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School-Based Apprenticeships & Traineeships

A school-based apprenticeship or traineeship (SBAT) is a fantastic way for students to receive paid on-the-job training to work contributing towards a nationally recognized qualification while they complete secondary school.

Students can undertake a SBAT in a variety of industries including health, hospitality, building & construction, engineering and so many more. SBAT's provide students with the opportunity to: 

  • make an early start in their career while they are still in school 
  • get direct and hands-on training leading to a VET qualification and even providing credit for school. 
  • get paid for time spent at work and learning, including time spent at TAFE. 

SBAT's are available to students who are: 

  • Over 15 years old 
  • Enrolled in years 10, 11 or 12
  • Australian citizens or permanent residents (non-citizens may still be eligible, speak with your Head Start coordinator or school careers practitioner to find out more). 

For a student to commence a SBAT, a training contract must be signed by the student, the employer, the school and a parent/guardian if the student is under 18.

The training contract will outline the details of the SBAT including: 

  • The students information. 
  • The place of employment.
  • The days & times that the student will be working and learning. 
  • How the hands-on training will be delivered (at the workplace or at TAFE).  
  • Which registered training organistion (RTO) or TAFE the student will attend.  

Before a student begins their SBAT, they will do a work trial to see weather the work placement is suited to them. 

Just like any other apprenticeship, the training contract must be registered with the Victorian Regulations and Qualifications Authority (VRQA). The school representative will do this by acknowledging that the student is a secondary school student and that the SBAT forms an important part of the students learning and study timetable.  

A training plan must be signed by an authorised school representative within 2 months of the training contact commencing. Once signed, the training plan must be submitted to the Australian Apprenticeship Support Network.  

The training plan can only be signed by the school representative if: 

  1. The student is full-time enrolled in years 10, 11 or 12. 
  2. The training plan is consistent with the students career action plan which outlines their career aspirations and goals. 
  3. Undertaking a SBAT will not interfere with or negatively impact the students overall education.

The minimum number of employment and training hours is 13 hours a week, typically made up of 7 hours of work and 6 hours of paid training time.  

At least 1 school day during the week must be timetabled for the student to be at work or in training. If the only time a student can work is outside of normal school hours, they can do so, however they must still complete at least 1 school day of structured training.  

Students are also permitted to work during school holiday periods. Despite how much they work during the holidays, the student must still have 1 school day a week scheduled for working or structured training.

Head Start is a program that supports government secondary school students to participate in a SBAT developing skills and confidence so that they can grow in their chosen industry. The program matches students with employers that have genuine staffing needs, helping to grow the workplace at the same time.

Over 2200 students have participated in SBAT's supported by Head Start, with the program expanding and on track to being made available to all government secondary schools by the end of 2023.  

Students who commence a SBAT with Head Start will receive: 

  • Career advice from their school careers practitioner. 
  • A planned pathway into an industry career, tailored to the needs and priority of their employer. 
  • Individual support from a Head Start coordinator in their local area to support them throughout the SBAT.  
  • Further support in the first year that the student finishes school, to support their transition into full-time training and employment.  

To find out how to start a SBAT, talk to your school's career practitioner who will put you in contact with a Head Start team member if applicable.

If you are unsure of any of the above, contact The Young Workers Centre or find support here.