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Assisting your Students with Australian Apprenticeships Information

It is that time of the year again where students, career advisers and teachers are planning for the year and heading back to school! This blog post will help school staff and career advisers to better understand Australian Apprenticeships, and resources that can be used by you and your students.

Before we get started, you might want to know a bit more about us. The Australian Apprenticeships and Traineeships Information Service (AATIS) is a government-funded service through the National Careers Institute in the Australian Government Department of Education, Skills and Employment.

Everything we do is free for you to use. In this post we will connect you with our free information and resources, as well as resources from other networks and providers in the sector.

What do I need to know for discussions with students?

The term Australian Apprenticeship covers both apprenticeships and traineeships. All Australian Apprenticeships include study towards a formal qualification, along with paid employment. They can be done full-time, part-time, or school-based.

Understanding Australian Apprenticeships is a good place to start. Did you know that Australian Apprenticeships can be completed in 50 industries and thousands of occupations? An Australian Apprenticeship is open to anyone of working age with eligibility to work in Australia and offer opportunities to train, study and earn an income in a variety of nationally recognised Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualifications.

Students can also start an apprenticeship while they’re in school. An Australian School-based Apprenticeship (ASbA) is a great way to get a head start in an industry that a student is interested in. ASbA’s are similar to other Australian Apprenticeships as students will work, study and earn a wage, although they differ as students complete their qualification part-time whilst still attending high school. ASbA units could count towards a high school certificate or ATAR and is a great option for those that are looking to leave school in the near future as they can continue their apprenticeship or traineeship full-time.

Students are also able to leave high school and gain a full-time apprenticeship or traineeship if they are of eligibility and working age. This may be a good option for students who no longer enjoy school and have a strong idea of their future career.

To get a thorough understanding of getting into an apprenticeship, attend our webinar which will help you advise school leavers and students on exploring apprenticeships to get into the career of their choice.

AATIS Webinar: Steps to an Australian Apprenticeship

Register Now

Who is right for an apprenticeship or traineeship?

Apprenticeships and traineeships are suitable for a wide variety or students, not just those considering a trade career.

Some examples of students who may benefit from an Australian Apprenticeship:

  • Student who is disengaged with schooling and wants to get into work. (They can do an ASbA to continue school but also find a career their enjoy.)
  • Those who know what industry/occupation they want to get into and want a head-start.
    • Students can go on to higher VET and university qualifications on completion. E.g., A student who did a traineeship in aged care and used the experience working with patients when she started her medical degree.
    • Students who prefer learning on the job, including in high-level qualifications
  • E.g., PwC IT traineeships, graduates are considered same level as a university grad on completion. Note: for higher level qualifications and some technical trades, employers will look for year 12 completion.
  • Those who want to get into entry level work and gain a qualification. Retail and hospitality are very popular traineeships for first jobs.
  • When the occupational pathway is through an Australian Apprenticeship.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the difference between an apprenticeship and a traineeship?

Technically there is almost no difference between an apprenticeship vs a traineeship. It is up to each state to classify which one a qualification will fall under (except Tas). There can be additional contract clauses for apprenticeships (opposed to traineeships) around cancelling the apprenticeship, but you’ll need to check each states regulations for specifics.

Generally speaking, most apprenticeships are trades and 3-4 years, and most traineeships are non-trades and 12-24 months.

What makes training an ‘official’ Australian Apprenticeship?

To be an official Australian Apprenticeship, there needs to be a contract of training that is approved by the State or Territory Training Authority. This is what happens in the sign-up phase of the Australian Apprenticeship.

Can school students do an Australian Apprenticeship?

The most common types of apprenticeships and traineeships done by school students are part-time and school-based. These can be done while still completing high schooling (An Australian School based Apprenticeship/ASba).

Students are also able to leave high school and gain a full-time apprenticeship or traineeship if they are of eligibility and working age. This may be a good option for students who no longer enjoy school and have a strong idea of their future career.

How about work experience or internships?

These are not Australian Apprenticeships. All Australian Apprenticeships require a signed formal contract with official parties involved. But work experience is a great way to get an understanding of an industry and occupation, and we would suggest that students do work experience in their chosen apprenticeship or traineeship area prior to commencing.

Some employers take on work experience students into an Australian Apprenticeship, using the work experience placement similarly to a work trial.

What resources can I use with students?

Resources and handouts with apprenticeship information for students

Here at AATIS, we have a suite of free resources that Career Advisers can utilise with students to assist them in making decisions on whether an apprenticeship or traineeship could be the right career pathway. Most of these resources are mentioned and explained in the AATIS Schools Guide. Some of these resources include:

  • The Steps to an Australian School-based Apprenticeship flowchart is one of our downloadable resources and covers everything from research, preparation, job hunting through to the signing of training contract. Working through these steps can give a student ownership and provide them with take home information for parents or care givers.

  • The Career Interest Explorer quiz helps individuals identify their personal work type and suited occupations for their results. There are seven work types to explore.
  • Industry specific Literacy and Numeracy Quiz. These quizzes give individuals and indication of their current skill level, the skill level required to undertake an Australian Apprenticeship in their chosen field and then a recommendation to whether the student is ready to job hunt or if they need further education assistance.
  • MyGain, AATIS’s YouTube channel, shares experiences of apprentices explaining how they got their apprenticeship and why they like it and employers detailing what it would be like working with them or in their industry.

Some resources are downloadable whilst others are interactive and accessed online through the AAPathways website, or our MyGain YouTube channel.

Can you attend or send me anything for my career expo?

We do not attend career expos but you can order our career kit which is a pack full of our most popular resources developed specifically for use during expos or conversations with students.
It has been developed for school teachers, career advisers and support staff. It contains:
- A how-to guide for running your Australian Apprenticeships career expo booth
- Resources for school staff to understand Australian Apprenticeships
- Handouts for students and parents attending a school careers event or for use in careers lessons.

If you are looking to have experts talk to your students about career options in the apprenticeship or traineeship landscape, please contact an Apprenticeship Network Provider, Group Training Organisation or  local employers.

Apprenticeship Network Providers look after all the paperwork for an apprenticeship or traineeship and have available vacancies, they can explain what happens from the job-hunting stage to completion of the qualification.

Group Training Organisations employ an apprentice or trainee and host them out to another employer. They provide mentoring and support throughout the life of the apprenticeship.

Local employers can discuss their industry and what they look for when hiring staff. Many employers appreciate the chance to connect with local schools and students.

In our downloadable resources we have a range of snapshots and posters that can be used to educate students and parents about Australian Apprenticeships.

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us via the options below. You and your students may also find following out social media accounts helpful as we constantly post job opportunities and apprenticeship information.

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