Are you a hands-on kind of learner? Doing an apprenticeship is an awesome way to get experience in an industry while making money at the same time, but it’s not necessarily right for everyone. Here are some questions to ask yourself before you decide to do one.
This can help if:
- you're thinking of doing an apprenticeship
- you want to know more about apprenticeships
- you're not sure if an apprenticeship is right for you.
How do you learn best?
If you feel bored at the idea of listening to lectures all day, you could consider combining formal study with paid training. You’re looking at a commitment of three to four years (you can do full-time or part-time) and you’ll come out of it with hands-on experience and a nationally recognised qualification. Here’s a good starting point for more information.
Will it be useful for your chosen job?
For some jobs, an apprenticeship will be more useful than going to uni or TAFE.
There’s over 500 occupations to choose from for an apprenticeship, including jobs in the sectors of:
- health services
- information technology
- sport and recreation
Read about some of the different types of apprenticeships here.
Do you want to earn money while studying?
One of the toughest things about going to uni or doing an unpaid internship is the lack of dollars coming in. When you do an apprenticeship, you’re entitled to wages and conditions under an appropriate Award. Awards cover hours of work, overtime and other penalty rates, holidays, personal leave and superannuation.
You're also entitled to:
- every opportunity to learn skills and knowledge of the trade
- access to structured learning
- paid time of work to attend training when necessary
- a safe working environment.
Is financial help important to you?
During your apprenticeship, the costs of training, coursework and commuting can add up. Government programs such as Trade Support Loans, ABSTUDY, Youth Allowance and Living Away From Home Allowance can help you with the costs of an apprenticeship. There’s more info on these programs here.
Apprenticeship action plan
After you’ve sussed out whether you think an apprenticeship is right for you, you can do the following:
- Think about which apprenticeship is the best for your career path.
- Speak to an Australian Apprenticeship Support Network provider near you to get advice and guidance.
- Find out more about the structure and fees for particular courses.
- Find an employer who is willing to take you on as an apprentice by:
- contacting a group training organisation
- contacting a jobactive organisation in your region
- looking up job vacancies online or in the newspaper
- contacting employers in the industry you want to work in.
When you’ve found an apprenticeship, ask your employer to call the local Apprenticeship Support Network provider who will work with you and your employer to identify what training and support you’ll need throughout your apprenticeship. They’ll also help you to determine if you’re eligible for Australian Government incentives and trade support loans.