What are apprenticeships and traineeships?
Through apprenticeships and traineeships, you can learn real skills in the workplace, earn a nationally recognised qualification and be paid a wage which increases as you progress through your training.
You’ll enter into a training contract with an employer and a training provider that will allow you to combine on the job training in the workplace with study.The term apprenticeship can refer to an apprenticeship or a traineeship. So what’s the difference?
- You can complete an apprenticeship in 3 to 4 years in areas including trades such as construction and hairdressing, and other areas including cooking and horticulture. When you complete an apprenticeship, you become a qualified tradesperson.
- There are some traineeships you can complete in 1 to 2 years while others may be for 3 to 4 years. You can do traineeships in business, community health, child care, financial services and many other areas. When you complete a traineeship, you get a nationally recognised qualification.
- When you complete an apprenticeship or traineeship you earn a qualification which can be certificate I, II, III or IV, a diploma or advanced diploma. The qualification level depends on what you’re studying.
A qualification that can take you places
Apprenticeships and traineeships open the door to hundreds of careers. Our fastest growing industries have a high demand for skilled workers, and they’re looking for people like you now.
If you want to develop practical and technical skills on the job - and get paid while you get qualified - an apprenticeship or traineeship may be for you.
As an apprentice, you'll:
- learn real skills in the workplace
- gain either a nationally recognised vocational education and training (VET) or Higher Education qualifications
- earn a wage while you learn
- develop skills required by industry
- put everything you learn straight to work.
Apprenticeships and traineeships can be done at any point in your career. You can use this type of training to get your foot in the door and learn from experienced mentors as you develop your skills on the job, to increase your skills and qualifications in your current role, or build on your skills to change careers.
What do I need to know?
If you're keen to undertake an apprenticeship or traineeship to grow your career, here's a few things you should know to get started.
- Decide what kind of career you want. Explore this site to find careers you can start with an apprenticeship.
- Find an employer to take you on:
- Check job search sites
- Search this register of employers who are pre-approved to hire apprentices
- Talk to businesses in your area
- Get in touch with a Group Training Organisation - they'll employ you and place you with a host business.
Apprenticeships can be full-time or part-time and are available to anyone of working age and at any education level including school students, school-leavers, people re-entering the workforce, and those seeking to change or advance their career.
The skills and experience of mature apprentices can count towards their qualification, and young people can begin an apprenticeship as part of their SACE.
High school apprenticeships give you the chance to combine training and employment with years 10, 11 or 12.
As a school-based apprentice, you can:
- get a head start on your chosen career or trade
- gain hands-on industry experience
- earn a wage while you learn
- have your training contribute to your SACE or equivalent
- work towards a nationally recognised qualification.
You attend school part of the week, do hands-on training in the workplace and some formal off-job learning through your training provider.
Once you finish school, your apprenticeship will become full-time or continue part-time depending on what you and your employer choose to do.
Talk to your school career advisor or VET coordinator – they can help you kick start your future career while you’re still at school.
If your training is subsidised, the South Australian Government pays part of your course fees for you. The money goes straight to your training provider, so you can focus on your training.
Apprentices are vital to our future economy, so all apprenticeships are subsidised.
You generally need to pay your course fees, but in some circumstances your employer may pay them for you. There is financial assistance available if you need it, and remember, you will also be earning a wage.
All training providers will advertise their course fees, it’s up to you to choose the provider that’s right for you.
Training providers will confirm whether or not you can access subsidised training, but we've put together an eligibility checker to give you an idea of what to expect.
As an apprentice, you start earning a wage straight away.
In most cases your wages are set by industry awards that outline pay rates, conditions, rights and entitlements.
Your industry award may include competency-based wage progression which means you can move up to a higher wage as you achieve skills.
You can reach higher pay once you, your employer and training provider agree you have achieved new competencies.
To find out which award covers you, check your training contract or visit the Fair Work Ombudsman.
Allowances can help you with the cost of starting and attending training.
Travel and Accommodation Allowance
You may be able for partial reimbursement for your travel and accommodation costs if:
- your current training contract is registered in South Australia
- you travel more than 150km from your home to training
- you live in South Australia’s rural regions.
If you think you may be eligible, speak to your employer.
1. Training contract
A legal agreement between you and your employer, and the foundation of your apprenticeship. If you’re under 18, your parent or guardian will sign it too. It outlines:
- the qualification you’re studying
- the number of hours of study and work you’ll do each week
- details of your probationary period
- obligations of you and your employer.
2. Training plan
A document which describes your training with your training provider. It will include:
- the units you’ll complete through your qualification
- how you will be trained and assessed, including off-job and on-job training
- training location(s).
Once your training contract and training plan have been drafted, we’ll assess them before you start your apprenticeship.
Once you've finished your apprenticeship, you'll be qualified in your chosen career. Many apprentices stay with their employer, having built a great working relationship with their boss and a deep knowledge of the business.
Some apprentices will move to a different employer to get a chance to experience more of what their career has to offer. Some will do further study to gain more skills or to specialise within their chosen field.
Another option is to start your own business. The federal government offers assistance to people starting their own business through New Business Assistance with NEIS. If you're eligible, you can access further training, an allowance and mentoring - all geared towards supporting you while you build a successful new business.
If you wish to start your own business in the construction industry, you may need a builder’s licence. You can apply for your builder’s licence through Consumer and Business Services (CBS).
- To apply for a Building Work Supervisor’s Registration, you must be registered and approved by CBS. Building work supervisors make sure that all building work performed meets the required building standards. To obtain your Building Work Supervisor’s Registration, you will require:
a. Copies of your Trade Certificate
b. Attend a technical interview with a CBS assessor to demonstrate your knowledge and experience
- If you want to run a business that carries out or organises building work for others, you must be apply and be approved to be licensed by CBS as a Building Work Contractor. To obtain your builder’s licence, you may also be required to:
a. Have at least $10,000 in net assets
b. Complete some additional units of competency to demonstrate that you have the necessary financial knowledge to operate a business.
c. Have a current National Police Certificate
There are various application fees associated with applying for a Building Work Supervisor’s Registration or a Building Work Contractor licence.