Find and start an apprenticeship

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Decide if you want to do an apprenticeship

You can get an apprenticeship for more than 500 different job types.

You'll need to spend time thinking about and researching the job that best suits you. 

To help decide if you should do an apprenticeship, follow these steps.

Think about what you would like to do

Talk to your family, friends, teachers or other people you trust about what you would like to do.

Explore the job or industry you’re interested in

Have a close look at the job or type of work you’re interested in.

How much you will get paid

How much you get paid will depend on the award, enterprise agreement or minimum wage you are employed under.

Find out more about apprentice and trainee pay rates.

Talk to an Apprenticeship Network provider

Get advice from the experts about whether an apprenticeship is right for you and the next steps.

Get financial help to be an apprentice: Trade Support Loans

If you are an apprentice, you might be able to get a loan of up to $21,078 to help finish your training.

This is part of the Australian Government’s Trade Support Loans (TSL) program.

Who can apply

You must be studying a Certificate II, III or IV on the TSL qualifications list.

You must be an Australian citizen or permanent resident.

What you can get

You can get a loan of up to $21,078 paid to you over four years.

You can choose how much you would like to borrow and what you would like to spend it on.

Payments are made to your nominated bank account each month. You can get up to:

  • $8,431 in the first year
  • $6,324 in the second year
  • $4,216 in the third year
  • $2,108 in the fourth year.

Other support you can get

How your loan is repaid

Repayments are taken out of what you earn through the tax system.

You won’t need to make repayments until you are earning more than $45,880 a year.

This is called the repayment threshold.

How much is taken out of your pay

The amount taken out of your pay will be included on your income tax notice of assessment.

Repayments are calculated as a percentage of your income.

The more you earn above the threshold, the more you need to pay back.

To find out the percentage you need to pay back, read about thresholds and rates.

You can estimate how much you will need to repay using the study and training loan repayment calculator.

When you finish your studies

You will get a 20% discount on the amount you need to repay on your loan when you successfully complete your apprenticeship.

How to apply

To apply for a Trade Support Loan contact your nearest Apprenticeship Network provider.

Start an apprenticeship

An apprenticeship will let you learn new skills and get paid for work at the same time.

You can use this qualification to work anywhere in Australia and in many countries overseas.

You can train either full-time, part-time or while you’re still at school.

It can take from one to four years to finish an apprenticeship. This depends on the type of work you want to do and the qualification you want to get.

Who can apply

Anyone of working age can get an apprenticeship.

You can get an apprenticeship if you:

  • are a school-leaver
  • want to change career or get a new skill
  • want to get back into the workforce
  • are still in school.

You must be an Australian citizen or permanent resident.

While you don’t need a qualification to start an apprenticeship, some employers might have their own needs.

For example, they might want someone who has finished Year 12 or a pre-apprenticeship.

If you are still at school

You can start an apprenticeship while you’re still at school.

What you can get

If you want to do an apprenticeship, you can get:

  • skills in the job or type of work you’re interested in
  • hands-on training
  • a qualification you can use to work anywhere in Australia and in some places overseas
  • financial help to finish your training
  • Get financial help to be an apprentice

How to apply

After you decide to become an apprentice, you will need to find an employer to take you on.

You and your employer will need to sign a formal training contract.

Find an employer to take you on as an apprentice

You can find an employer by:

  • looking at job search websites or in the newspaper
  • contacting employers in the industry you’d like to work in
  • asking your friends, family and others in your community about what might be available.
  • Job hunting for apprentices

Sign a formal training contract

Once you’ve found an employer to take you on, contact your nearest Apprenticeship Network provider.

Your Apprenticeship Network provider will help you sign a training contract with your employer.

They will work with you and your employer to identify the training and support you need. 

Get a copy of your trade certificate

If you need proof of your apprenticeship or traineeship you will need to contact your state training authority.

You must contact the authority in the place where you finished your training.

You might need to pay a fee to get copies of your trade papers.

Update details on your apprenticeship training contract

You must update your details if you change:

  • your name
  • the qualification you are working toward
  • the date you want to finish training
  • training organisation
  • between school-based, part-time or full-time training.

To update your details contact your Apprenticeship Network provider.

You must also tell your employer about any of these changes.

Cancel your apprenticeship

You or your employer can cancel your apprenticeship before you finish training.

When you can cancel your apprenticeship

You can ask to cancel your apprenticeship if:

  • your employer moves and it’s not reasonable to travel to your new workplace
  • there is a big change that affects your work – like getting sick or injured
  • your employer breaks conditions in your employment contract
  • you want to stop working.

When your employer can cancel your apprenticeship

Your employer can cancel your apprenticeship if you:

  • take time off work and don’t tell them
  • don’t take part in training
  • do something that could seriously damage the business
  • do things that are against the law, for example stealing
  • are affected by drugs or alcohol at work.

If you are on probation

The first three months of your apprenticeship are normally probation.

Probation is a time for you and your employer to decide whether you are happy working together.

If either of you aren’t happy, your training contract can be cancelled.

You or your employer must give one week’s notice to cancel your contract during probation.

Apply to cancel your apprenticeship

To cancel your training contract, contact your Apprenticeship Network provider.

Your Apprenticeship Network provider will deal with your state training authority to cancel your apprenticeship.