Four steps to get started in your apprenticeship or traineeship
Step 1: Choose the right apprenticeship or traineeship
To find an apprenticeship or traineeship that suits you, think about what you enjoy doing and what your interests are. Ask your family, friends or your school's career counsellor or guidance officer about the job you are interested in.
Find out if there is an apprenticeship or traineeship offering skills you will enjoy learning by browsing the A - Z of apprenticeships or the A - Z of traineeships on the Queensland Training Information Service (QTIS) website. For more information, phone Apprenticeships Info on 1800 210 210.
The following websites are a good starting point to find out more about your career options:
Before commencing an apprenticeship, you might like to get a 'taste' for the trade by participating in a pre-apprenticeship course:
- contact a training organisation who offers training in the trade you are interested in - visit the QTIS website to find a list of training organisations
- visit the Pre-apprenticeship Course Finder on the Australian Apprenticeships Pathways website.
Step 2: Find an employer
Once you have decided which apprenticeship or traineeship you want to do, you will need to find an employer who will give you a job so you can earn while you learn. There are two ways you can be employed as an apprentice or trainee:
You can be employed directly by a business
The business will pay your wages and train you with the support of a training organisation. To find an employer:
contact businesses either in person or through a letter
apply for jobs advertised in the newspaper
search for jobs websites such as:
use your personal networks - talk to family and friends to see if they know anyone who could employ you as an apprentice or trainee.
You can be employed by a group training organisation
A group training organisation will place you with different businesses to gain on-the-job experience. It will also pay your wages and organise your training with the support of a supervising registered training organisation (referred to as your training organisation). To find a group training organisation near you phone 1800 819 747.
For further tips and help on finding an employer, check out the Finding an employer page.
Earn while you learn
Your wages and entitlements are dependent upon the industrial instrument of your workplace. For more information on wages and entitlements, phone the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94 or visit Fair Work Infoline website.
Step 3: Choose your training partners
Work with an Australian Apprenticeships Centre
You and your employer will be required to sign a training contract as an agreement to work and train together for a length of time. A training contract is a legally binding record documenting the roles and responsibilities of both you and your employer. If you are aged under 18, your parent or guardian must also sign the contract.
An Australian Apprenticeships Centre will also work with you and your employer at this stage to help you complete the training contract and can be phoned on 13 38 73.
Choose a training organisation
You and your employer will choose a training organisation (TAFE or private registered training organisation) that will work with you throughout the apprenticeship or traineeship. Your Australian Apprenticeships Centre can help assist with this. The training organisation will help you and your employer develop a training plan, deliver training, assess your achievement of skills, and issue the qualification on successful completion of your apprenticeship or traineeship.
Each training organisation offers different ways of training apprentices and trainees. You and your employer should shop around for the right one to suit both your needs.
For a list of training organisations relevant to your chosen apprenticeship or traineeship, visit the Queensland Training Information Service (QTIS), phone your Australian Apprenticeships Centre on 13 38 73 or Apprenticeships Info on 1800 210 210.
Step 4: Get started
Completing the paperwork
When the training contract is lodged by the Australian Apprenticeships Centre, you and your employer will receive a letter from the Department of Education, Training and Employment who will register and oversee the apprenticeship or traineeship for the duration of the training contract.
Your training organisation will then assist you and your employer to develop your training plan before the end of your probationary period. Your training plan helps you and your employer to understand what is expected of you to make sure you learn and can demonstrate all the skills you need to gain your qualification. It outlines what you will learn, where you will learn it, how you will be trained, and how and when you will be assessed.
Once you have achieved these skills, you will need to document it in a training record book supplied by the training organisation. The training record book will be your responsibility as the apprentice or trainee, and will be regularly updated by your employer and training organisation.
Costs of training
There may be costs involved with your apprenticeship or traineeship - to find out more visit the costs of training page of this section.
Use the probationary period to be sure
Probation is a period of time when the apprentice or trainee works and trains with their employer before each decides whether to continue with the apprenticeship or traineeship. Probation begins on the day that you commence the apprenticeship or traineeships and usually lasts 90 days for an apprentice and 30 days for a trainee.
Before the end of probation, you and your employer must both decide whether you want to continue with the apprenticeship or traineeship and complete the training contract. If you both decide to continue, you and your employer agree to work together until you achieve all necessary skills.
Fair Work Ombudsman
Fair Work look after your pay, leave, tools and entitlements. Contact 13 13 94.
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