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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 similar to 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 undertaking your high school certificate.

Similar to all Australian Apprenticeships, ASbAs are a great way to learn a role, gain experience, and get a head start in your career. Depending on what you do as your ASbA you may be able to finish this and gain the qualification while you are still at school.

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.

There are a few things you'll need to do before starting an ASbA

  1. If you are under 18 years, talk to a parent or caregiver. They will need to agree before you can start an ASbA (or any other apprenticeship or traineeship)
  2. Talk to your school about whether they offer ASbAs. You will need their agreement before you can start
  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
  4. Find an employer who is willing to take you on as an ASbA. The Steps to an Australian Apprenticeship gives tips on what to do
  5. Once you have found an employer, an Australian Apprenticeship Support Network provider will need to do the sign up. They will talk to the employer, the school, and if you are under 18 to your parent or caregiver.

Steps to an Australian School-based Apprenticeship

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Hear from an ASbA Student

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Yuseph got a head start in Boilermaking by starting his apprenticeship at school.

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Who is involved?

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 with your schooling.

School

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

Australian Apprenticeship Support Network provider

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

Registered Training Provider

The training provider will deliver the off-the-job training component of the ASbA, in accordance with the Training Plan they have developed.

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, you will need to change to part- or full-time in your apprenticeship or traineeship. This may happen automatically, but you and your employer may need to contact the Australian Apprenticeship Support Network provider who signed you up.

More Information

About the training and employment

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.

How many hours do I work?

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.

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.

How does the training work?

Training towards an apprenticeship or traineeship can be different to the type of learning you are used to. As part of your ASbA you will be learning while in the workplace, but will also be studying towards a qualification. The How does Training Work page has more information about the training provider, contract, and learning.

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 a parent or caregiver, your school, or the employer. Have a look at the Post Recruitment Information for support services available to to apprentices and trainees.