What is a mature age apprenticeship?
A mature age apprenticeship is for individuals who are older than the typical age for starting an apprenticeship, which is often associated with school leavers.
If you commence an apprenticeship in Australia when you are 21 years or older, you are considered a mature age or adult apprentice.
There are many reasons why anyone aged 21 or older should consider a trade apprenticeship:
1. Job security: Skilled trades are in high demand, and these professions tend to offer job security. As industries evolve and infrastructure ages, tradespeople remain essential. The Australian Government recognises this and offers support payments to priority trade occupations and new energy roles.
2. Earning while learning: Apprenticeships provide a unique opportunity to earn a salary while receiving training, unlike going to university which often comes with a HECS-HELP debt. This can help offset educational costs and provide financial stability during the learning process.
3. Structured learning: Trade apprenticeships offer a structured and comprehensive learning program, ensuring individuals develop the skills and knowledge required to excel in their chosen specialisation. In addition to on-the-job training, you will complete a Nationally Accredited Qualification as part of your apprenticeship.
4. Hands-on experience: Apprenticeships are known for their hands-on, supervised training, allowing you to gain practical experience that is directly applicable to your trade specialisation. You’ll be taught new skills by qualified tradespeople in a real work environment.
5. Diverse career options: Skilled trades encompass a wide range of professions, from electricians and mechanical fitters to carpenters and heavy vehicle mechanics. An apprenticeship pathway allows you to choose a trade that aligns with your interests and talents.
6. Long-term investment: Completing an apprenticeship is a long-term investment in your career, often taking 3 or 4 years. Once qualified, you have the potential for higher earnings in a range of industries including mining and resources (FIFO work), manufacturing and construction.
Mature Age Apprentice Wages
As a mature age apprentice 21 years or older when you commence your training, you will receive higher wages than younger apprentices straight out of school.
Apprenticeship wages are determined by the Fair Work Ombudsman in Australia and the relevant Modern Award to your chosen trade and industry. You can use the Pay and Conditions Tool to calculate an estimate of the apprentice wages you would be eligible for, based on the trade specialisation chosen.
You can also read MIGAS’s guide to what apprentices are paid which provides indicative weekly wages by trade type.
Apprenticeship wages increase as you progress through your training, so what you earn as a first year apprentice versus a fourth year apprentice will differ. Your employer may also choose to pay above the Modern Award or under an Enterprise Agreement.
In addition to base apprenticeship wages, you may also be able to receive allowances, benefits and government support payments. These are all role and employer-specific, based on Award inclusions, job requirements, and your eligibility.
Other financial assistance for apprentices is also available from Federal and State Governments.
While the idea of earning first year apprenticeship wages might be off-putting at first, don’t forget that it is a strategic and long-term investment in your future.
Get Started as a Mature Age Apprentice
Mature age apprenticeships offer a second chance to pursue a new career. They provide a pathway for those who may not have had the opportunity to undertake an apprenticeship earlier in life, or who wish to find long-term employment in area of interest or passion.
All apprenticeships offered by MIGAS are available to mature age apprentices, unless it is advertised as a school-based apprenticeship.
It’s never too late to consider an apprenticeship in traditional trades.
Mature Age Apprenticeship Frequently Asked Questions
View more Frequently Asked Questions about Australian Apprenticeships.