So, you’ve got it all sorted. A career in mind, a skill that you want to master – and a plan to kick off your lifelong dream via an apprenticeship.
Apprenticeships give you the skills, experience and qualifications you need to enter the workforce. And they are recognised Australia-wide.
But how do you go about getting started? Where do you look? And how do you go about getting the apprenticeship you want?
How to Find an Apprenticeship – Two Ways
You can look for and find your apprenticeship in two different ways. Let’s take a look at both;
1. Meet with an Australian Apprenticeship Support Network Provider
The first way is to get in contact with an Australian Apprenticeship Support Network Provider or a Group Training Organisation (GTO).
Both are companies that fulfil similar functions, helping you to:
- Find a suitable apprenticeship
- Sign-up and manage paperwork and applications etc.
- Understand the requirements of your Apprenticeship and what you need to do to earn your qualification
These companies will usually process your pay/wages and offer you additional support along the way.
- You can find a list of Network Providers in Australia here
- And a list of Group Training Organisations here
All you need to do is find one closest to you and make an appointment. It’s important to note that some companies will only specialise in apprenticeships in certain industries or areas, while others are broader in their offerings.
2. Find apprenticeships online & apply directly
The second way to find an apprenticeship is to search various job sites yourself and apply for apprenticeships directly, by using your resume. This is a similar experience to looking for a job.
What sites can you search? Here are a few to begin with:
Apprenticeship Job Sites
General Job Sites
Search Tip: If you’re unsure how to start searching, enter the word “apprenticeship” or “traineeship” in the search box, choose your industry and choose/enter your location too.
If you find that you’re overwhelmed by the results (or if you’re still unsure if what you find is right for you), we recommend meeting with a Network Provider to help you get started.
What You Need to Know to Take On an Apprenticeship
Apprenticeships and traineeships essentially mean that you complete a course- usually a Certificate course – via an official Australian Apprenticeship program.
This usually includes a mixture of on-the-job training as well as study and education outside of the job.
A lot of people often wonder and ask us, if there are any particular requirements for becoming an apprentice. The truth is that it’s often easier than it sounds! Don’t believe us? Here are some key points for taking part in an apprenticeship:
- You don’t need any qualifications or experience (though you can use prior experience or knowledge to contribute to your apprenticeship qualification).
- You don’t need a Higher School Certificate (HSC) or any other educational qualifications.
- You can be any age, although you must be at least of working age (which in Australia is 15 years). If you’re too young, consider a pre-apprenticeship (more info below).
- You can start your apprenticeship at any time, even if you’ve already had another job or career.
- Apprenticeships can be full-time or part-time, and can take place on-the-job (practical experience) and off-the-job (e.g. studies at TAFE).
- Current students can also begin school-based apprenticeships while they’re in Year 11 or 12.
All you need to do is decide that you want to be an apprentice, find the apprenticeship you want and get your resume together. It’s as easy as that.
What If You’re Too Young For an Apprenticeship?
If you’re still at school and you’re too young to enrol in an apprenticeship, you can think about completing a Pre-Apprenticeship in conjunction with your school work.
This is an introductory program that will act as a stepping stone to an apprenticeship or a job later on. It can also give you a taste of what the industry or job will be like so that you can decide if moving forward with a related apprenticeship is right for you.
Click here to find Pre- Apprenticeship pathways available by trade and location.
Success! You’ve Found an Apprenticeship – What’s Next?
Once you’re successful and a Network Provider/GTO approves you to an apprenticeship, or if you managed to get another apprenticeship role, there are a few steps that will need to follow:
- Your Network Provider or GTO will set up the paperwork for the apprenticeship.
- Speak to your employer and/or Network Provider about when you will start the apprenticeship (e.g. date/time).
- You should also discuss details such as on the job requirements, responsibilities, studies, pay/wages, working hours and any other conditions involved.
- You’ll likely need to sign a contract and a few other forms. Ensure you understand your obligations and read the fine print before you do so.
After that’s all sorted, all you’ll need to do is show up on your first day!
Steps to an Apprenticeship – A Summary
We know there’s a lot to take in when it comes to apprenticeships! So, let’s summarise the steps above to help you get started:
- Think about your career goals or what industry or job you want to work in. If you’re undecided, try this Career Quiz at Skillsroad!
- Do some research and decide what type of apprenticeship or course could be a good for you.
- Have a think about your personal situation and whether you want to complete the apprenticeship full-time or part-time.
- Write or update your resume to reflect your most relevant skills and experience (or you could ask a Network Provider to help you do this).
- Contact an Australian Apprenticeship Support Network Provider or GTO (see above) who can help match your goals/skills to a specific company and apprenticeship.
- Alternatively, search apprenticeship and job sites and use your resume/cover letter to apply for the apprenticeship you want. You could also try contacting organisations directly if you have someone in mind you’d like to work for.
- Once you’ve been accepted, speak to your Network Provider, GTO and/or employer about the requirements and details of your apprenticeship and discuss how to get the ball rolling.