How to get started

Depending on what stage you’re at in your studies, and what kind of position you’re after, there are a few different types of apprenticeships and traineeships available in Victoria. 

Choose a type of apprenticeship or traineeship that you’d like to do

School-Based and/or Head Start Apprenticeships and Traineeships

School-based apprenticeships or traineeships (SBAT) are open to senior secondary students enrolled in VCE or VCAL. Here you can combine regular school attendance with at least one day a week on the job or in training.

Pre-apprenticeship

Pre-apprenticeship is an entry-level training; a great way to experience what it’s like to work in an industry before making the commitment to become an apprentice. If you decide to continue your training after a pre-apprenticeship, your RTO or GTO may even be able to help you find an employer to take you on as an apprentice and build your career from there.

Big Build Apprenticeships and Traineeships

Big Build Apprenticeships (BBA) offer apprenticeship and traineeship opportunities on some of Victoria’s biggest road and rail projects. Here you get to play an important role in rebuilding our economy.

Mainstream Apprenticeships and Traineeships

This is the main track for apprenticeships and traineeships, covering a huge range of occupations from floristry to plumbing to financial services. Like all apprenticeships and traineeships, you’ll get real wages while learning new skills that will set you up for life. Refer to the sections below to learn more about the range of opportunities on offer.

Once you have decided on what kind of industry and position you’d like to work in, it’s time to start looking around for the right apprenticeship or traineeship opportunity. Seeking an opening is a bit like looking for a regular job – you can search online, on job sites and through employment agencies.

Mainstream Apprenticeships and Traineeships

Here's the basics for getting started

  1. Find an apprenticeship or traineeship with an employer (we’ve listed some leads below).
  2. You and your employer find a TAFE or training provider that offers the course relevant to your work.
  3. Your employer registers you with an approved Apprenticeship Network Provider (ANP). Then a representative from the ANP organises a training contract between you and your employer.
  4. Your ANP registers your training contract on the apprenticeship database, and you get a unique student number.
  5. Once your training provider has received your number, they develop a plan with you and your employer. Once you’ve signed that, you can get started with your training.

Where can you find apprenticeship and traineeship opportunities?

Skills and Jobs Centres 

Based in TAFEs across Victoria, Skills and Jobs Centres (SJCs) help people with career advice, job searching and choosing courses – this includes apprenticeships and traineeships. You don’t have to be a student to visit an SJC – anyone can go along to get free help and advice. Head here to find out more about SJCs and find your local centre.

Schools, TAFEs and universities

If you’re already enrolled in learning, your careers counsellor should be able to point you towards relevant opportunities. If you’re in high school, you could look at a School Based Apprenticeship or Traineeship (SBAT). This combines regular school attendance with at least one day a week on the job or in training. 

Commercial job sites

Apprenticeships and traineeships are often advertised through online job sites and social media platforms. Set up a search for the kind of opportunities you’re interested in (“apprentice hairdresser” or “trainee healthcare worker”, for example) to see what’s available. Then apply for the role just like you would for a regular job.

Apprenticeship Network Provider 

Your Apprenticeship Network Provider (ANP) provides free support services to apprentices and trainees all the way through your training, and even before you begin. This can include job-matching, as well as other support in getting started. Have a look here to find your closest ANP.

Group Training Organisations 

Sometimes apprentices and trainees are employed by a Group Training Organisation (GTO), which then places them with host employers. The GTO organises the training contract and arranges the training you need for your apprenticeship or traineeship. Going through a GTO also means you may get to experience different work environments during your training. You can find a list of GTOs here.

Apprenticeship Employment Network

Apprenticeship Employment Network (AEN) represents not-for-profit GTOs across Victoria. Through its members, AEN employs more than 6000 apprentices and trainees across a lot of different industry sectors. Head here to check out their current apprentice vacancies.

Victorian Skills Gateway

You can use the Victorian Skills Gateway course search function to find the right course for your apprenticeship. Or just to have a look at what’s out there and be inspired about what your future career could look like. 

Your current employer

If you’re in a job right now, your current employer may be willing to train you as an apprentice or trainee. This would help you gain new skills to take on new responsibilities. You and your employer will need to choose a training provider and agree on a training plan. To find out more of what’s involved, contact an Apprenticeship Network Provider.

Victorian Government

The Victorian Government has lots of opportunities to get involved as an apprentice or trainee. You could find work at wide range of places, from hospitals, to the Country Fire Authority (CFA), to government departments and agencies. To find out more about what’s on offer, see Careers Vic and Victorian Government Jobs and Careers.

Disability Employment Services

Do you have a permanent disability, illness or injury? You may be able to get help finding an apprenticeship or traineeship via Disability Employment Services (DES). You and your employer could also be eligible for additional support. See Support for Australian Apprentices with a disability for more info.

Australian Defence Force

You can do an apprenticeship through the Australian Navy, Army or Air Force. Before signing up, make sure you get all the facts on what you’re committing to, including the time, obligations and responsibilities of joining the armed forces. See Defence Jobs for details.

Contact the TAFE and Training Line

If you’ve like to get advice about undertaking an apprenticeship or traineeship get in touch with the TAFE and Training Line on 131 823

or 03 9651 4701 (outside of Victoria)

8.30am to 5.00pm, Monday to Friday (closed on public holidays).

Email: tafe.courseline@education.vic.gov.au