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How Apprenticeships Work

Australian Apprenticeships are an ideal pathway to enter hundreds of traditional trades and occupations.

Apprentices and traineeships allow you to gain practical skills and knowledge in a trade or occupation, and study a nationally accredited qualification.

As an Australian Apprentice you will:

  1. Learn your trade in a real workplace by doing hands-on practical work
  2. Complete a Certificate-level qualification at TAFE or a training provider

You will earn wages for both on-the-job skills development and off-the-job training.

Australian Apprentices are employed directly by a business, or by a Group Training Organisation like MIGAS that matches you with a host company.

A training contract is lodged with your State Training Authority that follows you between employers if needed until the completion of your qualification.

7 Steps to Become an Apprentice with MIGAS

How to Get Started in an Apprenticeship

There is a huge need for skilled workers in Australia, so deciding to undertake an apprenticeship or traineeship is a smart career decision.

Here’s an overview of what’s involved, and how to get started.

  • Choose an Apprenticeship

    The first step in the apprenticeship process is to choose a trade or occupation that you want to pursue. Think about what kind of work matches your interests or hobbies, and what you find most rewarding in the long run.

    An Australian Apprenticeship is a commitment – typically 3-4 years for traditional trades apprenticeships and 1-3 years for traineeships – but it is the foundation of your future working life. Knowing this, consider your options by researching apprenticeship trades to find the right fit.

    From there, find roles being advertised online through job portals like Seek, Apprentice Connect Australia Provider websites, and specialist apprentice employers like MIGAS – you’ll find our jobs board here.

  • Find an Employer

    Once you have chosen a trade or occupation, you will need to find an employer who is willing to take you on as an apprentice. You can do this by searching job websites like Seek to see who’s hiring or contacting local businesses directly.

    You can also use an Apprentice Connect Australia Provider to connect to these businesses, or opt for specialist apprentice employers like MIGAS. It’s our job to match you to the right role and host company to undertake your training. We also support you through your entire apprenticeship, so you’re not on your own.

    Read more about the benefits of choosing a Group Training Organisation when looking for an Australian Apprenticeship.

  • Sign a Training Contract

    Once you have secured an employer, you will need to sign a training contract with your state or territory government's Training Authority. This legally binding agreement outlines the terms and conditions of your Australian Apprenticeship.

    You’ll have a separate employment agreement with your employer (like MIGAS) outlining your wages, rights and obligations.

  • Commence Training

    Once your contracts are signed, you can start your apprenticeship or traineeship. You will split your time between working under supervision for a business or host company, and attending training with a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) such as TAFE.

    As you progress through your hands-on and college training, you will gain the skills and knowledge needed to achieve competency in your chosen trade or occupation. The wages you earn typically increase yearly based on your progression or with the Fair Work Ombudsman’s annual review of Modern Awards.

    So, the more you learn, the more you earn. In addition to your wages, you may also be eligible for government support such as the Australian Apprentice Training Support Payment or an Australian Apprenticeship Support Loan.

    Learn more about financial assistance for apprentices

  • Complete the Apprenticeship

    The duration of an Australian Apprenticeship can vary depending on the trade or occupation, but typically ranges from 1-3 years for traineeships and 3-4 years for apprenticeships.

    You'll complete your training once you have met all the required competencies of the role, both on and off the job. 

    Once you have satisfied the requirements of your on-the-job skills development and your training contract, you’ll receive a nationally recognised qualification in your trade or occupation. Now, you’re a qualified tradesperson!

    Many apprentices receive full-time employment offers from the same company they did their hands-on training with, or decide to seek job offers elsewhere.

    Whatever happens next, you now have the necessary experience and knowledge to forge a long-lasting, rewarding career. And because you took an Australian Apprenticeship path, you won’t have a HECS-HELP loan to worry about.

MIGAS Apprentices at Bengalla Nov2022

MIGAS Apprentices hosted at Bengalla Mining Company in the Hunter Valley.

Sound good? Let’s get started

Find the ideal apprenticeship or traineeship with MIGAS:


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.