail, information technology and business administration and may be full-time or part-time.

The ‘off-the-job’ training component is conducted by an approved TAFE or private training provider. On successful completion of an Australian Apprenticeship, the apprentice or trainee receives a nationally recognised qualification.

The minimum age for someone to commence an Australian Apprenticeships is 15 years of age. There is no maximum age limit.

Australian Apprenticeships are used by employers as a method of training new employees but can also be used as a way to increase the skills of existing employees.

Some detail to think about later.

An Australian Apprentice must be employed under a Training Contract that is signed by the Australian Apprentice and the employer. If the Australian Apprentice is under the age of 18, their parent or guardian’s signature must also be present on the Training Contract.

This contract outlines the qualification the Australian Apprentice is expected to obtain and the obligations of both the employer and employee. It is an important document so Australian Apprentices and employers should keep their copy in a safe place, as it may need to be referred to at a later date.

The Commonwealth and State and Territory governments offer a range of support to eligible employers and employees participating in Australian Apprenticeships.  Go to the ‘Networks and Resources’ menu item under Information & Links, then scroll to the bottom of the page to see links to incentives websites. 

Contact an Australian Apprenticeship Support Network (Apprenticeship Network) provider about the support available and the details of the Training Contract and ‘sign-up’ process.