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What are Pre-Apprenticeships?

Find information and listings of pre-apprenticeships and pre-traineeships that may provide a gateway to the occupation or industry of choice.

A pre-apprenticeship is entry level training which can provide a pathway into an apprenticeship. They are usually offered in the traditional trades industries, such as Electrical, Plumbing and Automotive.

The terms ‘pre-vocational’ or ‘pre-traineeship’ are also sometimes used. These refer to entry level training in non-trade industries, such as Hospitality.

A pre-apprenticeship or pre-traineeship can be a formal qualification, often at Certificate II level, or it could be non-accredited training. There is no nationally recognised definition of what a pre-apprenticeship is. In general, they are courses that cover the necessary material to introduce a student to a specific role.

When looking at possible pre-apprenticeship courses, you should consider whether:

  • It includes a work experience component
  • You would get any credit when starting the apprenticeship or traineeship qualification
  • It leads to the industry or apprenticeship role you are considering. Some pre-apprenticeships are suitable for multiple apprenticeship roles. Others are linked to a single role.

Do I need to do a pre-apprenticeship? 

There is no requirement to have a pre-apprenticeship before starting an Australian Apprenticeship. However, a pre-apprenticeship can offer excellent exposure and experience.

Some employers look more favourably on an apprentice or trainee who has done or is currently doing a pre-apprenticeship. Industries with strict licensing requirements, such as Electrical and Plumbing, may prefer to take on an apprentice with a pre-apprenticeship.  

Employers may specifically advertise for an apprentice who has completed a pre-apprenticeship. Others will prefer to directly hire an apprentice with no previous training – it comes down to the industry and the individual employer.  

It is worthwhile speaking to employers in the industry before deciding to pursue a pre-apprenticeship. Our Industry Information page outlines industries and job pathways that require or recommend a pre-apprenticeship.

Benefits of doing a pre-apprenticeship

Pre-apprenticeships can assist in improving literacy and numeracy skills. They also focus on developing essential work-related skills. These skills can help individuals be better prepared for work and be a stand-out job candidate. Other benefits of doing a pre-apprenticeship may include:  

  • Explore a particular industry without committing to a full apprenticeship 
  • Gain valuable work experience and a work history 
  • Develop on-the-job and industry-specific skills  
  • Use training networks to find and secure an employer for a full apprenticeship 
  • Receive credit for completed study towards a full apprenticeship  

Finding a pre-apprenticeship

Many pre-apprenticeships are offered by Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) and Group Training Organisations (GTOs). Students who are looking to undertake a pre-apprenticeship are encouraged to contact their local TAFE directly to find out more information about available opportunities in their area.

It can take a bit of time and research to find the right pre-apprenticeship. Information is likely to be across a number of different platforms and websites. Our Pre-apprenticeship Finder lists open pre-apprenticeships on offer by providers, which can be searched by industry and location. While our Pre-apprenticeship Finder won’t include every available pre-apprenticeship, it can help to narrow the search for the right pre-apprenticeship. 

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Pre-apprentices share their stories

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Jack's electrical pre-apprenticeship is giving him the hands on learning to start his career.

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Sam always wanted to do furniture making, and his pre-apprenticeship is the perfect start.

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