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According to the most recent statistics from the National Centre for Vocational Education and Research, there were almost 400,000 apprentices and trainees in Australia last year.

In June this year the federal government’s New Apprenticeships scheme was relaunched under the name Australian Apprenticeships. "Australian Apprenticeships recognise a truly national and sophisticated training pathway, which offers Australians opportunities to train, study and earn an income all at once with a choice of more than 500 careers." says Gary Hardgrave, Minister for Vocational and Technical Education. "To complete an apprenticeship is a major achievement, and should be valued as much as a university qualification."

The main difference between an apprenticeship and a traineeship is that an apprenticeship generally involves full-time work in a trade for a fixed period of time (around four years). Traineeships can be offered in a wider range of vocations, and can be undertaken part-time as well as full-time, for shorter periods such as one or two years, and can be organised around high school and other study commitments.

Both state and federal governments offer incentives to employers who take on Australian Apprentices, with initial commencement payments starting at $1,250. There are payments on completion, as well as additional incentives for rural or regional employers, employers affected by draught, employers taking on a mature-aged or school-based apprentice. The full range of incentives for employers and apprentices can be found at the Australian Apprenticeships website (see below).

While the Australian Apprentices scheme is a federal government program, it is administered in conjunction with the state governments. We’ve put together a list of the state and national contacts for further information.


Australian Apprenticeships


Information about the Australian Apprenticeship scheme is available from this site, including benefits and incentives for employers. The site also gives details about the Australian Apprenticeship Centres around the country, which provide a one-stop shop for employers and those wanting to undertake an apprenticeship. They give advice, promote apprenticeships in the local area, administer payments of employer incentives, and can facilitate relationships with training providers and other training and networking organisations.

Australian Apprenticeships Training Information Service


Provides an overview of trade and industry based training programs in each state, initiatives and incentives for employers, and sample apprentice training programs. Links take the user through to the relevant state information required.


For information on the benefits of hiring an apprentice or trainee and how to go about recruiting one. The site also provides information about what training packages are available, as well as more information about funding for employers.

Group Training Australia


Group training allows employers access to the services of an apprentice or trainee for a shorter period of time. The Group Training organisation employs the apprentice or trainee, and takes care of all the paperwork and payroll, and then places them with an employer for a designated period of time.


New South Wales Department of Education and Training


Victoria Office of Training and Education


Queensland Apprenticeship Services


Queensland Government


Tasmania Department of Education


Northern Territory Department of Education and Training


Western Australia Department of Education and Training


South Australia Department of Further Education, Employment, Science and Technology


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