- Decide what kind of career you want. Explore this site to find careers you can start with an apprenticeship.
- Find an employer to take you on:
Apprenticeships can be full-time or part-time and are available to anyone of working age and at any education level including school students, school-leavers, people re-entering the workforce, and those seeking to change or advance their career.
The skills and experience of mature apprentices can count towards their qualification, and young people can begin an apprenticeship as part of their SACE.
High school apprenticeships give you the chance to combine training and employment with years 10, 11 or 12.
As a school-based apprentice, you can:
- get a head start on your chosen career or trade
- gain hands-on industry experience
- earn a wage while you learn
- have your training contribute to your SACE or equivalent
- work towards a nationally recognised qualification.
You attend school part of the week, do hands-on training in the workplace and some formal off-job learning through your training provider.
Once you finish school, your apprenticeship will become full-time or continue part-time depending on what you and your employer choose to do.
Talk to your school career advisor or VET coordinator – they can help you kick start your future career while you’re still at school.
If your training is subsidised, the South Australian Government pays part of your course fees for you. The money goes straight to your training provider, so you can focus on your training.
Apprentices are vital to our future economy, so all apprenticeships are subsidised.
You generally need to pay your course fees, but in some circumstances your employer may pay them for you. There is financial assistance available if you need it, and remember, you will also be earning a wage.
All training providers will advertise their course fees, it’s up to you to choose the provider that’s right for you.
Training providers will confirm whether or not you can access subsidised training, but we've put together an eligibility checker to give you an idea of what to expect.
As an apprentice, you start earning a wage straight away.
Your wages are set by industry awards that outline pay rates, conditions, rights and entitlements.
Your industry award may include competency-based wage progression which means you can move up to a higher wage as you achieve skills.
You can reach higher pay once you, your employer and training provider agree you have achieved new competencies.
To find out which award covers you, check your training contract or visit the Fair Work Ombudsman.
Allowances can help you with the cost of starting and attending training.
Travel and Accommodation Allowance
You may be able for partial reimbursement for your travel and accommodation costs if:
- your current training contract is registered in South Australia
- you travel more than 150km from your home to training
- you live in South Australia’s rural regions.
If you think you may be eligible, speak to your employer.
Equipped for Work
You may be able to get reimbursed up to $1500 for equipment or services needed to start your apprenticeship, including:
- tools, clothing and equipment
- car licensing, registration or driving lessons
- police checks and other clearances
- medical assessments or drug tests
- online training and working from home expenses.
Even if you have already received Equipped for Work funding, you may be eligible for additional funding, totaling $1500 for the purchase of goods or services, so long as you submit your application within 120 days (four months) of when you started your training contract.
Pre-approval is available to give you peace of mind that your expenses will be reimbursed.
Before you start your apprenticeship, you’ll sign a:
1. Training contract
A legal agreement between you and your employer, and the foundation of your apprenticeship. If you’re under 18, your parent or guardian will sign it too. It outlines:
- the qualification you’re studying
- the number of hours of study and work you’ll do each week
- details of your probationary period
- obligations of you and your employer.
2. Training plan
A document which describes your training with your training provider. It will include:
- the units you’ll complete through your qualification
- how you will be trained and assessed, including off-job and on-job training
- training location(s).
Once your training contract and training plan have been drafted, we’ll assess them before you start your apprenticeship.
More information on what to expect before and during your apprenticeship can be found in the Traineeship and Apprenticeship System Information Booklet.
Once you've finished your apprenticeship, you'll be qualified in your chosen career. Many apprentices stay with their employer, having built a great working relationship with their boss and a deep knowledge of the business.
Some apprentices will move to a different employer to get a chance to experience more of what their career has to offer. Some will do further study to gain more skills or to specialise within their chosen field.
Another option is to start your own business. The federal government offers assistance to people starting their own business through New Business Assistance with NEIS. If you're eligible, you can access further training, an allowance and mentoring - all geared towards supporting you while you build a successful new business.