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Why should I do an Australian Apprenticeship and how can I find one?

It is the start of the school year for 2022 and you are not keen on returning? Finished school last year and not sure what to do now? An Australian Apprenticeship could be the answer. Australia is currently experiencing some of the highest vacancy rates for Australian Apprenticeships, there has never been a better time to find an apprenticeship or traineeship opportunity so easily.

The abundance of job vacancies could be due to the large amount of skill shortages in Australia being occupations that require apprenticeship or traineeship qualifications. Entering a skill that has a national shortage can ensure a stable and successful career, as there is a high demand for those skills. We recommend going through the National Skills Shortage list for some career ideas!

An Australian Apprenticeship is also a fantastic way to a gain a nationally recognised qualification whilst working in your chosen field. There are myths and misconceptions about apprenticeships that lead people to pursuing university degrees, whereas an apprenticeship might be the ideal pathway if you like practical applications of what you’re studying. On completion of an Australian Apprenticeship, you will have gained valuable work experience, be entitled to fully qualified workers pay rates and have earned an income throughout your studies.

What are the different types of Australian Apprenticeships?

Apprenticeships vs. traineeships

Apprenticeships and traineeships are both types of Australian Apprenticeships. You earn an income while completing your study with both types of training. But there are some differences.

A qualification is classified as an apprenticeship or traineeship based on the State and territory governments. Some states offer different funding based on this classification.

Apprenticeships are usually in a trade occupation and at certificate III level. Most traineeships are non-trades, and take 12-24 months full-time. Apprenticeships take longer, often around 3-4 years to complete full-time. They also have stricter rules around how the contract can be cancelled. 

Higher apprenticeships

A Higher Apprenticeship pathway enables individuals to undertake a recognised VET qualification at Diploma or Advanced Diploma level, while earning a wage and getting on-the-job experience. They are less common than apprenticeships or traineeships and make up less than 4% of commencements

Pre-apprenticeships

A pre-apprenticeship is entry level training which can provide a pathway into an apprenticeship. They are usually offered in the traditional trades industries, such as Electrical, Plumbing and Automotive. There is no requirement to have a pre-apprenticeship before starting an Australian Apprenticeship. However, a pre-apprenticeship can offer excellent exposure and experience, and some employers may prefer or require you to have one.

How do I get started?

There are many different ways to find an Australian apprenticeship. Before you can start job hunting, you need to decide which industry and occupation you are targeting.

An apprenticeship or traineeship begins when an employer has a job vacancy and is looking at employing and training staff through this method.

Job hunting for an apprenticeship or traineeship is basically the same process as finding any employment it all starts with an opportunity with an employer. We break-down the process and the Steps to an Australian Apprenticeship into 4 easy stages from researching, preparing, job hunting through to the sign up of the training contract.

There are a few organisations involved with an Australian apprenticeship. Connect with an Australian Apprenticeship Support Network (AASN) in your state to find out about eligibility and paperwork related to sign-up. Group Training Organisation (GTO) are particularly useful for finding the right apprenticeship or traineeships for you.

An Australian Apprenticeship Support Network have a career matching service and apprentice or trainee only vacancies on their websites. They can support you while you are looking for an apprenticeship or traineeship with relevant career advice and skills matching.

Find an Apprenticeship Network Provider

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How do I find a job?

Browse through our job-hunting section which includes resources to help you discover what industries and types of apprenticeships or traineeships are available, the benefits, wages and cost of training and importantly a variety of job-hunting tips.

One of the most common ways of finding an apprenticeship is good old door-knocking or cold calling businesses to check if there is a vacancy or if they would be interested in hiring an apprentice. Another way is to check with your networks and spread the word that you’re looking for job opportunities.

A Group Training Organisation will employ you if there is an available vacancy and then ‘host’ you to another employer for the term of your apprenticeship or traineeship. They will provide ongoing mentoring throughout, and if your ’host’ employer happens to run out of work or does not have the whole scope of work for you to complete, the GTO will ‘host’ you with another employer.

How do I ace my application?

Most apprenticeships or traineeships begin at an entry-level occupation and it is not expected for you to have a lot of experience. However, some apprenticeships or employers would like you to complete a pre-apprenticeship or only consider those who have completed Year 11 or 12 before commencing a full-time apprenticeship. Read the job vacancy advertisements carefully before applying. You can always contact the employer to clarify the requirements required in the vacancy. A well-written resume and cover letter will help you stand out from other applicants.

What next?

After commencing your apprenticeship or traineeship it's important to be aware of your obligations and those of your employer. Have look at the Post Recruitment page for further information.

If you need support anytime during your apprenticeship or traineeship, you should first contact the Australian Apprenticeship Support Network provider who completed your sign-up. If you are working with a Group Training Organisation they will also provide support throughout the Australian Apprenticeship.

If you are looking for apprenticeships and traineeship opportunities and want to find out more about finding one, subscribe to our monthly careers bulletin below.

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