Apprenticeships have, for many years, been the traditional way that young people received training in a broad range of trade areas. This usually involves 4 years of work and study before becoming fully qualified or licensed in that trade. Apprentices will usually work on the job with their employer four days per week and receive "off the job training" 1 day per week, usually with an organisation such as TAFE.
More recently we have seen the introduction of Traineeships. These are like Apprenticeships in that a person is taken on by an employer and receives "on the job" training with the employer and "off the job" training with an organisation such as TAFE. Traineeships only go for 12 months. At the end of a Traineeship you will receive a qualification, but you will not be a fully qualified tradesperson (you can go on to get this qualification however).
A traineeship works in a very similar way to an apprenticeship, in that you have both, on the job training with your employer, off the job training with an organisation such as TAFE or a mixture of both.
Traineeships are available in a huge number of industry areas and normally last from 1 to 3 years. The Traineeship can take less time if you have had previous experience in that industry area or if you learn quickly and complete the required work in less time.
For complete information about traineeships, click here.
A really useful site is the "Australian Apprenticeships Pathways" site - it has a lot of useful information and you can access it here.
Australian School Based Apprenticeships:
The VET courses can also form part of an Australian School Based Apprenticeship. School Based Apprenticeships allow senior high school students to commence an apprenticeship while at school. While studying for their senior studies, school based apprentices work part-time and undertake the first stage of their formal or off-the-job apprenticeship training. Both the on-the-job apprenticeship training undertaken by school based apprentices can contribute to their Year 12 Certificate. For information on Australian School Based Apprenticeships, click here.
Group Training Companies:
A Group Training Company is an organisation which employs trainees and apprentices and then "hires" them out to host employers where they do their training. Group training can be a great way to go if you are looking for an apprenticeship or traineeship as they provide you with a lot of extra help and support.
They also often have access to apprenticeships and traineeships that individual employers will not offer. For example, a builder might not want to take on an apprentice because they are worried that the amount of work they have is not enough to make it possible to put on an apprentice. A group training company can put on an apprentice and then hire that apprentice out to a number of builders. You get very good training because you get to work with a number of different people.