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Apprenticeships and traineeships



Apprenticeships are an ideal way to earn while you learn. Structured training is combined with practical experience formalised in a contract with an employer.  An apprenticeship usually takes between two and four years to complete and most of that time is spent in paid employment. 

The training, both on and off the job, leads to nationally accredited qualifications that provide you with an opportunity to work anywhere in Australia. Apprenticeships also provide you with the opportunity to become an entrepreneur and establish your own business.  

Apprenticeships provide essential foundation skills for employment in a raft of trades such as commercial cookery, automotive studies, electrical trades, building and construction, furniture making, carpentry and joinery, hairdressing and metals and manufacturing to name a few.


Pre-Apprenticeship Training

A great starting point helping to give you a 'taste' of what to expect, pre-apprenticeship training is available as a stepping stone to an apprenticeship. This option may appeal to students who have not yet gained employment as an apprentice but wish to do so in the future.

You do not have to be already employed to participate in pre-apprenticeship training with South Regional TAFE. There may be some work experience or industry placement required as part of the course.


School-Based Pre-Apprenticeships (SBPA)

A school-based pre-apprenticeship provides an opportunity for full-time secondary school students to begin preparing for an apprenticeship. You can work towards secondary graduation and an industry recognised qualification. Completing a SBPA also gives you the opportunity to "try a trade" to see if you like it. Contact your school VET coordinator for more information. 



Traineeships are a great way to start in the career of your choice - and earn money, while studying at the same time.  Traineeships can give you a competitive edge based as you are immersed in the practical skills required in the workplace and your career, whilst completing a nationally recognised qualification.

Traineeships can be either be full-time or part-time employment based training agreements. Full-time traineeships are usually completed over 12 months. Part-time traineeships are usually completed over an 18 month period with students spending a minimum of 20 hours per week in the workplace.


School-Based Traineeships

School-based traineeships provide an opportunity for full time secondary school students to prepare themselves for a career by developing skills and experience industries are looking for. You are paid for the work that you do while on the job as a full time student and part time employee. Successful completion of a school-based traineeship means you graduate both from secondary school plus gain an industry recognised qualification.

Students get the opportunity to start employment based training while completing Year 11 and 12. Both off-the-job and on-the-job training is done during school hours. Sometimes on the job training might happen outside school hours in which case the school study program may be reduced.

To be a school based trainee you must:

  • be at least 15 years old
  • be a full-time senior secondary student in Year 11 or 12
  • enter into a training contract with an employer to complete a traineeship
  • have your school's agreement to undertake a school based traineeship
  • have completed units of competency of your traineeship included on your Western Australian Certificate of Education.

Students entering into a school based traineeship will sign up for a nominal duration period of 18 months. If you decide to start a school based traineeship remember you are committing yourself to completing the full duration of the training.


How do I obtain an apprenticeship or traineeship?

1. Speak to your teachers, career advisors or family and friends. Think about the type of industry that interests you and contact employers to arrange work experience to give you a better idea of the job.

2. Find an employer offering an apprenticeship or traineeship in your chosen area. Try looking for vacancies on the internet.

3. Enrol at South Regional TAFE. Through your employer you can enrol at TAFE and start your new career pathway.


Australian Apprenticeship Support Network (AASN)

Once you have found an employer willing to sign you up as an apprentice or trainee, a training contract must be signed within 21 days of starting work.

This is required by law to protect the rights of both the student and the employer.

An AASN provider will assist you with this. There are three AASN providers in Western Australia. They are:



Page last updated July 23, 2020