Young Australians can get a head start with their careers by beginning an Australian Apprenticeship while still working towards their senior secondary school certificate. Australian School-based Apprenticeships (ASbAs) are a great career option, allowing young Australians to commence training for a vocational qualification and earn a wage while completing their senior secondary certificate.

What is an Australian School-based Apprenticeship?

An Australian School-based Apprenticeship is an Australian Apprenticeship which is undertaken part-time while the apprentice or trainee is at school. It combines paid employment, on or off-the-job vocational training and senior secondary school studies.

An Australian School-based Apprenticeship provides senior secondary students with hands-on industry experience, and the ability to work towards or complete a nationally recognised qualification, while they complete their senior school certificate.

Download the Australian School-based Apprenticeship fact sheet.

What does an Australian School-based Apprenticeship involve?

An Australian School-based Apprentice undertakes a combination of secondary school subjects, paid work and vocational training undertaken on or off the job. The apprentice or trainee can undertake training in a traditional trade or other occupation at the Certificate I, II, III, IV, Diploma or Advanced Diploma level.

Training delivered by a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) may be undertaken for a couple of hours every week or for a longer block of time, less frequently. The number of hours an apprentice or trainee needs to be employed per week differs between states and territories based on their legislation.

Some Australian School-based Apprentices can undertake their paid employment outside of school hours, such as on the weekend, however others must take time during school hours to work depending on the requirements of the employer.

Australian School-based Apprentices will need to negotiate time-release from their school subjects to attend work and training, arranging to catch up on any school material they miss at a later date.

How long does an Australian School-based Apprenticeship take?

An Australian Apprenticeship can take from one to four years to complete, depending on the type of Australian Apprenticeship, the industry and the qualification undertaken. Some Australian School-based Apprentices will have completed their training when they finish their secondary schooling, while others will need to finish their training after they graduate. This depends on the qualification undertaken and the speed at which they progress through their training.

Australian School-based Apprentices may be granted Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) or credit for any skills they already have and any prior experience in the workplace, potentially reducing their training time.

How are Australian School-based Apprentices paid?

Australian Apprentices (including Australian School-based Apprentices) are employed under a federal or state award or agreement which sets out their wage and conditions of employment.

How do I find an Australian School-based Apprenticeship?

You will need to follow the same steps outlined at Steps to become an apprentice.

If your school supports Australian School-based Apprenticeships, contact your local Australian Apprenticeship Support Network (Apprenticeship Network) provider who may be able to provide services to help you select the apprenticeship, occupation or training pathway that is most suited to you and provide advice and assistance to help you find an apprenticeship. This could include assessing your suitability for an apprenticeship and referring you to an employer.

Can I, or my employer, receive any financial support during my Australian School-based Apprenticeship?

Australian School-based Apprentices undertaking training in a traditional trade may be eligible for a Trade Support Loan where they meet the relevant eligibility criteria. Employers hiring Australian School-based Apprentices may be eligible to receive incentives payments under the Australian Apprenticeships Incentives Program.

Both the Australian Apprenticeships Incentives Program and the Trade Support Loans Program are subject to eligibility criteria. To find out more about incentives or loans contact your local Apprenticeship Network provider.

Where can I find out more?

For more information and advice on all aspects of Australian Apprenticeships, contact your local Apprenticeship Network provider . These providers are contracted by the Australian Government to provide free Australian Apprenticeships support services to apprentices and employers.

Information on apprentice workplace rights and conditions can be found on the Fair Work Ombudsman website or by calling the Fair Work Info line on 13 13 94.

Download the Summary of the Australian Government Australian Apprenticeships Incentives Program fact sheet or visit the Trade Support Loans (TSL) page for more information.