An apprentice at work

Apprenticeships: what you need to know

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An apprenticeship is great way to get an in-demand qualification and get paid for it while you learn. It’s a mix of formal study and paid on-the-job training.

You don’t need to have skills in your chosen job, just an eagerness to learn. It’s a great way to get a head start in the industry you love. It can take up to four years to complete but your hard work will pay off – you’ll have a recognised qualification, practical experience, and be ready to go straight into a job. Check out the occupations that offer apprenticeships, there are over 500 to choose from. Hear Janaya’s story on how she turned her interest in cars into an apprenticeship, a job she loves.

How do I get an apprenticeship?

Anyone of working age can become an apprentice. You can even start while you’re finishing high school. The first step is to contact an Apprenticeship Network provider in your area. They can check your eligibility and help you with a career choice.

Once you’ve decided what you want to do, you’ll need to find an employer to take you on. You and your employer then sign a training contract with an Apprenticeship Network provider to make it official. If you’re still in school talk to your career adviser and let them know you’re interested in an apprenticeship. They can point you in the right direction and give you resources to find out more.

5 benefits of an apprenticeship

1. Pathway into the industry you like

Are you dreaming of becoming a celebrity hair stylist? They’re not going to let just anyone style their hair. They’ll demand the best in the industry so doing an apprenticeship is a way of gaining entry into the industry without having prior skills or knowledge.

2. Receive a recognised qualification

The qualification you receive when you’ve successfully completed an apprenticeship is recognised in Australian and overseas. Employers value that qualification because it shows you have the right skills and experience for the job. Having a recognised qualification also means you’ll be paid more in certain jobs.

3. Get paid while you learn new skills

What’s not to like about being paid to learn new skills? Unlike studying at uni, an apprenticeship costs you nothing and you’re not left with a HECS debt. Wages and conditions vary between jobs and states but you can find out more on the Fair Work Ombudsman site.

4. Learn lifelong skills

The skills and experiences you gain will stay with you for life. Not just the job specific skills but things like problem solving, accountability, time management and communication – skills that you’ll use in all areas of your life.

5. Get practical real-world experience

Practical, hands on experience is a great way to learn. You get a feel for what a job is really like and the day-to-day scenarios it involves. We all know the job market can be competitive, but you’ll stand out from the rest if you’ve had practical real world experience and can show you’re qualified.

Find out more about apprenticeships

Think you’re ready? Find out what support might be available to you:

More resources to point you in the right direction

There’s lots of information about apprenticeships out there. Here are some great starting points:

Would you consider an apprenticeship? Tell us your thoughts in the comments.

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