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Australian Apprenticeships and Traineeships

The term ‘Australian Apprenticeships’ covers both apprenticeships and traineeships. They start when an employer creates a job and decides to use this way of employing and training staff.

Australian Apprenticeships and Traineeships combine a formal qualification with paid employment. There are a variety of Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualification levels. An apprenticeship or traineeship can be full-time, part-time or school-based.

As well as the traditional trades, Australian Apprenticeships and Traineeships are available in a wide range of sectors and industries, some examples include community services and health, travel and tourism, communication and information technology, financial services, agriculture and horticulture, government and more.

Apprenticeships and traineeships are completed with a hands-on learning style, which makes them a great alternative for those who don’t wish to complete traditional studies. There may be some classroom-based elements, but these are linked to things you will be doing in your job.

Most people will be eligible to do an Australian Apprenticeship 1. There are no specified entry requirements, but employers will look for people that meet their own business needs. In some industries, a pre-apprenticeship This link takes you away from the ADCET page or pre-traineeship course can give you a head start and can be used as experience to show an employer.

The benefits of Australian Apprenticeships

There are several benefits during and after completing an Australian Apprenticeship or Traineeship. Some of these include:

  • a broad choice of occupations and industries from which to choose
  • additional incentives for industries in high demand
  • working towards a formal qualification while getting paid
  • getting support from government-funded organisations to help you and your employer have a positive experience
  • positive employment and wage outcomes
  • a nationally recognised qualification and experience in your chosen industry (once completed).

‘Students with a disability enrolled in an apprenticeship or traineeship have better employment outcomes, when compared against other types of VET courses (Barnett 2004; Clark 2007). This may be because of the employment or on-the-job relationship embedded in the apprenticeship and traineeship models.’ (Ticket to Work, 2010) 2

Who is involved?

There are a lot of individuals and organisations involved in Apprenticeship and Traineeship programs. Some of these will be involved in every apprenticeship or traineeship.

The main organisations that everyone should be familiar with are:

  • Australian Apprenticeship Support Network (AASN) providers, who do the sign up of all apprenticeships and traineeships
  • Registered Training Organisation (RTO), who deliver the off-the-job training (this will sometimes be a TAFE provider)
  • Group Training Organisations (GTOs) hire apprentices and trainees, and match them with a host employer
  • employers who agree to employ and train Australian Apprentices in their business
  • Employment Service Providers support people who are out of work and looking for employment
  • schools will be part of the arrangement in the case of an Australian School-based Apprenticeship.

Government support

The Australian Government provides support to Australian Apprentices and Trainees with disability to help them to reach their full potential as skilled workers.

A range of assistance is available including the Disabled Australian Apprentice Wage Support (DAAWS) which is paid to employers. This supports and encourages employers to take on an apprentice or trainee who has a disability.

Australian Apprentices or Trainees with disability can access tutorial, interpreting and mentor services. These services are to assist apprentices and trainees to undertake their training.  This support is available throughout the duration of the Apprenticeship or Traineeship.

The AASN provider that does the sign up will support the employer and the apprentice or trainee with information about all these services. You can find more information on the DAAWS Factsheet. This link takes you away from the ADCET page

The EAF (Employment Assistance Fund) gives financial help to eligible people with disability and mental health conditions and employers to buy work-related modifications, equipment, Auslan services and workplace assistance and support services.  Assistance is also available to people with disability who need Auslan assistance or special work equipment to look for and prepare for a job.

The EAF could help to buy work related modifications and services like:

  • the cost of making adjustments to your physical workplace
  • modifications to work vehicles
  • special equipment for the workplace
  • information and communication devices
  • Auslan interpreting services
  • specialist services for employees with specific learning disorders and mental health conditions
  • disability awareness training for the workplace (including deafness awareness)
  • mental health awareness and first aid training.

For more information about the EAF and all things disability and employment, visit the JobAccess website This link takes you away from the ADCET page

More information

The Melbourne Apprenticeship Disability Network (MADN) in partnership with the Australian Apprenticeship and Traineeship Information Service (AATIS) have released a series of five blogs to support those living with disability to understand Australian Apprenticeships and Traineeships. This resource can support students, families and educators to consider the opportunities that an apprenticeship or traineeship pathway offers to students with disability.

The five blogs each have a different theme:

  1. Getting the most out of an Apprenticeship or Traineeship 
  2. The benefits of doing an Australian Apprenticeship or Traineeship 
  3. How parents, carers and allies can support careers transitions 
  4. Support for Australian Apprentices and Trainees with disability 
  5. Choosing the right employer 

(July 2022)

Related Resources


    1 There are some minimum age restrictions and visa requirements. Visit Eligibility for apprenticeships and traineeships | Department of Employment, Small Business and Training (

    2 ‘Ticket to Work’ An employment and transition model for students with a disability (November 2010)