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School-Based Apprenticeships and Traineeships- Student


What is a school based apprenticeship or traineeship?

It is an opportunity for a full-time student both academically & vocationally bound students in years 10, 11 or 12 to begin training for a vocational qualification whilst still at school. It allows students to engage in paid work for an employer and undertake training towards a recognised qualification, while completing school studies. The areas available are numerous and include traditional trade areas as well as growing areas such as IT. Qualifications are usually Certificate II and III courses. It is fully funded by the government while the student is still enrolled at school.

What does the program involve?

The program involves the student being employed for a minimum of one day per week as well as being enrolled with an external Registered Training Organisation (SRTO) like a TAFE or Private College. The student is also required to complete a theory component for their vocational course/qualification which is monitored by the SRTO.

Multiple Government Contributions

Apprentices and trainees can only receive one government contribution for a User Choice funded qualification at any single point in time i.e. a student is not funded to undertake two school-based traineeships/apprenticeships at the same time.

Unless otherwise approved by the Department, an Apprentice or Trainee who has previously completed a funded qualification is not eligible to receive another Government Contribution to undertake an Apprenticeship or Traineeship in a higher level qualification from the same National Training Package or Industry Training Group.

Multiple government contributions are only approved for:

  • Students who have previously completed one Apprenticeship and are undertaking a second Apprenticeship qualification.
  • Students who have previously completed one Traineeship and are undertaking their first Apprenticeship qualification.
  • Students who have previously completed one Traineeship and are undertaking a second Traineeship qualification deemed as a Priority One skill shortage occupation or Priority Four qualification.
  • Students who have previously completed one School-based Apprenticeship or School-based Traineeship and are undertaking either a second Apprenticeship or Traineeship that is higher priority than the first qualification undertaken under the user choice funding scheme.

This means that before signing up to a second traineeship or apprenticeship, that serious consideration is given to ensure that you are undertaking a qualification that is part of your career plan. The consequence of poor choices could be that the government will not fund any future traineeships/apprenticeships which could limit your employment prospects.

Why choose a school based apprenticeship or traineeship?

  • Acquiring a Certificate II or III qualification and/or taking time off a full-time apprenticeship.
  • Training is provided by the government for free or at a significantly reduced cost.
  • Invaluable experience and training in the workplace is gained before leaving school.
  • Get paid to learn while working.
  • Work towards achieving a nationally recognised qualification.
  • Gain QCE points
  • Improve confidence in the workplace.
  • Work towards any chosen career.

Work and school

As part of the requirements of School Based Apprenticeships or Traineeships, students must work a minimum of 50 days, 7.6 hours a day over a 12 month period. This may include working:
  • One or more days a week and attending school on the remaining days
  • For blocks of time depending on what the student and employer need.
  • On weekends, during school holidays or after school.

Students must be paid at or above the casual award wage (check Wage line) for the time spent working. The casual rate is slightly higher than other rates because it makes up for not receiving sick or recreation leave. However, in some qualifications undertaken students may or will not be paid for time spent undertaking training delivered by the SRTO.


Students will continue to attend school and study towards their QCE (Queensland Certificate of Education). A School Based Apprenticeship or Traineeship can earn between 4 and 8 credits towards their QCE, depending on the qualification studied. Some of the training and/or working will occur during school hours and will therefore have an impact on the student’s timetable.


Students may be allocated time to focus on their external training requirements, i.e. on a Wednesday afternoon. It may still be possible to gain an Overall Position Score (OP) whilst completing the qualification as well depending on the impact on the student’s timetable.  Any changes that are required to a student’s timetable must be discussed with one or more of the following at school:  Industry Liaison Officer, The Head of Department Senior Schooling, Guidance Officer and Deputy Principal before a School Based Traineeship or Apprenticeship is undertaken.



The SRTO will allocate a teacher or a contact person who will assist students with assignments and monitor progress either individually / in a group,  at school/in the work place or at the SRTO office. Training requirements vary for each qualification and certificate level but may include studying via correspondence, a set day for training or a block of training.

Whilst the government attempts to provide free training for school based apprentices and trainees, there may be some additional costs like uniforms, equipment, and transport and study materials to consider.

What should I do if I would like an apprenticeship/traineeship? 


Any school based apprenticeship or traineeship vacancies are emailed to students on their school email accounts. Keep in mind however, that these vacancies are sent to all schools in the local area and therefore many students will apply.  Interested students should check their emails regularly and apply for any position of interest.

Make Contact Yourself

Another way to obtain an apprenticeship or traineeship position is to contact people in the industry yourself and offer them a Resume.  Make phone calls, ask your current employer, ask friends and relatives and try to use these connections. Sometimes family businesses are the ideal place to start looking.

Work Experience

Another way to indicate to a potential employer that you are keen and reliable is to complete work experience (unpaid work). This can allow both the student and employer to have a ‘trial’ before signing up. The school can help you find work experience – visit the Work Education Office in Business Block.

Found an Employer

If you find an employer, the rest is easy. Complete the School-Based Apprenticeship & Traineeship Form, available from the Work Education Office and the school will arrange a time for the official sign-up. This will require attendance by the student, a parent/guardian, the employer and a representative from one of the four Australian Apprenticeship Centres. The official sign-up takes approximately one hour and will provide you with answers to any questions you might have.