Home About Australian Apprenticeships What are Adult Apprenticeships?

What are Adult Apprenticeships?

Apprenticeships and Traineeships are not just for youth. Adult apprenticeships can provide many benefits for an apprentice and an employer.

Australian Apprenticeships can be done by anyone of working age with eligibility to work in Australia. There are no specific apprenticeships or traineeships just for adults.

According to the Fair Work Ombudsman, an adult apprentice is anyone over the age of 21 when they commence their Australian Apprenticeship which relates to things like wages and incentives, not to a specific type of apprenticeship program. Employers and apprentices and trainees should look at the Fair Work website for information about pay rates.

Apprenticeships and traineeships can provide a pathway to a career change, re-entry to the workforce, or can be used as a way to up-skill within your current industry.

For information about financial support or incentives contact an Australian Apprenticeship Support Network (AASN) provider.

Changing careers through an adult apprenticeship

An adult apprenticeship is a great way to facilitate a career change. There are some things to consider before making the change and starting an Australian Apprenticeship.

  • Entry-level position: Many Australian Apprenticeships are entry level positions. If you are a career changer, you will be 'starting at the bottom' and learning a new role.
  • Pay rates: Adult apprentice pay rates may be lower than those for fully-qualified roles. Consider your financial situation and the duration of the apprenticeship or traineeship.
  • Work environment: Many trade apprenticeships can be physically demanding. Consider whether you are realistically able to undertake this as a full or part time job.

Our Adult Apprenticeship Job Hunting page has tips on how an adult can find an employer to take them on in an Australian Apprenticeship.

Recognition of skills and experience

If you are considering an Australian Apprenticeship in a new industry or occupation, you may be starting again from the bottom. There are two main types of skills that an adult apprentice may bring into their new role:

  • Transferrable skills: One benefit of adult apprentices are the skills and experience they bring. Consider which skills may transfer well to the apprenticeship or traineeship, such as time management or customer service.
  • Technical skills: If you have some technical skills and experience in the role, you may be able to get formal recognition for this. This is typically experience from a previous related job or from other training.

The formal method of comparing your skills, experience and knowledge to the qualification is called Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). You can undertake an RPL assessment with a Registered Training Organisation, such as a TAFE or private training provider.