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About Apprenticeships

Background

Apprenticeships have existed as early as the 12th century in medieval England and Europe. A master craftsman and a member of a craft guild or town government was entitled to employ a young person usually aged between 10 to 15 as an apprentice. During the term of training which was usually seven years, the apprentice would live with the master as a member of the household. In most situations, the apprentice would only receive food and lodging as payment for work completed.

Once the apprentice completed their apprenticeship they became a journeyman giving him/her the right to live elsewhere but charge a fee for each day of work. In most instances the journeyman would be employed by the master craftsman.

Apprenticeships were first introduced to Australia as early as the 19th century when the new colonies were expanding and there was a skill shortage in trades. At this time, and even at the time of Federation, apprenticeships reflected the British system. It wasn’t until after World War I when the apprentice training term of seven years was reduced to five years.

In the late 1960s the apprenticeship training term was further reduced from five to four years and other changes saw an improvement in wages and conditions and the introduction of compulsory technical training during work hours.

In 1998 the New Apprenticeships Scheme was introduced by the Federal Government which included both traineeships and apprenticeships. The aim of the scheme was to increase greater flexibility for both students and employers, a greater choice in the duration of training and choice of training provider for the off-the-job component. With the introduction of the new scheme some of the formal distinctions between apprenticeships and traineeships have disappeared. It is now possible to gain a trade qualification via a traineeships pathway and similarly it is also possible to obtain an apprenticeship in a non-trade field.

Duration

An apprenticeship program varies but is generally completed over four years. During the first three years of the apprenticeship you are required to complete structured training by a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) such as TAFE NSW. Early completion can be attained through fast tracking – this is up to you and the effort you want to put in. Apprenticeship training terms are determined by the State Training Services. Apprenticeships can be undertaken either full-time or school-based.

Apprenticeship Requirements

  • Employment that is paid under a relevant industrial arrangement such as an award or enterprise agreement;
  • A registered training contract with the State Training Services between the employer and apprentice;
  • On-the-job training relevant to the qualification;
  • A training plan that specifies the units of competency required to be completed to achieve a nationally recognised qualification.

When you start your apprenticeship it is important that you keep copies of your training contract, approval letter, training contract ID number (TCID) and training plan. This documentation may be required when seeking support and advice regarding your apprenticeship.

Incentives You May Be Eligible For

Youth Allowance, Austudy or ABSTUDY Payments* – financial assistance for those on a low wage. For more information call Centrelink on 13 36 33.

Living Away From Home Allowance (LAFHA) (applicable in certain circumstance)* – A tax-free monthly payment for up to 36 months, paid as follows:

  • $77.17 per week (first 1 – 12 months)*;
  • $38.59 per week (13 – 24 months)*;
  • $25.00 per week (25 – 36 months)*.

Conditions apply and for more information contact an Australian Apprenticeship Centre.

Tools For Your Trade Payment (Australian apprentices in nationally identified skills shortage occupations at Certificate III or Certificate IV level and who commenced an apprenticeship on or before 1 January 2009 and where the milestone occurs after 1 January 2011)* – These payments are tax exempt and paid in milestone instalments as per the following (for a full-time apprentice):

  • $800.00 at 3 months of employment*;
  • $1000.00 at 12 months of employment*;
  • $1000.00 at 24 months of employment*;
  • $1200.00 at 36 months of employment*; and
  • $1500.00 on successful completion of apprenticeship*.

For more information contact an Australian Apprenticeship Centre.

Support for Adult Australian Apprentices (employees aged 25 or more starting in a national identified skills shortage Certificate III or IV apprenticeship)* – Financial support may be available for either the apprentice or employer.

For more information contact an Australian Apprenticeship Centre.

Vocational Training Assistance Scheme (eligible trainees who travel over 120km round trip to attend day or block release training with their RTO)* – Assistance of $28.00 per day for accommodation and 12c per km for travel expenses. For more information contact State Training Services on 13 28 11.

Public Transport Concessions (apprentices)* – Reduced travel fares on government transport once the training contract has been approved. For more information call Transport Information on 13 15 00.

Vehicle Registration Rebate (1st and 2nd year trade apprentices only)* – A rebate of $100.00 on vehicle registration. Conditions apply. Call your nearest RTA office on 13 22 13.

* Benefits are subject to change at any time without notice. Please check with the appropriate organisation for the most up-to-date information on incentives.

 

 

 

 

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  • Hot Tips

      • Don't apply for multiple jobs in multiple vocations.  The employer will  be unsure about where your real desire lies and may not even contact you.
      • Use professional email addresses.  Modern and trendy ones that are inappropriate do not sit well with employers.
      • Always maintain eye contact in the interview.  This shows the employer that you are interested and confident in what they have to say.
      • Give yourself plenty of time to get to the interview.  Research the location, do a test run if you have to.  Getting there 15 minutes early is always better than 5 minutes late.
      • Make sure your referees speak highly of you.  There is nothing worse than a bad reference from a recent employer.
      • Have your resume proof read before sending it to an employer.  Spelling mistakes and grammatical errors will not help your cause.
      • Dress well at all times.  Poor presentation gives the employer the impression that your work performance may also be poor.
      • Remember the interview starts before you walk in the door!  Be prepared to be on show the minute you apply for the job.
      • Make sure in your interview that you have good reasons for wanting the job.  Being vague or sketchy is not what employers want to hear.
      • If you are applying for a job, make sure you have voicemail on your phone.  If an employer cannot contact you, then you may miss out!
      • Don't be late for an interview. An employer may think you will be late for work if you can't get to an interview on time!
      • Is your resume up to date?
      • Spelling and grammatical errors on your resume will lead to an instant rejection by the employer!
      • Don't forget to proof read your resume!
      • One word or two word answers in an interview won't get you across the line.
       
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