What is a pre-apprenticeship?
A pre-apprenticeship is entry level training that can provide a pathway into an Australian Apprenticeship.
Pre-apprenticeships may or may not include a formal qualification. These are usually offered in traditional trades like electrical, automotive, plumbing and construction.
Some pre-apprenticeships allow you to complete a Certificate II qualification, while others are non-accredited training. In either case, a pre-apprenticeship allows you to gain experience with an industry you’re interested in, and it may make it easier to find an apprenticeship that suits you.
When considering a pre-apprenticeship you need to consider whether:
- It includes any formal qualifications
- Your training counts towards your apprenticeship qualification
- It leads to an apprenticeship in the industry you’re considering
- The training includes a work experience component
Most pre-apprenticeship training is designed to help you get started in a particular apprenticeship or industry.
If you have no experience with an industry, or if you’d like to explore your options without committing to an apprenticeship, pre-apprenticeship training is a great place to start.
Do I Need to do a Pre-apprenticeship?
You aren’t required to undertake a pre-apprenticeship in Australia.
Australian Apprenticeship programs are open to people of all experience levels. However, a pre-apprenticeship can offer exposure and hands-on experience that makes you a more attractive candidate to employers.
A pre-apprenticeship ensures you hit the ground running when you take on a full-time apprenticeship. For that reason, some employers will advertise roles that are specifically open to people who have completed relevant pre-apprenticeship training.
Each employer has their own standards. It’s worth talking to some local business owners to find out whether they value pre-apprenticeship training and if they can recommend a program that’s suitable for you.
Benefits of Doing a Pre-apprenticeship
Pre-apprenticeships provide a range of benefits that can help you become an apprentice. The include:
- Improved literacy and numeracy skills
- Hands-on experience with the industry
- Industry-specific training and skills
- Freedom to explore an industry without committing to an apprenticeship
- Credit that counts towards your apprenticeship qualifications
One of the biggest benefits of undertaking a pre-apprenticeship is that you’ll develop skills that are specific to your industry, and can help build your professional networks.
The people you meet through a pre-apprenticeship may help you find a full-time apprenticeship, new opportunities, and additional training that can power your career.
Finding a Pre-apprenticeship
Pre-apprenticeships are usually offered through Registered Training Organisations (RTOs). Depending on the type of training involved, your pre-apprenticeship may be delivered through a local TAFE or another VET provider.
A pre-apprenticeship usually lasts between 3 and 6 months. This adds to the amount of time it takes to earn your qualifications in a trade.
To make the investment of your time worth it, it’s important to choose a pre-apprenticeship that’s right for you. Take your time to research your options through RTOs and local training providers.
Wherever possible, choose a pre-apprenticeship that includes a formal qualification (such as a Certificate II) and on-the-job training (such as a work placement) that allows you to gain real-world experience.
Doing these things ensures your pre-apprenticeship training will have the biggest impact on your search for a full apprenticeship.