What is an apprenticeship or traineeship?

Want to invest in the future of your workforce? Apprenticeships and traineeships are valuable recruitment options for businesses – whether you’re looking to hire new staff or train and retain the talent you already have. 

Apprentices and trainees gain practical, up-to-the-minute skills as well as formal qualifications. They can add value and bring new learnings into your workplace. Plus, you’ll be giving someone the opportunity to train, study and earn an income, all while contributing to your annual turnover.

Apprenticeships and traineeships can:

  • Bring new skills into your business
  • Increase competitiveness
  • Safeguard against future skills shortages
  • Attract government funding, incentives and rebates 
  • Train existing staff to meet the needs of your business
  • Contribute to the success of your business
Vet nurse wearing a facemask examines a dog

How do apprenticeships and traineeships work?

Apprenticeships and traineeships combine on-the-job training with formal education, covering qualifications in more than 500 occupations and trades, from certificates to advanced diplomas. They can be full-time, part-time or school-based, and they’re open to anyone of working age.

Apprenticeships mostly provide training in a skilled trade, such as building and construction, hairdressing, cooking, electrical and automotive. Generally they can take up to 4 years to complete.

Traineeships mostly provide training in a vocational area, such as business administration, childcare, IT systems or retail. They cover a much wider range of occupations than apprenticeships do, and can take anywhere from 1 to 4 years.

Taking on an apprentice or trainee directly means entering a formal agreement known as a ‘training contract’. That contract will detail your responsibilities as an employer. There will also be a training plan that you, the apprentice or trainee and a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) will need to sign off on. This may include details such as the timing, location and type of training needed for the apprentice or trainee to gain their qualification, and for you to meet your business needs.

Businesses can also host apprentices and trainees for a Group Training Organisation (GTO). Under this arrangement, the GTO is the legal employer responsible for the legalities of the apprenticeship or traineeship, and ensures the training needs are met. This is a more flexible arrangement as you are not tied to any contract with the apprentice or trainee.

group of students in the training kitchen