A guide to apprenticeships and traineeships

As skill shortages are present in many areas in Australia, more young people can create opportunities through apprenticeships and traineeships. Data from the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) shows that an estimated 7.4 per cent of Australian residents aged 15 to 64 years participated in government-funded VET in 2021, with students numbers increasing by almost 5 per cent on 2020 to 1.25 million. However, this number is down across all Australian states in the first half of 2022 compared with the same period in 2021, dropping by 6.5 per cent to around 870,000 students.

Considering government funding and the wide array of courses your child can participate in, an apprenticeship or traineeship may be of interest if they are looking for a practical training option.

Here's what you need to know.

Your child can choose from a long list of occupations

Apprenticeships and traineeships are offered in most occupations, with more than 500 areas to choose from, including agriculture and horticulture, automotive, building and construction, food, hairdressing, metals and engineering, process manufacturing, and transport and distribution. Not all are in traditional trades either options exist in business services, community services and health, information technology, local government, public services, telecommunications, tourism and more.

They don't have to leave school to start training

Your child can start a school-based apprenticeship while still working towards their senior secondary certificate, which will see them commence their vocational training as they complete their schooling. School-based apprentices combine secondary school subjects with paid work through on- and off-the-job training. Your child should speak to their career adviser to discuss their options.

They don't close off higher education pathways

Traineeships are a great way for students to gain experience in a particular field before committing to higher education study. For example, your child may choose to do a traineeship in early childhood education and care if they are considering studying education at university level. Traineeships offer students the opportunity to experience what it is like to work in the industry and earn a qualification at the same time. If your child decides to pursue further study in the field after school, they will have a skill set that puts them ahead of their peers.

It's easy to get started

Starting an apprenticeships or traineeship is easy. First, your child will need to conduct some preparation and research. This involves writing or updating their resume as well as thinking about the type of industries they would be suited to, what qualifications and jobs are available, and what training will involve. If your child is still at school, they can speak to their career adviser. Job hunting is the next step your child will need to find an employer who is willing to take them on as an apprentice. After this, they will need to organise a training contract. This can be done through an Australian Apprenticeships Centre.

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