Department program

Head Start apprenticeships and traineeships

​Head Start is a new model for school-based apprenticeships and traineeships where students can stay at school an extra year to finish their VCAL, VCE or apprenticeship. During this extra year they spend more time doing important, paid, on the job training.

Under Head Start, apprenticeships and traineeships will be targeted at priority industries and traditional trades like construction, defence and health, with enterprise apprenticeships and traineeships to be developed for delivery in 2020 that target high technology areas needed for the jobs of tomorrow like coding.

Head Start will deliver an estimated 1,700 apprenticeships and traineeships in 100 secondary schools across Victoria over the next four years, starting from 2019.


The Victorian Budget 2018-19 provided $49.8 million over four years for the Head Start initiative. This was part of a suite of reforms including:

  • $109 million to overhaul secondary school career education
  • $26 million to enhance vocational education in schools.

Together these will transform career education and strengthen vocational pathways in secondary schools and beyond into high quality apprenticeships, traineeships and VET programs.

Schools will get additional support and funding to help run Head Start. This includes a Head Start coordinator who will:

  • help deliver the initiative
  • provide employment and vocational pathway advice
  • provide one-on-one support to students.

Supporting students and industry

Head Start will provide additional flexibility that better meets the needs of students as well as employers. This involves supporting students to not only be able to complete their VCE and VCAL over three years, but also spend more time in on-the-job training, including weekends and holidays.

This flexibility, combined with a focus on new apprenticeships and traineeships in priority trades and emerging industries, will lead to more students taking up apprenticeships and traineeships.​