Apprenticeships and traineeships

An apprentice uses a screwdriver to secure a power outlet
Apprenticeship and traineeship courses at your local TAFE NSW Institute

Find out more about apprenticeship and traineeship courses offered at your local TAFE NSW campus or Institute, including contact details for local traineeship coordinators:


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What are apprenticeships and traineeships?

Apprenticeships and traineeships combine paid work and structured training. They allow you to learn a trade or workplace skill and receive a nationally accredited qualification.

  • Apprenticeships – Usually last three or four years and cover ‘traditional’ trades such as carpentry, electrical, hairdressing and plumbing.
  • Traineeships – Usually last one or two years and provide training in vocational areas not usually covered by apprenticeships. Traineeships are available across a diverse range of emerging careers in most sectors of business and industry.

Apprenticeships and traineeships can be undertaken either full-time or part-time.

Apprenticeships and traineeships include:

  • Paid employment under an appropriate industrial arrangement
  • A training agreement between the employer and apprentice or trainee which is registered with the NSW Department of Education and Communities
  • Structured on-the-job training
  • A training program, delivered by a Registered Training Organisation (such as TAFE NSW), through which you will gain a nationally recognised qualification.
Apprenticeships courses Traineeships courses 

Who can become an apprentice or trainee?

Apprenticeships and traineeships are available to anyone of working age. You can be a school-leaver, re-entering the workforce or an adult worker simply wishing to change careers. You do not need to have the Higher School Certificate nor other qualification.

How do I become an apprentice or trainee?

You’ll need to find an employer with a vacancy or interest in taking on apprentices or trainees. The Australian Apprenticeships Centre, Centrelink or your local employment agency will be able to provide you with details of employers in this category.

Pre-apprenticeship courses

TAFE NSW offers a range of pre-apprenticeship courses in skill shortage areas such as carpentry and automotive trades to help you fast-track your way into an apprenticeship. You’ll also finish your Certificate III apprenticeship qualification in less time.

TAFE NSW can also give you the basic skills to give you the edge in gaining a traineeship. We offer, for example, a range of computer courses which give you the basic skills that employers are now looking for.

More information

For more information about apprenticeships and traineeships, visit:

Vocational Training Orders (VTOs)

In NSW, Vocational Training Orders (VTOs) specify the requirements for gaining a credential for the relevant apprenticeship or traineeship pathways.

The VTO specifies the relevant level of qualifications (Certificate levels II to IV) and national competency standards underpinning those qualifications, as well as the term of the apprenticeship or traineeship.

For background information, industrial arrangements and certification requirements of VTO qualifications in NSW go to:

For more information about apprenticeship or traineeship VTOs in NSW, including job descriptions, lists of competencies, terms of training and links to industrial arrangements, go to:

You can also search below for further information about VTO numbers, apprenticeship/traineeship names and related TAFE NSW courses:

Apprenticeship VTOs Traineeship VTOs 

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TAFE NSW HIGHER EDUCATION

 Go higher with a TAFE NSW degree
  • Duncan WilsonThe teachers were professional, approachable and always willing to go the extra mile to help me gain my qualification.Duncan Wilson
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  • Lachlan RobertsonThe St Leonards Campus is a fantastic place to study. The people are friendly and the learning facilities great... very modern, up-to-date and relevant.Lachlan Robertson
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  • Alex KeirI was about to drop out of school when a teacher told me about the school-based apprenticeship at TAFE. If you are considering doing a TAFE course go for it. You meet people with similar interests and get qualifications for the job of your dreams.Alex Keir
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  • Brad FieldWorking in a supportive environment make this an absolutely terrific course. The teachers are extremely helpful, know their trade and always seem to go the extra mile just to help out. It is a benefit for life.Brad Field
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