Apprenticeships and Traineeships

Australian Apprenticeships, often called apprenticeships or traineeships, are a great learning pathway. They combine paid on-the-job training with formal study through a Registered Training Organisation (RTO). As Tasmania’s largest RTO, TasTAFE is in an excellent position to help you get the skills you need whilst you are working. When you finish your training you’ll have a fantastic combination of practical skills and formal education.

To do an Australian Apprenticeship, you don’t have to be a school leaver – you just have to be employed, or about to be employed. In fact, many apprentices and trainees these days have already spent some time in the workforce and are looking to change careers.

The benefits of undertaking an Australian Apprenticeship include being able to:

  • Earn while you learn.
  • Receive recognition for skills you already have.
  • Undertake training on-the-job at your workplace, off-the-job at TasTAFE, or a combination of both.
  • Develop new and existing skills under the guidance of both your employer and TasTAFE’s experienced teachers.
  • Create a pathway from school to work.
  • Graduate with a nationally recognised qualification.

Frequently Asked Questions

Australian Apprenticeships are structured training arrangements offering opportunities for you to train, study and earn an income at a variety of qualification levels. They are available in many industry sectors, including in traditional trades.

Generally, you will spend time on-the-job working with your employer and also spend time training with TasTAFE’s experienced teachers. Depending on the qualification you are studying, your time at TasTAFE may be block training (for example, a two week period), or certain days as agreed with your employer.

When you complete your training you will have a nationally recognised qualification. You can use this anywhere in Australia and in many countries around the world.

You can find more information on the Australian Apprenticeships website.

Australian Apprenticeships are available to anyone of working age and can be full-time, part-time or school-based. It doesn’t matter whether you are a school leaver, re-entering the workforce or are an adult wishing to change careers.

You need to be employed as an apprentice before you can start your training course.

Australian Apprenticeships are available for anyone of working age.

In some cases, your employer will cover the cost of your training and in other cases, you may be required to cover the cost yourself (check out our 2019 fee schedule if this is the case). Most modern awards state who is responsible for the cost of training.

It’s also important to find out if you are expected to purchase some or all of your tools. Policies differ between workplaces and therefore costs may vary. Talk to your employer for further details and also take a look at Trade Support Loans – these are loans that assist apprentices with everyday costs while they complete their apprenticeship. Eligible trade Australian Apprentices may apply (opt-in) for regular instalments according to their needs.

Skills Tasmania also provides travel and accommodation allowances to assist apprentices who are required to travel to attend off-the-job

The length of training will vary according to the qualification you choose and any prior skills and experience you may have.

Traineeships typically take between six months and two years to complete, whilst most trades take three to four years. As training is competency-based, the exact time it will take you to complete your qualification may vary.

Australian Apprenticeships can be done on either a full-time or part-time basis.

Each qualification has different requirements and these will be clearly outlined to you before you commence. You can get an overview by visiting the relevant course information page here on the TasTAFE website.

What is common across all courses is that you will be assessed by industry-competent professionals. These may be trained TasTAFE teachers or skilled mentors in your workplace.

Some qualifications require periods of block training at TasTAFE. For example, you may be employed in Devonport, but be required to travel to Hobart for a two week period. In these cases, many apprentices utilise TasTAFE’s on-campus accommodation so that they can stay on site. This means you can get to your training easily, can make friends with others in your industry and you’ll have access to very reasonably priced accommodation. Your TasTAFE contact can tell you more.

A travel and accommodation allowance is also available to apprentices and trainees who have a training contract registered with Skills Tasmania.

Apprenticeships are offered at Certificate III level, whereas traineeships are generally available from Certificate II through to the Advanced Diploma level.

TasTAFE offers qualifications in a wide range of industries as listed below.

You will need to find a job with an employer and be employed either full or part-time.

Gaining a position as an apprentice/trainee is competitive. You need to be prepared to go through an application process. A great way to start is by updating your resume and researching the industry you are interested in. Potential employers will be looking for applicants who are genuinely interested in their sector.

There are many great places to start your search:
• Visit potential employers – remember to always make an appointment first!
• Have a chat with your school Careers Advisor or teacher.
• Check in with your local Job Active provider.
• Make contact with an Australian Support Network and enquire about their Gateway Services that match job seekers to employers.
• Check out the local newspaper classifieds and job search websites.
• Talk to friends and family.

You might also like to check out the National Skills Needs List (PDF). This identifies trades that are experiencing a national skills shortage.

While completing an apprenticeship is not a guarantee of a job, successfully completing your training puts you in a great position for your future.

Many employers are keen to retain their best apprentices. However, if you find yourself job hunting after your qualification is complete, your skills and industry connections will help put you ahead of the pack

It makes sense that you should be recognised for the things you already know how to do. TasTAFE can assess your skills and knowledge based on your previous education, work history or life experience. This may help you gain your qualification a whole lot faster.

If you are in Year 10, 11 or 12 you are able to undertake an apprenticeship/traineeship qualification while finishing your Tasmanian Certificate of Education (TCE) at senior secondary school.

This offers a mix of academic, vocational and technical education and skills training with paid employment. Working hours and training attendance are negotiated between you, your employer, your school and TasTAFE.

For more information on school-based and Australian Apprenticeships, please visit the Department of Education website or Australian Apprenticeships website. If you are a secondary student thinking of starting an Australian Apprenticeship while still at school, your Careers Advisor will be a great first point of call

If you are thinking about undertaking an apprenticeship but want more of an idea about a particular trade area before you commit to undertaking the formal qualification, a pre-apprenticeship program may be a good option for you.

It’s also a great study choice if you want to increase your chances of securing an apprenticeship.

You do not need to have an employer for this program.

Group Training Organisations (GTOs) employ apprentices/trainees under an employment and training contract and then place them with host employers.

The GTO undertakes the employer responsibilities such as ensuring the quality and continuity of employment and training, as well as providing the support services necessary for the successful completion of apprentice/trainee training.

Partnering with a GTO improves the quality and breadth of training available to apprentices/trainees in small and medium-sized businesses. For more information, you can search the Group Training National Register.

At TasTAFE, we provide free and confidential support services for all students experiencing a wide range of personal and financial issues, regardless of whether you have just begun your training or are nearing completion. Your employer is also likely to have support mechanisms in place for you. Alternatively, apprentices and trainees can also contact their APN or a Workforce Training Consultant directly with any concerns.

If you have concerns that you’d like to discuss with us, please contact us on 1300 655 307 to request an appointment. TasTAFE Student Support staff can catch up with you at a time and place that suits you and will assist you in finding practical solutions to your problems.

If you have a disability and require support to assist you with your learning, please contact us on 1300 655 307 and ask to speak with the Disability Liaison Officer in your region.

Apprentices and trainees are welcome to access academic support from TasTAFE. This includes in-class support and the drop-in study support services on campus. If a group of apprentices or trainees require support in a specific area, this can also be arranged.

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