With an Australian Apprenticeship, you can earn an income while you complete a nationally recognised qualification. It’s a great way to get a head start in your chosen occupation.
Australian Apprenticeships are competency based—you can finish your apprenticeship early if you reach the required skills level. They lead to nationally recognised qualifications and skills. You can qualify for more advanced training on the basis of having completed an apprenticeship.
Many schools and colleges offer Australian Apprenticeship training. You can combine paid work and structured training on the job or off the job—or both.
Adults can be apprentices, too. If you’re of working age, you qualify—you don’t need any other qualifications. If you’re re-entering the workforce, or you just want to change career, consider an apprenticeship.
More than 500 occupations across Australia offer apprenticeships in a variety of certificate levels, in traditional trades and in all sorts of emerging occupations in most sectors of business and industry.
In some states, Australian Apprenticeships are known as Apprenticeships and Traineeships. In the ACT and the Northern Territory, they’re called New Apprenticeships.
Find an apprenticeship that suits you
Find the Australian Apprenticeship that suits you by consulting:
- a VET or work placement coordinator (if you’re a school student)
- your Youth Pathways coordinator (for school students)
- prospective employers (making written applications, leaving resumes etc.)
- your current employer
- group training companies
- Job Network members
- the Internet
- newspapers (job advertisements and articles)
- your local Australian Apprenticeship Centre.
Use these links, too [all open in new window]:
Increase your chances of getting an Australian Apprenticeship by doing the following.
If you’re still at school, choose the right subjects for the Australian Apprenticeship you want; some apprenticeships have prerequisite subjects. Speak to your school careers adviser about which subjects will set you up right for your apprenticeship.
Many schools offer industry-accredited vocational education and training (VET) subjects. These count towards your Australian Apprenticeship qualification, as well as towards your senior secondary certificate of education. If your school doesn’t offer them, speak to your school counsellor or VET coordinator to find out if there’s a place nearby that runs them.
Create a resume highlighting what you can offer an employer. Keep it up to date as you gain work experience or qualifications.
Telephone any businesses you’d like to get an Australian Apprenticeship with. If possible, speak to the manager. Visit, if possible, and leave your resume with the manager. Make regular follow up calls to show that you’re still interested.
Organise work experience with a suitable business. This will:
- give you contacts with business owners
- give you referees to put on your resume
- show prospective employers that you can take the initiative
- let you see and try out the work you would perform as an apprentice in that field.
Employers look for reliability when hiring new apprentices. During work experience:
- be punctual
- show that you can solve problems
- show that you can concentrate on your job for substantial periods
- work safely
- be honest and loyal to the employer.
Employers also value apprentices with good communication skills.
Check newspapers around August, when many companies advertise for Australian Apprentices. Go to as many interviews as possible, just for the experience. Even if you don’t get the apprenticeship on offer, you may impress an interviewer enough to keep your name on file for future positions.
To create a good impression at Australian Apprenticeship interviews:
- dress neatly
- know what the company you are applying to produces
- bring extra copies of your up-to-date resume to the interview
- bring any awards, certificates or other items to show that you’re suitably qualified for the apprenticeship on offer
- have some questions prepared to ask the interviewer, to show your knowledge of, and interest in, the position
- arrive on time
- speak politely, cheerfully and with confidence, keeping eye contact with the interviewer as you speak.
You might be eligible for the Australian Apprenticeships Access Program
The Australian Apprenticeships Access Program provides job seekers who face barriers to skilled employment with pre-vocational training, support and help, so that they can obtain and complete an Australian Apprenticeship. The program is free for eligible job seekers.
The program helps job seekers improve their skills, and they can also use it to get into employment or into further education or training
The Access Program provides:
- coaching in general work skills and habits
- training in the basic skills needed for a particular industry
- help looking for work
- support settling into the workplace.
To find out more about Australian Apprenticeships Access Programme courses planned for your local area, go to the Australian Apprenticeships Access Program website [opens in new window], or contact your local Centrelink office [opens in new window] or Job Network member [opens in new window].
The national website is at Australian Apprenticeships [opens in new window].
Use the links below to go to your state or territory apprenticeships website [all open in new window].