Home About Australian Apprenticeships What are Australian Apprenticeships?

What are Australian Apprenticeships?

An introduction to the essential elements of apprenticeships and traineeships.

The term ‘Australian Apprenticeships’ covers both apprenticeships and traineeships. They start when an employer creates a job and decides to use this way of employing and training staff.

Australian Apprenticeships combine a formal qualification with paid employment. They are available in variety of Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualification levels.

There are many occupations available in a range of industries. This includes traditional trades and future-focused careers. An apprenticeship or traineeship can be full-time, part-time or school-based.

What are the types of Australian Apprenticeships?

What is the difference between an apprenticeship and a traineeship?

Apprenticeships and traineeships are both types of Australian Apprenticeships. They combine work and study.

State and territory governments can decide which qualifications are an apprenticeship or traineeship. Some states offer different funding based on this classification.

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

The FairWork Ombudsman website has information about their classification of apprentices and trainees.

Who can do an Australian Apprenticeship?

Anyone of working age with eligibility to work in Australia can start an apprenticeship or traineeship. This includes adult and mature aged job hunters.

There aren't specific school levels, or qualifications needed to start one. 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

Positions are commonly filled by school leavers and people re-entering the workforce. They can also be done by staff wishing to change careers or gain new skills. Students can start an Australian Apprenticeship while at school.

Australian citizens and permanent residents are eligible for Australian Apprenticeships. Temporary residents and visa holders should check their eligibility with the Department of Home Affairs.

It is important to talk through your circumstances and how they may affect eligibility to start an apprenticeship or traineeship. Contact an Australian Apprenticeship Support Network provider for more details.

What are the benefits of doing an apprenticeship or traineeship?

Doing an apprenticeship or traineeship has many benefits as a pathway into a career. These include:

  • Earning a wage while you learn.
  • Developing or improving practical skills specific to the career you are interested in.
  • Experiencing training that is hands-on and delivered in the workplace, in a classroom, or a combination of these.

When you complete your Australian Apprenticeship, you will have a nationally recognised qualification. It can provide the basis for further education and training over the course of your working life.


Your apprenticeship or traineeship can be used as a pathway to a higher level qualification. Many graduates go on to do other vocational education and training qualifications and university qualifications.

National Code of Good Practice for Australian Apprenticeships

What jobs can be done as Australian Apprenticeships?
An image of an apprentice with an employer

What jobs can be done as Australian Apprenticeships?

Apprenticeships and traineeships are established across 50 industries. Traditional apprenticeships include roles like carpentry, hairdressing and electrical. There are hundreds of other roles that can be done as an apprenticeship or traineeship.

You can explore the Job and Training Descriptions to find out about the role and training in different occupations.

Explore Job & Training Descriptions
What is the Training Contract?

What is the Training Contract?

When starting an Australian Apprenticeship, the apprentice or trainee and employer will be 'signed up' into a Training Contract. Without this Training Contract, it is not an approved Australian Apprenticeship.

The Training Contract is a legally binding agreement. It protects both the employer’s and employee's interests and outlines each party’s obligations.

Find out more about the organisations involved in the sign up process.

Learn more about who is involved