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Australian Apprenticeships and Traineeships

The term ‘Australian Apprenticeships’ covers both apprenticeships and traineeships. An apprenticeship combines paid employment while you learn on the job and accredited learning with a training provider. You will on completion receive a nationally recognised qualification. So, you earn while you learn. Starting an apprenticeship can be an exciting time.

Australian Apprenticeship Support Services will commence on 1 July 2024. This will replace the Australian Apprenticeship Support Network and will strengthen support for apprentices and trainees with disability through an enhanced assessment at the beginning, mentoring and greater support. Read more on Australian Apprenticeship Support Services.

What's involved in an apprenticeship or traineeship?

  • They combine accredited Vocational Education & Training with paid employment. Accredited training means a course has been independently assessed by the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) to meet industry standards and this makes it a nationally recognised qualification.
  • There are many Vocational Education & Training accredited training qualifications.  Each qualification aligns with levels managed through the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF).
  • An apprenticeship or traineeship can be full-time, part-time or school-based.
  • Your apprenticeship training will be hands-on. You could learn completely on the job with your employer, with a training provider visiting your work to spend time with you to see how you are progressing; or you could spend time on campus with a training provider. There will be some classroom-based elements, but these are linked to things you will be doing in your job.
  • As well as the traditional trades, Australian Apprenticeships 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. There are over 500 to choose from. A-Z Guide of Apprenticeships and Traineeships.
  • Most people will be eligible to commence an Australian Apprenticeship (subject to visa requirements)¹.
  • There are no specified entry requirements, employers will look for people who meet their own business needs. In some industries, a pre-apprenticeship or pre-traineeship course can give you a head start and can be used as experience to show an employer. Once completed you will receive credit towards your chosen apprenticeship.

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 – over 500 qualifications.
  • Financial support for apprentices in occupations that have been identified by the Australian Government as a priority. These are skill shortage occupations now and in the future. This priority list does change. Australian Apprenticeships Priority List - Department of Employment and Workplace Relations, Australian Government (
  • Earn while you learn, working towards a formal qualification while getting paid.
  • You are not on your own when you start an apprenticeship, government-funded organisations will support you to help you and your employer have a positive experience, and your State Government will monitor all aspects from commencement to completion. 
  • 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 that you will connect with when completing an Apprenticeship program that will support and monitor your progression. Some of these will be involved in every apprenticeship or traineeship including:

  • Australian Apprenticeship Support Services (commencing 1 July 2024). These are organisations contracted by the Australian Government to be the apprenticeship experts. They will place the apprentice at the centre of service provision through an enhanced assessment at the beginning to help set up apprentices with disability for success, provide mentoring for apprentices and employers and utilise technology for better communications. They will work with you and the employer throughout your apprenticeship, formalise your training contract; notify you of any incentives you could claim; and complete paperwork and administrative tasks. Read more to find your local provider. 
  • Australian Apprenticeship Support Network (ceasing 30 June 2024) and being replaced by the Australian Apprenticeship Support Services. These organisations were contracted by the Australian Government to be the apprenticeship experts to work with you and your employer; find a training provider and formalise your training contract; notify you of any incentives you could claim; and complete paperwork and administrative tasks. Find your local AASN.
  • Registered Training Organisation (RTO): deliver the training (this will sometimes be a TAFE provider). Training could be on their campus, or a qualified assessor from the training provider will visit your workplace to monitor your progress on the job through training workbooks and observations.
  • Group Training Organisations (GTOs): hire apprentices and trainees. You are employed by the Group Training Organisation, and they will match you with an employer. You could be with the same employer for the entire apprenticeship, or you could move from employer to employer.  Find your local GTO.
  • Employers: who agree to employ and train Australian Apprentices in their business.
  • Employment Service Providers: support people who are looking for employment. These are Australian Government funded and you could register with a Workforce Australia provider or Disability Employment Service provider.
  • Schools: will be part of the arrangement in the case of a School-based Apprenticeship.

Government support

The Australian Government provides support to Australian Apprentices and Trainees with disability to help them reach their full potential as skilled workers. There are several schemes to support both apprentices and trainees and employers.

The Australian Apprenticeships Incentive System (Incentives System)

This scheme aims to get apprentices working in secure jobs that are in demand, filling skill shortages now and into the future. Employers can access hiring incentives and wage subsidies and the Disabled Australian Apprentice Wage Support (DAAWS).

DAAWS supports and encourages employers to take on an apprentice or trainee who has a disability. DAAWS provides access to tutorial, interpreting and mentor services to assist with training and is available throughout the apprenticeship or traineeship.

The AASN provider on sign-up will share information on the supports available if you share that you have a disability. You can find more information on the DAAWS Factsheet

Employment Assistance Fund (EAF)

The EAF 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


You may also be able to get support from the NDIS. Visit our NDIS pre-planning page for more information

Related Resources

    (Page updated April 2024)