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Australian school based apprenticeships

Australian school based apprenticeships (ASBAs) allow students to start working on an apprenticeship or traineeship from year 10.

If you’d like to start an ASBA, your first step should be to talk with your school’s career advisor or equivalent.

Students working on an ASBA can:

  • continue to go to school and study for their SACE
  • count study and placements related to vocational education training (VET) toward their SACE
  • work towards a nationally recognised VET qualification through a registered training organisation (RTO)
  • undertake paid part-time work
  • continue their apprenticeship or traineeship after they have left school, either part-time or full-time.

You can find an apprenticeship or traineeship by:


Any student can begin an ASBA, as long as they are:

  • in year 10 or above
  • enrolled in SACE or equivalent
  • undertaking studies which may contribute to the achievement of SACE or equivalent, or a vocational education and training (VET) qualification, or both
  • able to complete a work health and safety awareness program before beginning their training contract.

Students who are already working

If you're already working as a casual or part time employee, your employer may:

  • be eligible to participate in the Trade Schools for the Future program
  • offer a school-based apprenticeship or traineeship.

An apprenticeships or traineeship can only be undertaken on a part-time or full-time basis.

Further information for employers is available from

Training contract and plan

Before training can start, a training contract and a training plan must be negotiated between the apprentice or trainee, their parent or guardian (where the apprentice or trainee is aged under 18) and the employer.

Training contracts end when the vocational training component of the apprenticeship or traineeship is completed, and once all parties have agreed that the apprentice or trainee is competent in their trade or vocation.

Probation periods

There is a probationary period of one to six months that allows both the employer and the apprentice or trainee to evaluate the training requirements and their ability to meet their contractual obligations.

During the probationary period, either party can withdraw from the contract by giving the appropriate notice.

At the conclusion of the probationary period the parties are bound by the terms of the training contract. At this stage the training contract can only be transferred, suspended, terminated or varied by the mutual agreement of all parties.

Pay and hours

Hours of employment

School-based apprentices and trainees are required to work a minimum of eight hours a week. This minimum of eight hours per week may be averaged over a 26 week period, twice a year, in each year of the school based program. For example, during school holidays they may have the choice of working extra hours.

Time spent in the workplace is negotiated between all parties of the contract.

Wages and pay rates

Apprentices and trainees receive the industry award rate for time spent in the workplace and in most cases for study time related to the requirements of the training plan.

Where award coverage is not adequate, or if the parties to the training contract wish to make other arrangements, they may enter into an Enterprise Agreement.

Youth allowance

School-based apprentices and trainees enrolled in a full SACE program are considered to be full-time students and may be eligible for youth allowance.

Special ABSTUDY arrangements may exist for students identified as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islanders.

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Page last updated 12 June 2019

Provided by:
Department for Innovation and Skills
Last Updated:
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