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Apprenticeships and Traineeships

Understanding apprenticeships and traineeships

Enterprise - Resources - Apprenticeships

Update: NSW Fee-Free Apprenticeships

From 1 July 2018, the NSW Government will fund qualification fees for 100,000 new apprentices. This $285 million initiative makes apprenticeship training fee-free in NSW.

The initiative removes upfront fees for students (later reimbursed by employers), and reduces potential apprentice debt.

The fee-free apprenticeship initiative aims to ensure NSW has a strong pipeline of skilled workers for the local job market, and that businesses can adapt to the changing economic environment and respond to future jobs needs.

Access to fee-free training is available to NSW apprentices, including school-based apprentices, whose training:

  • is funded under the NSW Government’s Smart and Skilled program
  • commenced on or after 1 July 2018.

Apprenticeships combine paid work and structured training so employees can learn a trade plus receive a nationally accredited qualification at the same time. An apprenticeship usually takes four years and can be completed part-time or full-time.

A traineeship is similar to an apprenticeship, but is focused on popular vocational areas which can provide an organisation with hundreds of training package options, such as office administration, information technology, accounting, transport or hospitality. A traineeship can be from 12 months to 24 months duration (full-time) or longer if the employee is part-time.

Apprenticeships and traineeships include the following:

  • 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; and
  • a training program, delivered by a Registered Training Organisation (such as TAFE Enterprise), through which you will gain a nationally recognised qualification.

Investing in apprenticeships and traineeships

Apprenticeships and traineeships are a perfect way for any business to attract new employees or upskill existing team members, by offering potential candidates the opportunity to earn a nationally recognised qualification, whilst getting paid for on the job training. Businesses are rewarded with committed employees who are trained on how to apply their skills specifically to your business.

The Australian Government has recognised the benefits and is investing up to $190 million annually in the Apprenticeship Support Network to make it easier for employers to hire apprentices.

Apprenticeships and traineeships in NSW are administered under the Apprenticeship and Traineeship Act 2001. This is a national scheme that has seen countless employees improve on their skills and thrive in their roles.

Apprenticeship and traineeship support

Businesses can get apprenticeships and traineeships support via:

  • The Government, who will assist with the cost of training;
  • The Australian Apprentice Support Network, who will advise on incentives for both employer and employee; and
  • TAFE Enterprise, who will assist and guide you throughout the apprenticeship or traineeship.

Apprenticeship eligibility

Contact the to find out who is eligible to undertake an apprenticeship or traineeship.

If you already employ apprentices or trainees who are enrolled at TAFE NSW you can register to access our online service for employers.

Apprenticeship testimonials

Sara Caplan, Partner, PwC

“TAFE brings the expertise in knowing exactly what the qualifications involve, what electives are available, how the assessments can work. We as employers don’t necessarily know that, we need that expertise from TAFE and to help us find the right program for our employees.”

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