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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.


In the spirit of reconciliation, MIGAS Apprentices & Trainees acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their Elders past and present and emerging, and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.