Apprenticeships and Traineeships

Business & employers

We can help you develop great apprentices and trainees

Whether you are a small business owner with tight cash flow and expenditure commitments, or a large organisation with a strategic plan to prioritise training and development while managing costs, TAFE NSW can offer you flexible apprenticeship and traineeship courses designed to fit with your business and your people.

Employing an apprentice or trainee is a great recruitment option for investing in your workforce, whether you’re introducing new people or upskilling to retain your existing employees.

We work with you to provide nationally-recognised training that develops the specific skills and knowledge your apprentice or trainee needs, and because apprentices and trainees finish their higher-learning journey equipped with practical skills and a formal education they will add value and bring new skills into to your workplace.

There are more than 500 occupations across Australia that gain their qualifications via apprenticeships and traineeships, ranging from Certificate II to Advanced Diploma levels.

What is an apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is a structured training arrangement of usually three and a half or four years in duration. The training combines practical experience at work matched with off-the-job training with a Registered Training Organisation (RTO). As a well established and respected RTO, TAFE NSW is an experienced training provider, offering tailored programs to suit the needs of business. An apprentice can be a student or school-leaver, a person re-entering the workforce, or an adult worker making a career change.

Apprenticeship qualifications can sometimes be completed at your place of work. This means the training provider will come to you. This on-the-job training not only limits the disruption to the operation of your business, but allows you to see the training being delivered in a real work environment, and build a relationship with the training provider, to give input into the progress of your apprentice.

There are a wide range of apprenticeships available including but not limited to: 

  • Carpentry
  • Electrical
  • Hairdressing
  • Plumbing
  • Automotive 
  • Building and Construction 
  • Horticulture
Apprenticeships can be:
  • Part-time
  • Part-time school-based apprenticeship
  • Full-time

What is a traineeship?

A traineeship is a training agreement between the trainee and you as their respective employer, where you, the employer, agree to train the trainee in a specific industry, and the trainee agrees to work and learn. 

Traineeships are available for people of all ages and usually last between 9 and 48 months depending on the vocation and certificate level undertaken. 

There are more than 500 occupations across Australia that gain their qualifications via apprenticeships and traineeships, ranging from Certificate II to Advanced Diploma levels, including traditional trades (e.g. building and construction, horticulture, automotive, cooking and hairdressing) and a number of emerging occupations in the vocational sectors of business and industry (e.g. retail, community services, childcare and business services). 

There are a wide range of traineeships available including but not limited to:

  • Business
  • Community service
  • Hairdressing
  • Childcare
  • Retail 

Traineeships can be:

  • Part-time school-based traineeship
  • Full-time

Benefits of apprenticeships and traineeships with TAFE NSW

By making the choice to have an apprentice or trainee working in your business you’re making a decision for the growth and future of your business, your industry while supporting your community.

Utilising apprenticeships and traineeships through TAFE NSW, as part of your hiring and training strategy enables you to:

  • Bring new skills into the business to increase your competitiveness 
  • Prevent future skill shortages and safeguard your business 
  • Train staff to suit the unique needs of your business
  • Bring a wide range of life and workplace skills and experience to your business with mature-ages and adult employees re-entering the workforce or making a career change
  • Help to foster specific skills for your business and industry
  • TAFE NSW will work with you to achieve the training your apprentice or trainee needs, delivering training on-campus, online or on-the-job, or a combination of all these methods. Partnering with TAFE NSW to train your apprentice or trainee not only develops your people, but also benefits your business. 

Engaging with TAFE NSW will also give you access to our employer e-Services portal, where you can find information about your apprentices and trainees when and where you need it. Click here to find out how to request your log in, and step by step instructions.

Financial support 

A range of financial incentives may be available to you when you employ an eligible apprentice or trainee. Government funding, incentives and rebates are made when apprentices and trainees commence, recommence and complete their training.

Incentives are subject to eligibility criteria, waiting periods and time limits being met.
If you operate in an industry where there is a recognised skills shortage, we may be able to help you fast-track your apprentice or trainee and access government funding.

Additional assistance 

Depending on the apprenticeship or traineeship undertaken, you or your apprentice or trainee may be eligible to apply for one or more of the following additional forms of support, subject to meeting certain eligibility criteria. 

Support for adult apprentices 

Australian Government financial support is available for adult workers (aged 25 years or over) to upgrade their skills through an Australian apprenticeship at the Certificate III or IV level in an occupation listed on the National Skills Needs List. The payment is made to the employer depending on the actual wage paid to the Australian apprentice. 

Australian apprentices with a disability

Disabled Australian Apprentice Wage Support (DAAWS) provided additional assistance to employers who employ an eligible Australian apprentice with a disability in a Certificate II or higher level qualification. DAAWS is also available to an employer whose Australian apprentice acquires a disability during their Australian apprenticeship. 

Assistance for Tutorial, Mentor and Interpreter Services

This service is available through TAFE NSW to support any enrolled students who are experiencing difficulty with their course work. We also have student counsellors available to assist with other non-study related issues your apprentice or trainee may be experiencing. 

Employment Assistance Fund

Employers of apprentices or trainees with a disability may also be eligible for assistance through the Employment Assistance Fund which helps people with disability and mental health conditions by providing financial support to purchase a range of work related modifications and services. Employers can access the scheme via JobAccess Disability


What is a School Based Apprenticeship or Traineeship?

A school based apprentice or trainee, begins studying the course work for your industry qualification as part of their senior secondary curriculum. They will also be available to start work in your business for one or two days as part of their school timetable.

Employer Benefits of a School Based Apprenticeship and Traineeship

In additional to all the benefits an apprentice or trainee can bring to your business, taking on a school based apprentice or trainee affords you the flexibility of employing the young person for just one or two days per week during the school semester, while they continue with their other secondary school studies, and commence the foundation courses for your industry. Once their schooling is finished, they are already well-advanced along the path to their qualification and an even greater asset to your business.

Hear from apprentices and trainees

O&H Holden – Employer

Tim from O&H Holden Kyogle speaks about the benefits of apprenticeships for his business.

Jordan – 1st Year Automotive Apprentice

Jordan from O&H Holden Kyogle talks to us about his first year as an automotive apprenticeship with TAFE NSW.

Jake – Automotive Apprentice

Jake from O&H Holden Kyogle speaks about finishing his automotive apprenticeship including the benefits and discusses future training opportunities.

Looking to employ an apprentice or trainee?

We can help you recruit the right people at any level of training through our extensive network. 

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