How to become an apprentice
Find an employer
Find an employer that is willing to take you on as an apprentice or trainee. You can do this by looking in the job vacancy ads in your local paper or on the web, contacting employers in the industries you would like to work in, contacting an Apprenticeship Network Provider (ANP)*, contacting a Group Training Organisation (GTO)**, contacting a Jobactive Provider*** (if you are classified as a job seeker) or talking to your career advisor if you are still at school.
If you're still at school you can also consider an Australian School Based Apprenticeship, where you start your apprenticeship/traineeship while at school. And don't forget apprenticeships and traineeships are available for existing workers and workers of all ages - you don't have to be straight out of school.
*ANP - Apprenticeship Network Providers are non-government organisations contracted by the Australian Government to help employers and trainees and apprentices to enter into a Training Contract.
** GTO - When using a GTO many of the responsibilities a business has as an employer are transferred to the GTO. The GTO is the legal employer of the Australian Apprentice and therefore is responsible for: the placement of the Australian Apprentice; all wages and employment records; the supply of training materials required for the successful completion of training components; all administrative support to the employer and employee; GTOs are especially useful to smaller businesses which do not have the spectrum to fully train an apprentice in all aspects of the job.
*** Jobactive is the Australian Government's way to get more Australians into work. It connects job seekers with employers and is delivered by a network of jobactive providersin the ACT.
Sign into your Australian Apprenticeship Training Contract
Once you have found an employer, you will need to meet with an ANP to sign into an Australian Apprenticeship Training Contract* within 28 days of starting your employment. The ANP can also explain the Australian Apprenticeships system and guide you through support options available to you.
*Training Contract - A Training Contract is a legally binding document that is agreed to by a trainee or apprentice and their employer. The Training Contract combines paid work with structured training aimed at achieving a nationally recognised qualification.
Meet with your registered training organisation (RTO)
Meet with your RTO (such as CIT) to obtain a Unique Student Identifier (USI)*, complete LLN** and RPL*** enrol in your qualification and discuss a training plan.
A training plan describes the formal off-job training you will do with a training provider as part of your apprenticeship or traineeship. It details the core and elective units that you will be studying and whether training will be delivered on-job or off-job, or a mix of both, where and when the training will occur. Both you and your employer will need to agree to the training plan designed by the RTO.
*USI - USI provides students with the ability to obtain a complete record of their VET enrolments and achievements from a single source. Training organisations cannot issue a statement of attainment or a qualification unless the student has been assigned a USI.
**LLN - This is an assessment to measure whether you have an adequate level of language, literacy and numeracy (LLN) to complete your qualification.
***RPL - Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is a way of getting any previous relevant experience - working, training, volunteering, including activities in the community - formally recognised towards a qualification. This can be a shortcut to getting a qualification because you will be formally recognised to have completed parts of the training requirements.
Finalising your enrolment
Fees - You must pay your fees by the due date (or have a payment plan in place) otherwise you may be deregistered* and have your enrolment cancelled.
Concessions** - you may be eligible for a 50% concession on fees if you receive income support from Centrelink hold a current Health Care Card, Low Income Health Care Card or Pensioner Concession Card or apply for financial hardship circumstances.
Congratulations! You're now an apprentice or trainee! Once you have met all the requirements of the qualification both in your workplace and at your RTO, you will complete your qualification.
Remember, now that you are an apprentice or trainee you have obligations to complete your coursework and attend any off-the-job training. Your employer also has obligations such as releasing you to attend off-the-job training where applicable. More information about your obligations as an apprentice/trainee and those of your employer are outlined in the National Code of Good Practice for Australian Apprenticeships.
*Deregistration. If this occurs, you will not be able to continue in class activities or any work experience and your attendance and/or assessment results will not be recorded.
**Concessions - check with CIT Student Services if you're eligible for this concession before you pay you fees.
Progressing through your apprenticeship/traineeship
Throughout your training you may have questions about your options and what you should expect from your qualification or apprenticeship/traineeship. There are lots of services available to support you throughout your apprenticeship/traineeship and some of these are summarised below.
- CIT: more information about the services available through CIT is provided on this website
- ANP: your ANP is contracted by the Australian Government to provide free information and advice about Australian Apprenticeships to you and your employer.
- Skills Canberra (the ACT State Training Authority): Skills Canberra is responsible for the approval and management of your ACT Australian Apprenticeship Training Contract.