Apprenticeships and traineeships

An apprenticeship or traineeship is great way to learn a new job or a trade. It allows you to earn an income while combining on-the-job training with formal study.

The purpose of this page is to give you more information about this unique way of learning and help you find your new career. We've also developed a list of useful contacts, that includes local services that can help you.

If you would prefer this information as a booklet, please contact us.

Benefits of becoming an apprentice or trainee

  • Be paid while you learn
  • Open new career options
  • Available full-time or part-time
  • Get a qualification and work experience
  • Start while you’re still at school
  • Become your own boss when you finish

Finding an apprenticeship or traineeship

While everyone's path into an apprenticeship or traineeship might be a bit different, there are generally four steps you will follow:

Step 1: Choose what you want to do

The first step is to decide the trade or job you want to learn. To help you decide, think carefully about your skills and interests and what is likely to suit you. For example:

  • Do you want to work outdoors, or in an office?
  • Do you have interests or experience that would suit a particular industry?
  • Do you like helping people, or do you prefer working alone?

You can make an appointment with the Gordon Skills and Jobs Centre for career advice or use one of the other services listed on our useful contacts page

Step 2: Contact an Apprenticeship Network provider

Your first point of contact about an apprenticeship or traineeship in Greater Geelong should be an Australian Apprenticeship Support Network provider. Their job is to:

  • help you find a training provider
  • assist with the training contract
  • assess you for loans and other payments
  • provide advice and support during your apprenticeship.

If you already have an employer who is keen to hire you, you still need to organise your apprenticeship through one of these organisations. Their help is free for both you and your potential employer.

Step 3: Sign an agreement

A training contract is a legally binding agreement between you, your employer and your training provider. If you’re under 18, it must be signed by a parent or legal guardian.

Training contracts are important because they describe everyone’s rights and responsibilities as part of the apprenticeship or traineeship. Your Apprenticeship Network provider can take you through this process. 

You will also need a training plan. This is slightly different to the contract as it is more about how you will complete your apprenticeship – that is, the mix of on-the-job and formal study. It is also negotiated between you, your employer and the training provider.

Step 4: Get started

When you first start your apprenticeship, you may feel nervous or worried about doing something new. This is totally normal reaction to learning a new skill.

You will be given lots of support and help to learn the skills both by your training provider and your employer. If you haven’t been involved in formal study for a while, it might take a while to adjust. But be patient and understand that everyone is as keen for you to succeed as you are.

Managing your apprenticeship or traineeship

Your responsibilities

You have certain things you must do as an apprentice or trainee. All of these things will be explained to you before you start work and some you will have agreed to as part of your training contract. They include:

  • be open to learning new skills
  • hand in your coursework by the due dates
  • keep a list of all the work that you’ve done – this is called a work evidence log
  • work your contracted hours (unless you are sick, or on pre-arranged holidays)
  • keep confidential information about your employer to yourself
  • fill in a timesheet and hand it in to your employer on time
  • wear your uniform and safety gear (this will be discussed with you before you start)
  • follow all workplace procedures
  • attend and complete any work reviews
  • report any injuries or medical conditions that might affect your ability to do the job, or impact someone’s safety.

If something goes wrong

You will be given lots of support through your apprenticeship or traineeship from your employer and your training provider. It is important to let them know if something is making it difficult for you to do your job. Once you do, they will help you come up with a plan that will help you get back on track.

If the issue is with your employer or training provider, you can call your Apprenticeship Network provider. You can also access free legal advice through the Barwon Legal Community Service or contact a support service.

Page last updated: Tuesday, 4 January 2022