Apprenticeships and Traineeships

What is the difference between an apprenticeship and a traineeship?


Apprenticeships usually;

  • include trades such as automotive mechanic, pastry chef, fitter and turner, butcher, hairdresser and carpenter
  • take between 3 - 4 years of full time employment and training to complete
  • commence qualifications at Certificate III level.

Traineeships usually;

  • are available in non-trade areas such as financial services, aged care, retail, children’s services, customer services, library information services and rural operations
  • take between 1 - 3 years of full-time employment and training to complete
  • commence qualifications at Certificate II or III level.


Australian Apprenticeship Support Network

Two Apprenticeship Network Providers operate in South Australia, with multiple offices for each. If you would like to commence an apprenticeship or traineeship, employ an apprentice or trainee, or find out about apprenticeship financial assistance, please contact one of the following for assistance;

Traineeship 1

 Apprentices/Trainees with a Disability (DAAWS)

All TAFE SA students, including apprentices and trainees can receive assistance through Student Services.

The ‘Disabled Australian Apprentice Wage Support’ (DAAWS) scheme is a Commonwealth-funded initiative which supports apprentices/trainees to help them reach their potential as skilled workers.

The scheme may provide support for the off-the job component of your apprenticeship/traineeship, including mentoring, tutoring and interpreting.

For more information, contact one of our student services officers or your Australian Apprenticeship Network Provider:

Training contract and training plan for apprentices and trainees

An employer and an apprentice or trainee must agree to a training contract and training plan before training can start. If the apprentice or trainee is under 18, the parent or guardian must also agree.

Training contract

The training contract is a legally binding document and must be signed by a parent or legal guardian if the apprentice or trainee is under 18. It covers:

  • the length of the training period, apprenticeship or traineeship
  • details of the registered training organisation (TAFE SA) delivering the training
  • the qualification to be obtained
  • employment arrangements and industrial award.

The training contract must be lodged with an Australian Apprenticeships Centre (AAC). The AAC can help with preparing the training contract as well as other paperwork. Find your local Australian Apprenticeship Support Network.

Training plan

A training plan is part of the training arrangement and is negotiated between the employer, the apprentice or trainee, and TAFE SA. The training contract cannot be approved until the training plan has been submitted to Traineeship and Apprenticeship Services (TAS). The training plan provides:

  • the core and elective units the apprentice or trainee will do as part of their qualification
  • the training provider who will be delivering the training
  • whether training will be delivered on-job or off-job, or a mix of both - this is sometimes done wholly on-job
  • where and when the training will occur.

School-based learning

A School Based Apprenticeship or Traineeship (SBAT) allows senior secondary students to begin their apprenticeship or traineeship in Years 10, 11 or 12, combining paid employment and structured work-related training as part of their South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE).

SBATs are a pathway to employment in a trade or occupation, self-employment, further training or higher education.

Learn more