Apprenticeships and Traineeships

​​An apprenticeship or traineeship is a contract between an employer and an employee where the apprentice or trainee learns the skills needed for a particular job.

They can be undertaken full-time or part-time and can be used as a valuable stepping stone to start a career in an industry you want to work in.

As an apprentice or trainee, you can:

  • learn valuable, nationally recognised job skills
  • get paid while learning
  • combine formal training from a TAFE or training provider with workplace-based training.

Anyone of working age who is interested in a career in the industry of their choice can be an apprentice or trainee, subject to citizenship or visa conditions.

The differences

​The main difference between apprentices and trainees is the level of commitment that both the apprentice or trainee and the employer make.

Under an apprenticeship:

  • an employer agrees to employ you for the term of the apprenticeship and to support you in your training for that period of time, and you agree to follow instruction and attend off-the-job and/or workplace-based training
  • if your employer sells the business during your apprenticeship, the new employer must continue with the training contract
  • once the probationary period of the training contract has passed, all parties must agree in order for the contract to be cancelled.

Under a traineeship:

  • an employer agrees to employ you for the term of the traineeship and to support you in your training for that period of time, and you agree to follow instruction and attend structured training
  • if the business is sold, the new employer does not have to keep you on as a trainee
  • either party may cancel the contract by signing a cancellation form or letter stating the date of cancellation. Mutual agreement is not required.

If you're still at school

If you are still at school but would like to finish your VCE or VCAL, talk to your careers advisers about a school-base​d apprenticeship or traineeship. Under a school-based apprenticeship or traineeship, you will spend time at school, time with your employer, and some time doing training with a TAFE or training provider.

How to get started

If you are thinking about becoming an apprentice or trainee: