Types of Australian Apprenticeships
In the past, apprenticeships focused on traditional trades and training took at least three years to complete.
Traineeships, by comparison, covered a much wider range of occupations but the training was shorter, lasting between one and two years.
Over the last decade, however, the distinction between apprenticeships and traineeships has blurred with many higher level and longer traineeships being introduced.
Apprenticeships and traineeships are now referred to nationally as Australian Apprenticeships – although some states and territories still make a distinction.
In order to target training to your specific business needs, there are numerous types of Australian Apprenticeships that can be implemented.
Australian School-based Apprenticeships
Australian School-based Apprenticeships are generally available to students from Year 10. It allows students to complete their schooling while starting their Australian Apprenticeship. As a business, employing an Australian School-based Apprentice allows you to:
identify commitment and competency of possible future employees
ensure availability of skills for your business in the future
give young people a chance to enter the workforce.
Full-time Australian Apprenticeships
Employing an Australian Apprentice full-time means that you are responsible for all their on-the-job training.
In consultation with your Australian Apprentice, you are able to choose a training provider for the off-the-job training and determine a flexible training plan to suit your business needs.
Part-time Australian Apprenticeships
Many small to medium enterprises may choose to employ Australian Apprentices part-time.
The Australian Apprenticeship/Traineeship Training Contract requires the Australian Apprentice receives a guaranteed pattern of work. This means you must provide a minimum number of hours of on and off-the-job training per week.
The exact time of these requirements vary. In Queensland, for example, the total time spent training at work and with the registered training organisation (RTO) must be at least 15 hours per week.
Contact your local Australian Apprenticeships Centre for further advice.
Group training organisations
Group training organisations (GTOs) allow you to employ an Australian Apprentice as you need them.
The GTO acts as the ‘primary employer’ of Australian Apprentices and ‘contracts’ them out to businesses.
GTOs may place a Australian Apprentice with more than one business over the life of that Australian Apprentice training contract, offering more flexibility to small businesses.
Existing staff may enter a Australian Apprenticeship. An existing worker is defined as an employee who has been with your business for more than three months full-time, or 12 months part-time or casual.
This gives you the opportunity to upgrade the skills of existing employees who you know and trust with the further benefits of:
being eligble for Australian Government funding
a shorter training period due to recognition of previously acquired training, skills and on-the-job experience resulting in cost-effective, targeted training for your business.
Australian Government funding is available for existing employees if they can demonstrate a significant training requirement and:
are commencing a Certificate III or IV where the full-time training duration is two years or more.
are commencing a Certificate III or IV and are eligible for Rural and Regional Skill Shortages commencement incentive of $1100.
have completed a Certificate II Australian Apprenticeship with your business and commence Certificate III or IV training within 12 months of doing so.
To find out what funding and incentives apply, contact your local Australian Apprenticeships Centre.