How Apprenticeships Work

Apprenticeships and traineeships are a training pathway that enable you to become both skilled in a trade as well as technically qualified.

How apprenticeships work is typical you will complete your training in a period of four years. Although, this not always the case and depends on your trade and work environment. While Traineeships are usually 12 months to two years in duration, again this is dependent on your trade area. 

A clear advantage of an apprenticeship is earning a wage while learning your trade. Unlike university and most other post-school study options, an apprenticeship enables you to develop real-world practical skills, obtain a nationally accredited qualification and earn a salary.

The most common misunderstanding about an apprenticeship is that “anyone can get one”. While there are very few barriers to being eligible for an apprenticeship, securing an apprenticeship placement can be very competitive. In fact, getting an apprenticeship is just like applying for a job.

Learn practical skills and get qualified

There are two main parts to completing either a traineeship or apprenticeship – on-the-job training and off-the-job training.

On-the-job training

On-the-job training is about learning the practical skills involved in a specific type of apprenticeship. The apprentice is placed with a business to undertake this practical training – the business is known as a Host. It’s the Host’s role to develop the apprentice’s hands-on skills in their chosen trade while working on-site.

For example, an electrical apprentice may be placed with an electrical contractor business as their Host Employer. Over the course of their placement the apprentice will perform real electrical work under qualified supervision.

Off-the-job training

Off-the-job training requires the apprentice to complete a formal vocational qualification in their trade. The training is delivered by a Registered Training Organisation (RTO), which usually requires the apprentice to attend face-to-face classes and workshops. For example, an electrical apprentice would be required to complete a Certificate III in Electrotechnology while also working on-the-job.

This combined approach means the apprentice develops both technical and practical skills over the duration of their apprenticeship placement.