Money in your pocket and your weekends free. Why an apprenticeship could be right for you.

28 September, 2020
A mature aged small engine mechanic apprentice takes notes as his teacher explains a few things

Money in your pocket and your weekends free. Why an apprenticeship could be right for you.

Depending on what you want to do, higher education might be the best option for you, however with research saying there’s not a massive difference between what graduates earn right after they finish higher education or an apprenticeship, either way you are making a good decision for your future.

But one benefit apprenticeships and traineeships have on higher education is that you get paid while you study and work.

So, if you want some money in your pocket and your weekends free, why not start an apprenticeship or traineeship?

What’s the difference between an apprenticeship and a traineeship?

A traineeship differs from an apprenticeship in the type of work undertaken and the time it takes to complete.

Instead of getting a trade, a trainee is trained in a workplace in a vocational area such as office administration, information technology, or health services.

Both will give you valuable work experience, a fair wage and a nationally recognised qualification – that’s a win!

Will I get a job when I finish?

Completing an apprenticeship or traineeship almost guarantees you a job afterward, with 87.7% of apprentices and trainees employed after their training, and 91.5% for those in a trade occupation apprenticeship.

So, your chances are very high of getting a job when you are finished your training because you’ll have had real experience in a real workplace.

Will I like it?

While you will understandably be a bit nervous when you first start to learn the ropes, there’s plenty of fun that comes with doing an apprenticeship or traineeship.

  • You meet new people of all ages and widen your social group.
  • You’ll be valued by an employer and taught by people in the industry with real skills.
  • The work will be interesting and challenging, because you haven’t done anything like it before!

We’ve heard that 91.9% of apprentices achieved their main reason for doing the training, and 88.4% are satisfied with the overall apprenticeship or traineeship (NCVER).

Can I become my own boss?

If you have studied a trade apprenticeship, you might end up working for yourself and become a licensed contractor or sub-contractor where you’ll have independence and responsibility for your work. You’ll be the boss, and even take on a few apprentices if you want to!

How long until I’m qualified?

Apprenticeships are usually 3-4 years, while traineeships are usually 1-2 years.

Is there any financial help available?

You may be eligible for a Trade Support Loan that’s worth up to $21,542 for eligible apprentices designed to cover everyday costs during training, as well as a Living Away From Home Allowance. The User Choice policy means State and Territory Governments subsidise the cost of training at Registered Training Organisations (RTOs), and some apprentices and trainees may also be eligible for Youth Allowance or ABSTUDY from Services Australia.

Will I get to travel?

Apprenticeships and traineeships are respected in many countries overseas. Post-COVID-19, you could find yourself working in another country – how exciting would that be!

As apprenticeship and traineeship qualifications are nationally recognised, you can work everywhere and have a bit of an adventure.

But when you’re qualified, you’ll find that some trades licences differ from state to state (and country to country) so you may have to apply for new licences as you go.

Am I eligible?

How much will I earn?

As an apprentice or trainee, you’re entitled to the award rate of pay within your industry. The government has created a  for apprentices and trainees to figure out the award wage that they’re entitled to.

How do I start?

You can begin your Australian Apprenticeship while you're still at school, through an .

If you are fresh out of school, update your resume with information about you, the subjects you liked at school and jobs or work experience you’ve done. A reference from a teacher or older family friend could help.

If you’re interested in working on a construction site, go online and get your OHS White Card so you’re ready to go and having your driver’s license is also a good start.

Once you know what kind of business you want to train in you can approach businesses yourself or use employment service providers to help facilitate the job search.

After you find an employer, contact an   to confirm details and organise a contract. Alternatively, you can find opportunities through a Group Training Organisation.

When this is done, your journey as an apprentice or trainee will begin.

For help with your career: 

If your wellbeing is being impacted by COVID-19 but you don’t know where to start looking for support, the COVID-19 support page has some information and links that could assist you.

Explore Careers

Narrow down your occupation and study options using one of the pages below.

Complete a quick questionnaire and explore occupations that suit you.

Take your next step now: find the types of jobs currently available or a short course to build on your skills.