What is a traineeship/apprenticeship?
A traineeship or apprenticeship combines paid work and training, which leads to a qualification that will be recognised throughout Australia. It will usually take between one and four years to complete. In South Australia, the formal agreement between an employer and trainee/apprentice is called a training contract. Whether you are entering the workforce for the first time or changing career, a traineeship or apprenticeship will provide you with the necessary skills and knowledge to work in your chosen trade or occupation.
At the same time you will:
- be paid while you train
- be employed while you learn
- gain skills and knowledge to work in your chosen trade or occupation
- gain a nationally recognised qualification
- get assistance with your training fees, if you are eligible
What training is involved?
Your employer and you are required to negotiate a Training Plan with the nominated Registered Training Organisation (RTO). The Training Plan will cover all the units of competency that make up the qualification you are working towards. Together you can choose:
- an RTO to deliver the training and assess your competencies
- elective units of competency and the order in which the units of competency are undertaken
- the timing, location and method of training delivery, which may be customised to suit individual workplace arrangements.
Your employer and Registered Training Organisation are responsible for delivering your training. In most cases, this will involve:
- structured training off the job (by the RTO)
- practical on the job training (by your workplace supervisor or another qualified, experienced worker).
Who is involved?
The key players in a traineeship or apprenticeship are you, as a trainee or apprentice, and your employer. Other players include:
Traineeship and Apprenticeship Services (TAS) – This is the authority in matters relating to the administration of traineeships and apprenticeships in South Australia. TAS registers employers, approves contracts and changes to contracts, and provides advice, amongst other services.
Apprenticeship Network Providers (ANPs) – Assist employers and prospective trainees/apprentices to sign a training contract for a traineeship or apprenticeship.
Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) – Will train you in your chosen occupation and/or assess your skills and knowledge during your traineeship or apprenticeship. If you successfully complete your traineeship or apprenticeship, the RTO will issue the national qualification you have achieved.
Your parent or guardian – Will be required to sign your training contract if you are under 18 years of age at the time you start your traineeship or apprenticeship.
How long will it take to finish?
It depends on the type of traineeship or apprenticeship. Generally, a traineeship undertaken on a full-time basis will take between one and two years to complete, and an apprenticeship undertaken on a full-time basis will take between three and four years. However, you may complete as soon as you have achieved your qualification, and your employer and you agree that you are competent in all aspects of your traineeship or apprenticeship.
Are part-time traineeships or apprenticeships available?
This depends on the industrial arrangement under which you are employed. The duration of the traineeship or apprenticeship is usually extended if it is undertaken part-time.
What financial supports or incentives are available?
A variety of financial supports or incentives may be available to you or your employer. The level and type of support will depend on your personal situation. Your Apprenticeship Network Provider can advise you about supports or incentives that you are eligible for.
Financial support may be available:
- for purchasing your trade tools or equipment
- if you are living away from your ‘family’ home
- if you have a disability
- through Youth Allowance, Austudy and ABSTUDY to subsidise a low wage
- travel and accommodation allowances to assist with the costs of attending training