Home Job Hunting for Australian Apprenticeships How to find an apprenticeship?
Print

How to find an apprenticeship?

Find employers and apprenticeship opportunities using these methods

There are many ways to find an apprenticeship or traineeship job, or a potential employer. You should use as many methods as you can to improve your chances of finding a position.

When looking for apprenticeship or traineeship positions, or when you are about to apply for one, you will need to research the employer. This gives you the best chance of finding out about apprenticeship positions.

Some employers don't list job openings on their website, so it is best to contact them directly by phone and ask to speak to the person responsible for hiring new staff.

Find an Apprenticeship Online

Look for jobs advertised on job sites

Look for jobs advertised on job sites

There are many national, local and industry specialist job search websites where you can look for advertised apprenticeships or traineeships.

You can also set up job alerts on employer websites (if that option is available) to always be prepared. Some employers only recruit at certain times of the year.

Another way to stay on top of job openings in the industry is to subscribe to newsletters. You can use a web search like Google to find industry groups you are interested in and subscribe to their newsletters.

List of Job Sites

Social Media

Employers have a variety of options to let potential job seekers know that they have job openings. Not all employers will have a website, however they may have a presence on a social media platform such as Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn and might use that to advertise for job openings.

Do some research and follow companies you would like to work for to receive job notifications in your feed. Follow Australian Apprenticeship Support Network providers and Group Training Organisations who will be sharing apprenticeship vacancies and opportunities. Follow AATIS on Facebook to receive job notifications and receive chat support.

Using social media is a two-way street so if you are going to use social media to find an apprenticeship or traineeship there are things that you need to be aware of.

As a part of your research, you will be looking at reviews of employers. Similarly, employers will be looking at your social media accounts to gauge your personality and see whether you're a good fit for the company. If there is anything that you don't want employers to look at, then it is advised to switch your profile to private mode. It is also good practice to do a hygiene check and remove any photos or comments that aren’t appropriate or you wouldn't want a potential employer to see.

If an employer doesn’t like what they see online you could quite possibly miss out on the apprenticeship even though you did well at the interview.

In a nutshell, social media and job hunting

  • Enables you to see what apprenticeships or traineeships are available quickly
  • Allows you to reach out to and engage with employers
  • Helps you to increase your network
  • Enables you to research the employer and vice versa 
  • Google yourself on occasion to make sure your online presence is acceptable to employers

Offline Job Hunting

Many jobs are not advertised. This creates a 'hidden' job market where information about jobs is circulated through employers' networks, co-workers, business associates, friends and acquaintances.

Positions may also be created by employers in response to a direct approach from a job hunters. This approach demonstrates the job hunters motivation and ability to find solutions to a problem.

If job hunters are only looking for jobs on job search sites this could be limiting their chances of a successful outcome.

Finding hidden opportunities takes some work. Job hunters must have a specific industry or occupation in mind so they can target their efforts. The best approaches include using networks such as family and friends, current and previous employers or colleagues, and through direct contact with employers in the specific industry.

You will need to start by researching employers and looking at their website to see if any careers information is provided. Looking at past and present job vacancies will show you the type of skills the company is looking for, whether they employ at a particular time of the year. It may also give some idea about their application process.

If employers have their contact details available, you should contact them directly to discuss how they take on apprentices and trainees. Make sure you have done your research first and don't ask anything shown on their website or social media. Be prepared with some information about yourself, and a resume and cover letter you can give to them.

Some other ways to find a potential employer:

  • You can call the employer to ask about the skills they recruit and if they use apprenticeships and traineeships. Ask if you can provide an application for future positions.
  • Volunteering is another option. This will help you meet employers and develop your networks. At the very least you will have practical experience to put on your resume.

Tap into your networks

The people in your networks can help you find job vacancies, and might be able to refer you for positions. In order to do so, they will need to know what industry and occupations you are interested in.

Talk with your networks about your career planning and what you are looking for. Ask your networks to let you know if they hear about opportunities, and whether they know any employers you could get in contact with.

You can continue developing your professional networks by attending industry events, or by making connections through social media. These are valuable ways to meet potential employers, and to find out more about the industry or occupation you are interested in.

An employer helping an apprentice with a task

Guide to Approaching Employers

Start with a list of potential employers and contact them to see whether they have any openings or are interested in taking on an apprentice or trainee.

Step 1 - Make a list of employers

Use a search engine such as Google to find local employers, or if you are out and about and you see a ute, truck, shop or factory that indicates an opportunity for an apprenticeship or traineeship. 

Make a list of these employers, including contact details such as their address, phone number and website.

For example, here are useful search terms for some specific industries:

  • Aircraft maintenance and repair - airlines, aeronautical
  • Animal care - veterinary clinic, animal shelter or animal welfare agencies, pet grooming
  • Childcare - child care centres, after school care centres

Click the link to download AATIS' Steps to Approaching Employers Guide.

Step 2 - Contact an employer

When applying for an apprenticeship or traineeship with an employer who does not have a position listed on their website, it is best to contact them directly by phone and ask to speak to the person responsible for hiring new staff. If they are not available ask for the person's name, job title and email address, and contact them through email.

Before calling:

  • Prepare by reviewing your resume
  • Practice what you are going to say
  • Write down your opening words so that you can read them out in case of nerves

Here is a sample script that to use when calling an employer: "Hello, my name is _____________. I understand that your company does _____________ and that is my area of career interest. I am wondering if you have any current apprenticeship/traineeship/job openings?"

If the contact says no, ask if they anticipate any openings in the future or if they know of anyone in a similar type of business that does have an opening. Make sure to get the full name, title and contact details of the person you spoke to. Keep a copy of your resume open in front of you for reference in case they ask questions.

If the employer seems interested, ask to meet them to discuss possibilities in more detail. If they can't meet ask if you can send them a resume. Whatever happens, thank the contact, send them a thank you email and restate interest in working for their organisation.

Approaching an employer in person

You may need to approach an employer directly by door-knocking. If you are using this method take copies of resumes to leave with the employer or the employers contact person. If you are underage or just need moral support take someone with you.

Keep the information about their organisation, including the details on the person contacted to and when. This information may be needed again.

What to do after you have made contact

Always follow up! There is absolutely no point going to all that effort in contacting an employer, either by emailing, or door-knocking and giving them your resume if you don't follow up with them. It will show initiative and that you are really keen.

For more information about how employers recruit and interview their apprentices and trainees, have a look at Australian Apprentices - Employer Stories video series on our MyGain YouTube channel.

Field officer briefing an apprentice

Approach Group Training Organisations (GTOs)

Group Training Organisations (GTOs) employ Australian Apprentices across a range of different industries. The GTO is the direct employer of the apprentice or trainee, but they 'host' them out to a 'host employer' for their work. This means that the apprentice or trainee is employed by the GTO, but goes to the host employer for their day-to-day job.

As the GTO is the employer of the apprentice or trainee, they recruit and support the apprentice or trainee throughout the whole Australian Apprenticeship. The GTO also takes on the contractual and administrative responsibilities as the employer of the Australian Apprentice. 

GTOs are experts in hiring apprentices and trainees, and are regulated by governments to make sure they are doing the right things.

How it works

Step 1: Register

Register with your local Group Training Organisation. You can find a list of Group Training Organisations that can be filtered for your state or territory on our Service Provider Search.

Step 2: Identify vacancy

You will have an initial interview process and either be placed into an apprenticeship or traineeship or be registered for the next position matching your skills.

Step 3: Final steps

After all the training is successfully completed and your host employer is happy with your work, you transition from an apprentice or trainee to a skilled worker and can either stay with your host in a new role or move onto the next stage of your career.

Why use a Group Training Organisation?

Group Training Organisations (GTOs) provide additional support for job hunters, and apprentices and trainees. GTOs often have a list of apprenticeship or traineeship jobs ready to go. When you register with a GTO they might have a job waiting for you, making your job search easier.

After going through the initial recruitment process with the GTO, they will help you prepare to meet the host employer for the first time. The GTO will provide any pre-employment testing that is needed, and any pre-employment training, including Workplace Health and Safety. They will also provide the basic personal protective equipment (PPE) needed for the role.

The GTO will make sure that your workplace is safe, by doing a pre-placement safety audit of the host employer. This means that both the host employer and GTO are satisfied you are going to work in a safe environment.

After you start your apprenticeship or traineeship, the GTO will assign you a Field Officer. This person will be your contact point if anything goes wrong, or you need someone to talk with about your apprenticeship or traineeship. They will also monitor your training and work.

You will be visited in the workplace to make sure that everything is going smoothly with you and your host employer. This includes checking up on how you are progressing through your apprenticeship, and making sure the employer has enough work for you.

If you wish to move or your employer does not have enough work, the GTO will attempt to find an alternative host employer.

Find a Group Training Organisation

Search Now