Part-time, school-based and pre-apprenticeships

Pre-apprenticeship courses

A pre-apprenticeship course is a stepping stone to get into the industry of your choice. Completion of a pre-apprenticeship course will help to:

  • prepare you for the working environment in the selected industry
  • give you some basic skills, or improve your existing skills
  • pave the way for the learning you will get as part of your apprenticeship.

Pre-apprenticeship courses may be undertaken part-time while you are still at school, as part of your VCE of VCAL studies or after you have completed school.

You can also visit the Australian Apprenticeship Pathways website to search for pre-apprenticeship courses by locality and industry, see Pre-apprenticeship Courses by Locality and Industry

School-based apprenticeships and traineeships

A school-based apprenticeship or traineeship combines:

  • part-time, practical experience in the workplace
  • formal, structured training with a TAFE or training provider
  • your school studies

A school-based apprenticeship may also give you credit towards your Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) or Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL).

You must have the agreement of each of the following:

  • your parent or guardian (if you are under 18 years of age)
  • your school
  • your employer
  • your TAFE or training provider.

You, your parent or guardian (if you are under 18 years of age) and your employer, will be required to sign a training contract.


  • the school-based apprentice or trainee completes at least one day a week on the job or in training during the normal school week
  • the training plan is to be signed off by the school-based apprentice or trainee’s school representative
  • the training plan is completed within two months of starting the training contract.

How to start a school-based apprenticeship

  • speak to your careers adviser to find out about school-based apprenticeships and traineeships arrangements at your school
  • you and your employer must comply with the minimum hours and other requirements for a part-time or school-based apprenticeship or traineeship

Further information about school-based apprenticeships and traineeships is on the 'Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority' (VCAA) website.

Minimum hours

The minimum hours are:

  • Part-time (not attending school): 13 hours per week (at least 7 hours employment, 6 hours of training) averaged over 1, 2 or 4 week cycles
  • School-based apprentice and trainee, and part-time (attending school): 13 hours per week (at least 7 hours of employment and 6 hours training) averaged over 3 periods of 4 months in each year of the program unless workplace based
  • Fully workplace based part-time and school-based apprenticeships and traineeships: 13 hours per week including release for structured training