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How to Start your Journey as an Apprentice

Considering an Apprenticeship?

If you or a friend is considering a career in the trades – it is a great pathway to a very exciting future and an opportunity to earn serious money. It gives you the ability to work in your chosen field immediately and you don’t have to wait for a qualification. From apprenticeships as an Electrician, Carpenter, Plumber or in construction there are many options for a fulfilling career.

What is an apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is an entry level position into a trade. It is made up from a combination of on the job (worksite) and off the job training (Registered Training Organisation, College). Once you have completed all the required modules for your apprenticeship or traineeship you will come away with a nationally recognised qualification.

The average apprenticeship has a duration of approximately 3-4 years depending on you. If you put the effort in and complete your training early and you have satisfied your employer that you are as competent on the worksite as you are at college, you may be signed off early.

A traineeship has a duration of somewhere between 1 and 3 years. The same rules apply to a traineeship as they do for an apprenticeship.

Do apprenticeships and traineeships suit me?

Just about anyone can undertake an apprenticeship or traineeship. It comes down to what you want out of your career, and what you are most interested in. Think of it like this, you may enjoy cooking at home and are good at it , but if you can’t see yourself cooking for hundreds of people a night and have a passion for it, becoming a chef is probably not for you. It was generally thought that if you were good at school that you would go on to university to become a professional, and if you were not as good at school work, you would become a trades person. Today there is no truth to that statement whatsoever. Most apprenticeships and traineeships today require good school results, as well as a passion for what you want to do. At Smart Employment Solutions we understand that most applicants like you, don’t have a good understanding about different trades. Our Employment Officers are there to assist you to make an informed decision on which trade you may wish to make a career out of.

What level of education do I require?

Most apprenticeships/ traineeships require a minimum level of year 10, but in today’s environment most employers are looking for year 12 graduates. Some trades, like carpentry or anything in the construction area will also require you to have a reliable vehicle and a current drivers licence, along with a Construction Industry Occupational Health & Safety (White) Card. With the Engineering industry this is most times not as important because you are travelling to the same job site everyday. So the real answer to the question is; that it varies depending on the apprenticeship/ traineeship and the employer.

Do I get paid?

The answer is simple, yes. The amount that you will be paid will vary depending on the trade that you choose and the year level that you are at. For example, a first year carpenter will be paid slightly more than a first year motor mechanic, but when you are finished your apprenticeship/ traineeship, you will be worth what the market calls for, or is paying. The other questions; do I get paid to go to college? and; will I be paid overtime? Again, the answer is yes – to both.

Can I be an apprentice or trainee?

As a general rule, only Australian citizens and New Zealand citizens who have entered Australia on a valid passport, have unrestricted rights to employment in Australia. Any other person wanting to work in Australia must have the correct visa allowing employment.

Smart Employment Solutions understands that most young people find it hard to make decisions about jobs, training and who to trust for advice. We’ve been around since 1986 and have trained and placed more than 15,000 young people in the workforce. And, many of our recruits have gone on to achieve great success owning their own substantial businesses! Our friendly, experienced staff can help you to make the right choice. Even while you are still at school, through our school based apprenticeships.

If you want a satisfying, secure job, in an industry of your choice, with the chance to make some serious money to get what you want sooner, we are ready to help. Find out more here!

Or call one of our experienced team members today on 13 30 24.


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