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The secrets of traineeships revealed in 7 steps

Apprenticeships get all the publicity. But what's with traineeships? Are they any good? 

The secrets of traineeships revealed in 7 steps

Not only are they good, under the NSW Government Fee Free Traineeship Initiative, NSW trainees that commence their training on or after 1 January 2020 may be eligible for fee-free training. For more information go to There will be no requirement to pay the fee or eligible trainees.

1. What is a traineeship?

Work-based education and training for a particular career. You get paid while you’re learning. Your education program is organised and ‘shared’ between your employer and TAFE NSW, and that means you'll focus on the skills you need to reach your career goal.

2. What does a traineeship give you?

When you successfully complete a traineeship, you will receive a nationally recognised qualification: a Certificate II, III or IV or sometimes, depending on the traineeship, a Diploma.

You’ll also have the exact skills for your career area, and be an integral member of your employer’s team. It’s an excellent career foundation.

3. Sounds like traineeships are similar to apprenticeships?

Yes they are. But traineeships are usually shorter – 1 or 2 years maximum – and they are all about careers that aren’t usually considered trades.

4. What does that mean “aren’t usually considered trades”?

There are traineeships in loads of things, like:

  • Business services
  • Financial services
  • Human Resources (HR)
  • Hospitality
  • Property services
  • Retail
  • Tourism
  • Transport and logistics 
  • Information Communications Technology (ICT)
  • Screen and media
  • Arts and music
  • Animal care

5. Example of a traineeship, please …

Sure. Check out Brooke and Sarah (Brooke's on the left).

They both completed the Certificate III in Business Administration as trainees at First National Real Estate, and then received promotions.

“I’ve always wanted to work in real estate,” says Brooke. “Every day is full of new and exciting experiences and TAFE NSW gives you the skills to manage any situation from communicating with clients to problem-solving with computer applications.”

6. Cool. So who is eligible for a traineeship?

Pretty much anyone of working age (14 years and 9 months) may be eligible; you don’t need a ‘formal’ qualification.

School leavers, people re-entering the workforce or professionals are eligible. Year 10, 11 and 12 students do them.

7. Really? You can you do these at school!?

School-based traineeships are available to Year 10, 11 and 12 high school students. That means you can work towards a nationally recognised qualification as part of your HSC. In some cases, it will count towards your ATAR.

Once you've completed a school-based traineeship, you can keep it going ‘full-time’ after you leave school which means you are already well on your way to your career goal.


More information

Traineeships: See the details and your next steps here.

Support and advice: TAFE NSW Counselling and Career Development Service can assist you with course choice decisions and career planning.

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