Becoming an Apprentice or Trainee

Australian Apprenticeships encompass all apprenticeships and traineeships. They combine time at work with training and can be full-time, part-time or school-based.

Australian Apprenticeships combine practical work with structured learning and lead to a nationally recognised qualification. They provide Australian Apprentices with the necessary job experience to pursue the career they want. Australian Apprenticeships are available in over 500 occupations in an increasing range of industries. Some Australian Apprenticeships can be started while still at school and form part of a student’s Year 12 Certificate. For more information on Australian School-based Apprenticeships (ASBAs) please visit the ASBA webpage.

Australian Apprenticeships are ‘competency based’ which means training can be completed as soon as the required skill level in the full qualification is reached.

Australian Apprenticeships include the ‘traditional trades’ such as automotive, hairdressing or plumbing, as well as newer industries such as information technology, child care and communications. The job prospects for qualified people are vast as the demand for skilled workers increases.

Australian Apprenticeships offer:

  • a great way to get a head start in your chosen career
  • paid work and structured training that can be on-the-job, off-the-job or a combination of both
  • ‘competency based’ training which means you can complete your course faster if you reach the required skill level
  • existing skills and prior experience are recognised and course credit granted, potentially reducing formal training time
  • full-time or part-time availability, also available part-time in many schools
  • a pathway to nationally recognised qualifications and skills which provide the basis for further education and training over the course of your working life
  • a pathway from school to work.

Choosing a training pathway and qualification

A training pathway refers to the different ways a person can achieve a qualification. Under an Australian Apprenticeship, these pathways may include:

  • recognition of prior learning (RPL)
  • access to a qualification through a combination of structured training and recognition of current competencies (RCC) gained through prior learning
  • structured training and assessment at the learning institution (off-the-job) and in the workplace (on-the-job).

Employers, Australian Apprentices and registered training organisations identify the most appropriate path for each Australian Apprentice and this is set out in the training plan.

The type of training plan will depend on factors such as:

  • the type of skills being developed
  • the relative effectiveness of individual study as opposed to team-based learning
  • the skills that the Australian Apprentice already has
  • the practicality of travelling to a learning institution to attend classes
  • the number of other Australian Apprentices undertaking similar training.

For more information on exploring education and training pathways please visit the Job Guide website.

The current year's ACT Qualifications Register shows the qualifications that are available through an Australian Apprenticeship in the ACT.

The qualification chosen contains competency standards relevant to the job undertaken as an Australian Apprenticeship. More information about nationally recognised Australian qualifications is available at the Australian Qualifications Framework.

The Australian Apprenticeships Pathways website also contains information about qualifications and registered training organisations.

Travelling interstate for your Australian Apprenticeship

A small number of Australian Apprenticeships qualifications are not delivered by any ACT registered training providers (RTOs). In these cases Australian Apprentices must travel interstate to undertake their structured training. These qualifications are identified on the current year's ACT Qualifications Register and are usually delivered in blocks of time.

Contact details of the interstate RTOs delivering qualifications can be found on the Interstate Training RTO Contact Sheet PDF (pdf 13kb) Interstate Training RTO Contact Sheet MS Word File (56kb)

Once an Australian Apprentice has completed their interstate training they must ensure their RTO has provided them with evidence of:

  • the qualification being achieved through a competency based system
  • the competence being demonstrated both in the workplace and off-the-job.

Once this evidence is received the ACT Chief Minister, Treasury and Economic Development Directorate (the Directorate) will issue a Supporting Statement, verifying the completion of the apprenticeship. Steps for RTOs on how to close the training contract can be found in the ACT Standards Compliance Guide for Australian Apprentices (available at the VET Admin webpage).

Fees and Charges for Australian Apprenticeship

RTOs are required to charge participants a fee for administration costs upon enrollment of the participant into an Australian Apprenticeship. The Directorate sets the fees payable per Australian Apprenticeship.

The fees and charges set out below apply to all Australian Apprenticeships. All training that takes place under an ACT Australian Apprenticeships training contract is subject to this fee schedule.

Type of Australian ApprenticeshipsFee Payable
Traineeship$350 per qualification
Apprenticeship$350 for the first 12 month period and up to $600 to be charged for each subsequent 12 month period.

For more information regarding Fees and charges for Australian Apprenticeships please refer to page 35 of the ACT Standards Compliance Guide for Australian Apprenticeships.