School Based Apprenticeships

From Term 1 2017, Victorian government and Catholic schools will use the new Victorian Curriculum F-10. Curriculum related information is currently being reviewed and may be subject to change.

For more information on the curriculum, see:
The Victorian Curriculum F–10 - VCAA

​​​​​​School B​​ased Apprenticeships and Traineeships (SBAT) are available to secondary school students over 15 years old and enrolled in the Victorian Certificate of Education or the Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning.​

About School Based Apprenticeships and Traineeships

A SBAT offers students the option of combining part-time employment, school and training. The program is undertaken under a training contract with an employer and has a training plan registered with the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority. The training must lead to a nationally recognised qualification.

A SBAT forms an integral part of the student’s school learning program and study timetable and a minimum of one day of the normal school week (which may be averaged over three periods of four months duration in each year of the training contract) must be spent in employment and/or structured training as an apprentice or trainee. Schools should only endorse a Training Plan for a SBAT under these circumstances.

Endorsement of the Training Plan by the school will indicate that it is undertaking responsibility to enrol the student on Victorian Assessment Software System (VASS) so that credit for the training within the VCE or VCAL can be awarded to the student.

Like other VETiS offerings, the vocational training components of SBATs also contribute credit towards a senior secondary certificate. Many school based apprentices and trainees move on to a full-time contract with their employer after leaving school, while others choose to continue their education and training at a Registered Training Organisation or university.

For more information, see:

Endorsing training plans to achieve an integrated pathway

Training Plans must be endorsed and submitted to the relevant Australian Apprenticeship Centre within two months of the training contract commencing.

A school representative must only endorse the training plan for an SBAT if:

  • the student is enrolled in a senior secondary program (VCE or VCAL)
  • the student’s study, training and work commitments form an integral part of that student’s school learning program and study timetable and are consistent with the student’s career aspiration as outlined in their career action plan, and
  • it will not be detrimental to the student’s overall education.

Endorsement of the training plan by the school will continue to indicate that it is undertaking responsibility to enrol the student on Victorian Assessment Software System (VASS) so that credit for the training within the VCE or VCAL can be awarded to the student.

Part-time apprenticeships and traineeships

Students who undertake an apprenticeship or traineeship that is not integrated into their learning program and study timetable will be undertaking part-time apprenticeships or traineeships.

This type of arrangement will still provide credit for VCE or VCAL if it is recorded on VASS. These arrangements do not require school endorsement. These arrangements are at an individual student’s discretion and given their distance from the educational program do not attract the Victorian Training Guarantee funding. However an employer can choose to invest in these Victorian arrangements.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the minimum number of employment and training hours for SBATs?

The minimum number of employment and training hours is 13 hours per week. SBATs are to be undertaken by the student over two years at an average of 13 hours for employment and training per week.

What hours of training and employment should a SBAT student undertake?

SBAT students must undertake at least 7 hours of employment and 6 hours of training per week which may be averaged over three periods of four months in each year of the program. Training should be averaged over three periods of four months duration in each year of the training contract.

How much time should a student spend on the job or in training?

At least one day during the normal school week must be timetabled to be spent on the job or in training. Schools should only endorse the training program for an SBAT when it forms an integral part of the student's school learning program and study timetable and when it can be verified that during term time, a student’s timetable indicates that a minimum of one day of the school week during normal schools is spent in employment and/or structured training as an apprentice or trainee.

What are the definitions of the 'normal school week' and 'normal school hours'?

The School Policy and Advisory Guide states that: 

“Schools must provide at least 25 hours student instruction per week. The school day is generally between 8:30am and 3:30pm however specific times are determined locally based on factors such as bus schedules, links with other schools and organisation of the school day….”

The above statement clarifies conventional school operating hours, but recognises that each school is responsible for determining its own ‘normal school week’ and normal school hours’. Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) should consult with the school at which the prospective school-based apprentice or trainee is enrolled for clarification of that school’s normal school hours and week, in order to ensure that the SBAT program satisfies structured training and employment requirements.

For further information see: School Policy and Advisory Guide - School Hours

What happens if an employer cannot offer a school-based apprentice or trainee any work during school time?

The requirement that a school-based apprentice or trainee spend a minimum of one day during the normal school week in employment or structured training allows for students to undertake a combination of employment and/or training.

If the only time a student can obtain employment as part of their apprenticeship or traineeship is outside of ‘normal school hours’ (i.e. in an industry that only operates in the mornings or evenings, for example bakeries, horse-racing stables or some hospitality arrangements), the student is permitted to undertake their employment at such times but must then complete at least one day of structured training per week during normal school hours to fulfil the SBAT requirements.

RTOs should contact the school at which the school-based apprentice or trainee is enrolled to find out their normal school hours.

Can school-based apprentices and trainees be employed over the Christmas break and other school holiday periods?

A school-based apprentice or trainee’s employment and structured training obligations may be averaged over 3 periods of 4 months in each year of the program. This allows for employment to be undertaken in school holiday periods.

Regardless of the amount of employment undertaken in school holidays, school-based apprentices and trainees must still have at least one day of each school week during normal school hours timetabled to be spent on the job or in structured training. The requirement that the study, work and training commitments of the SBAT form an integral part of their school learning program and study timetable still stands.

Do students undertaking a SBAT have to be enrolled in a senior secondary program (VCE or VCAL)?

In order for the training contract to be registered with the VRQA as an SBAT, a school representative is required to sign the student’s training plan to acknowledge that the student is enrolled in a senior secondary program such as VCE or VCAL and that it forms an integral part of the student’s learning program and study timetable.

Related resources

The following are key resources with useful information and advice on the school based apprenticeships and traineeships pathway: