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Home About Australian Apprenticeships Australian Apprenticeships

Australian Apprenticeships

An introduction to the essential elements.

There are currently over 250,000 apprentices and trainees in training around Australia, across a range of industries. Australian Apprenticeships are an effective way of starting a career or building on existing experience. 

Australian Apprenticeships are available to anyone of working age. There aren't specific school levels, certificates or other qualifications needed to start one.

The term Australian Apprenticeships covers both apprenticeships or traineeships, which start when an employer creates a job and decides to use this way of employing and training employees.

The roles combine time at work with formal training in a nationally recognised certificate.

The jobs can be full-time or part-time, but they must be permanent positions.

Apprentices and trainees can be still at school, school-leavers, job hunters, people re-entering the workforce or career changers.

All the details of an apprenticeship or traineeship are included in an official agreement or contract between the employer and employee, with copies kept by the employer, the employee and the government including the service providers they have set up to help make the system work.

A training plan, developed along with a Registered Training Organisation, details how the underpinning certificate will be achieved.

Common Questions

What is an Australian Apprenticeship?

Australian Apprenticeships include both apprenticeships and traineeships, and offer opportunities for people to train, study and earn an income at a variety of qualification levels in a huge range of occupations including the traditional trades.

As an Australian Apprentice you can combine time at work with training, and can be either full-time, part-time or school-based.

Who can do an Australian Apprenticeship?

People of working age can start an Australian Apprenticeship.

A secondary school certificate or other qualification is not needed prior to starting, however, employers can set their own requirements when hiring staff.  For example, an employer may set a minimum standard of year 11 or 12, or the completion of a pre-apprenticeship. 

Students can start an Australian Apprenticeship while at school.  Positions are also commonly filled by school leavers, job hunters, people re-entering the workforce, or by those in the workforce wishing to change careers or gain new skills.

Eligibility for Australian Apprenticeships may be effected by a person's study history.  To check out eligibility and for all the details on Australian Apprenticeships contact a local Apprenticeship Network provider.

What are the benefits of doing an apprenticeship or traineeship?

For job hunters completing an apprenticeship or traineeship has many benefits as a pathway into a career. These include:

  • Earning a wage while you learn;
  • Developing practical skills specific to the occupation or industry you are interested in;
  • Experiencing training that is hands-on and delivered in the workplace, in a classroom, or a combination of both approaches;
  • Gaining a nationally recognised qualification which can provide the basis for further education and training over the course of your working life;
  • Potentially accessing government financial support and other benefits to assist with the costs incurred whilst you are undertaking your training;
  • Updating skills in an area you already work in; and
  • Increasing your value as a qualified employee.

Steps to becoming an apprentice or trainee

If you want to start an Australian Apprenticeship, there are a few steps that you will need to follow to get you there. 

Who can recruit an apprentice or trainee?

Employers have plenty of flexibility when it comes to recruiting apprentices and trainees, in fact they can use their preferred approach to recruiting and interviewing new staff.  Applicants can be family or friends, they can be recommended to them, or people who respond to advertisements, or someone who walks in the door.

Group Training Organisations offer an alternative way of accessing applicants, and of managing employees. 

Of course, employers must always be aware of their legal and industrial relations requirements.  Contact a local Apprenticeship Network provider to start a discussion!

Training employees through Australian Apprenticeships

Developing the productive skills a business needs to thrive is an important issue for employers. Apprenticeships and traineeships offer an effective way of approaching this need, one that is underpinned by nationally recognised qualifications that have been developed through industry consultation.

Access more information in the 'Employer Information & Support' area of this site.

What jobs can be an Australian Apprenticeship?

Apprenticeships and traineeships are established across around 50 industries. Most people can recall the common job roles like carpentry, plumbing, automotive mechanic, electrician. But there are hundreds of other jobs that can be an Australian Apprenticeship. 

A first step into an industry or career pathway can start with apprenticeships or traineeships in industries like community services and health, travel and tourism, communication and information technology, financial services, agriculture and horticulture, and government.

Students and job hunters can use this website to search for career ideas and directions by selecting from general industry groups that lead to more specific information. The information can help start apprenticeship and traineeship conversations with the people supporting career searching.

There’s also industry based information for employers and people working in support services that helps build an understanding of the breadth of job roles that can be used to build the skills capacity of a business and an industry.

Search for Australian Apprenticeship options

It all starts with an employer

It all starts with an employer

Apprenticeships and traineeships start with an employer either advertising a job vacancy or recruiting a person directly. Employers may employ a person they know, someone who has been recommended to them, or a job hunter who has knocked on their door seeking employment.

Apprenticeship and traineeship jobs are potentially available in every industry but they all need to start with an employment opportunity. Click through to see the steps involved in finding a potential apprenticeship or traineeship opportunity.

Learn more about Job Hunting

Employers, thinking about recruiting?

It's essential to have a clear understanding of a job role including the level of skills required and whether those skills are needed immediately or if they can be 'trained up'.

Being aware of the level of employer time, supervision and training required to make apprenticeships and traineeships a success is also an important factor.

For more information on the benefits of employing Australian Apprentices...

Click here

Australian Apprenticeships Pre & Post Recruitment Support

Australian Apprenticeship Support Network Providers

Australian Apprenticeship Support Network providers provide advice and support services tailored to the needs of employers and apprentices throughout the apprenticeship lifecycle – from pre-commencement to completion.  This is done through:

  • Universal services for all employers and apprentices, providing essential administrative support, payment processing and regular contact; and
  • Targeted services for employers and individuals assessed as needing additional support to complete the apprenticeship.

Pre-commencement services including screening, testing and job-matching can be available to targeted clients to help place the right apprentice in the right apprenticeship with the right employer.

Targeted in-training support services, such as mentoring, help apprentices and employers at-risk of not completing an apprenticeship to work through issues and difficulties.

Apprenticeship Network providers can also provide assistance to individuals who may be unsuited to an apprenticeship to identify alternative training pathways.

Contact an Apprenticeship Network provider to ask about the support they offer, as well as information on incentives and eligibilities, training agreements and the ‘sign-up’ process.

Group Training Organisations

Group Training Organisations (GTOs) employ apprentices and trainees and place them with host employers. GTOs undertake employer responsibilities, which include:

  • selecting and recruiting apprentices and trainees
  • undertaking the employer responsibilities including wages, allowances, superannuation, workers compensation, sick or holiday pay and other employment benefits
  • managing the quality and continuity or training, both on and off the job
  • providing the additional care and ongoing support necessary for the apprentice to successfully complete the Apprenticeship/Traineeship Training Contract.

A GTO can assist apprentices and trainees to make a successful transition into the skilled workforce, and may even provide work-ready, or pre-apprenticeship courses. 


Employment Services Providers

Employment Services providers offer different kinds of assistance and services to jobseekers, employers, and communities around Australia.

jobactive is the Australian Government’s way to get more Australians into work. It connects job seekers with employers and is delivered by a network of jobactive providers in over 1700 locations across Australia.

To find out more about jobactive and to find your local provider visit the jobactive website.

Search for service providers in your local area



Pre-apprenticeships can provide a pathway into the industry of your choice. They can prepare you for the world of work, give you some entry level skills in an occupation and provide an insight into the training that is part of an apprenticeship or traineeship.  Some pre-apprenticeships also involve employer participation which helps keep things focussed on the needs of businesses.

Pre-apprenticeships come in many different names, forms and structures such as 'Pre-traineeship', 'Pre-trade' and 'Trade Taster'.  They are offered across a wide range of industries in both traditional trade and non-trade areas. The duration of a pre-apprenticeship can also vary depending on the structure of the initiative, from as short as 4 weeks to up to 6 months.

Pre-apprenticeships that aim to help transition into employment often include a way of providing credits for any completed formal training and they also involve a workplace component.

Pre-Apprenticeship Finder

Pre-Apprenticeship Finder

Find pre-apprenticeships listed on this site that are available in your area, and in an industry that interests you.

You can also contact local Registered Training Organisations, such as a TAFE or private training provider, to ask if they offer pre-apprenticeships.