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What are Australian School-based Apprenticeships?

Information for students, parents, employers and career advisers looking into Australian School-based Apprenticeships and Traineeships.

Australian School-based Apprenticeships (ASbA), also known as school-based apprenticeships and traineeships, are like any apprenticeship or traineeship but commenced part-time as part of your secondary schooling. You will earn a wage, train with an employer, and work towards an accredited qualification while completing your high school certificate.

ASbAs are a career pathway to learn new things, gain employment experience and get a head start in your career. It is possible to become a qualified tradesperson, a financial adviser or real estate agent by 21 if you start your school-based apprenticeship or traineeship early enough.

If your school does not offer ASbAs, look at other options such as Vocational Education and Training in School (VET in Schools) or school subjects that lead into the occupation you are interested in. This will help you prepare for an apprenticeship or traineeship once you leave school.

Some ASbAs may be ongoing post school, but after you complete your apprenticeship or traineeship you will still be able to go to university, upskill to a higher level qualification or even start your own business.

Before you get too excited, follow this guide before looking at ASbA options!

  1. Tell your Parents/Guardians! You will most likely be under 18 so you would need them to sign off for you.
  2. Check if your school offers Australian School-based Apprenticeships (ASbA).
  3. Choose an apprenticeship or traineeship that is approved as an ASbA in your state. You can find this information in the Job and Training Description Search resource.
  4. Seek approval to commence from your career adviser, VET in school coordinator or Principal.

More about your ASbA Journey

Key Parties

Parent or Caregiver

A parent or caregiver will need to sign the legal paperwork on your behalf if you are under 18. The key documents that will be signed are the Training Contract and Training Plan.

Employer

You must have an offer of employment to start an ASbA. The employer will train and monitor you throughout your ASbA. They will make arrangements to work around your schooling.

School

Your school must approve your ASbA before you start, and will help facilitate details of the employment and training.

Apprenticeship Network Providers

Once the school, parent or caregiver, and employer are in agreement, an Apprenticeship Network provider will need to organise having the Training Contract signed by all parties. 

Registered Training Provider

After the signing of the Training Contract, the training provider creates a Training Plan to deliver the on-the-job and off-the-job training.

Contract Changes

Changes to the training contract must be communicated to all parties. Changes can include time-off from work to cancellation of the ASbA.

If you haven't completed your apprenticeship or traineeship at school, all you and your employer need to do is contact the Apprenticeship Network provider that signed you up to change your status from school-based to full-time or part-time.

For more about the Training Contract and Training Plan, visit:

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Study, work and state-related information

Do I get paid?

Yes! As well as gaining valuable experience and skills, you will get paid a wage. The pay differs by occupations and industries so make sure you read more about Wages and Financial Support.

Does the training contribute to my Secondary School Certificate of Education?

It might but the amount of contribution differs for each state or territory and qualification undertaken. Talk to your school's VET coordinator or careers adviser for more information. 

Work Hours

Your working hours as part of your apprenticeship or traineeship at school are dependent on the laws of your state or territory.

You will need to discuss your work hours with your school and employer. Visit your State and Territory School-based Apprenticeship and Traineeship websites for more information about the ASbA legislation.

Support Services

Working with an employer while studying at school can be quite daunting and difficult. It is best to approach any problems you have with your parents or caregiver, school, and employer. Check out Ongoing Support for Apprentices for more on the support available to apprentices and trainees.

For detailed school-based apprenticeship and traineeship information specific to your state or territory:

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