If you are ready to start earning money straight from school, then an apprenticeship or traineeship might be the perfect place to start. You get the chance to get a qualification while learning on the job skills for the trade of your choice plus you’ll earn a wage. Sounds great right?!
Recently, the Skillsroad 2018 Youth Census
, the largest youth survey in Australia, found that young people undertaking an apprenticeship reported the highest levels of wellbeing out of all post-school pathways, followed closely by those engaged in a traineeship.
“The findings of the Youth Census on apprentice and trainee wellbeing rates emphasise how important it is that young people have access to holistic, unbiased career conversations as early on during their schooling as possible – and that includes information on vocational pathways,” said says Apprenticeship Support Australia (ASA) General Manager, New South Wales, Queensland and Australian Capital Territory, Peter Gilchrist.
So what exactly is an apprenticeship or traineeship?
To put it simply it is the time spent learning a skilled trade under a qualified tradesperson, you’ll be supervised while learning on the job, and you will also attend job training with a training provider which is in most cases Tafe. An apprenticeship is a nationally recognized qualification and you’ll obtain a trade certificate when you are finished, the government also offer you a subsidization for your off the job training which means in most cases you will pay less towards your course fees which is super helpful if you are receiving an apprenticeship wage. A traineeship is really simillar except it covers non-trade quals like business admin, sales, marketing etc.
How an apprenticeship and traineeship works...
There are hundreds of trades to choose from in all sorts of exciting field, you could do anything from hairdressing to building to baking, it really is completely up to you where you want to go with your apprenticeship and the opportunities are endless. Typically, an apprenticeship will run for 3 - 4 years and allow you to study for a trade qualification, you will usually begin with smaller tasks and begin to take on more responsibility as time passes. Traineeships on the otherhand are usually between 1 - 2 years in length.
Who can do apprenticeships and traineeships?
Apprenticeships and traineeships can be done on a part time or full time basis by anyone who is old enough to work, you can complete an apprenticeship with a new employer or you can chat to your current employer about starting one with them. The pretense is to learn as much as you can while in a safe and educational environment under the watchful eye of a senior professional while earning a wage!
Once you’ve found an apprenticeship you want to do, what are the next steps?
- You and your employer will need to complete a training contract
- You'll need to agree on a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) to deliver the training
- Develop a training plan with employer and the RTO
- Once your registration is complete you will receive a confirmation letter from the relevant department in your start or territory who will also oversee the apprenticeship on the contact period.
Traineeships are similar to apprenticeships except you will be learning a specific job under the watchful eye of a supervisor, for example in a shop or fast food outlet. Trainee qualifications range from a Certificate II up to an Advanced Diploma and you can start the process of becoming a trainee if you are still at school. Have just left school or are currently unemployed. You and your employer will have a legal agreement called a training contract and this will stay in place until you and your employer agree you are competent in the job you have undertaken.
You will be supervised on the job and you will also be required to attend off the job training with an external service provider. Most traineeships will run for 1 – 2 years and you can partake in them either part-time or full time. For more information on whether a Traineeship or Apprenticeship is right for you, head to the Skillsroad information page which will help you to make the right decision that best suits you! Check it out here.
Simon, 20, has been on a rollercoaster ride his first few years out of school.
Unsure of what his next steps should be, Simon decided to do what all of his mates were doing and head to university, but that didn't last long.
"I dropped out, mostly because I just wasn't ready," he explains
. "I felt like I was wasting my time because I genuinely had no idea what to major in and I definitely didn't want to waste my time bouncing between different degrees."
For Simon, the solution came when he started researching apprenticeships, in his case an electrical apprenticeship.
"For me, it feels good to collect a livable wage while pursuing a career."
After doing his research, Simon was blown away by all the job prospects he'd have once he finished his time as an apprentice electrician.
While Simon says he doesn't regret his short time at university, he does wish he'd spoken to his family before he enrolled.
"It didn't really shock my parents much when I explained why I decided this would be a better idea for me, they thought it's what I should have been doing in the first place."
"It's a very rewarding career, and for me, it was the best thing to ever happen to me. I love my job and couldn't imagine doing anything else."