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Why do people want to get an apprenticeship anyway?

If you’re not 100% sure what you want to do once school is over, but don’t think university is the answer, you might want to consider an apprenticeship.

Careers look different to how they used to – once upon a time you picked uni, a trade, or a job, and that was pretty much it for the rest of your working life. Now, tradies get degrees in management, uni grads learn trades to round out their qualifications, and around 39% of students work and study at the same time.

Apprenticeships and traineeships are great because you generally don’t need a lot of skills or knowledge when you start, and you’ll get quality on-the-job training as well as classroom based training. Plus, you’ll be earning an income all along the way.

That way, when you finish you’ll have all the skills you need to work independently, as well as a formal qualification to prove how awesome you are.

Skilling Australia Foundation found in 2019 that VET graduates had:

  • Higher starting salaries – $56k vs $54k (uni grads)
  • A much better chance of being in employment – 78% vs 68%
  • A graduate employment rate of 92%

What’s the difference between an apprenticeship and traineeship?

The main difference is usually the industry – apprenticeships tend to be for more technical trades, while trainees might learn business skills or job-specific skills they need before they can be fully employed. Traineeships are also generally shorter than apprenticeships.

Finding an apprenticeship might be easier than you think

It’s easy to find apprenticeships if you know what to look for. Most people think of electrical or plumbing trades, but there are a huge number of things you can do with an apprenticeship or traineeship, and you can even get one in the military.

Finding a traineeship or apprenticeship can be a great choice – here’s why:

  • You’ll enjoy satisfying and practical work, and in many trades you’ll avoid being stuck behind a desk.
  • Get paid while you learn, and start living in the ‘real world’ sooner.
  • You’ll probably have a job before you finish, and if you do move employers, you’ll have recognisable skills that make you more employable.
  • You generally don’t need great marks to get started.

There are also usually a range of incentives for businesses to take on trainees and apprentices, which means more are available and there will be lots of support to make sure you finish your training.

How do I get started?

First, put together a resume (also known as a list of good stuff you’ve done). Include everything, and get it checked by someone who loves you (they’ll point out the good things you’ve missed) and someone who’s good with writing (like a teacher – they love helping students prepare resumes).

Find out what free stuff you can get – there’s lots of support out there for apprentices and trainees. You could get allowances and living subsidies, cheap student loans and subsidised training, or even cash incentives to make you more appealing to employers.

Finally, start job searching. Fantastic employers won’t come searching for you (most of the time), you need to go and find them. But it doesn’t have to be difficult – there are heaps of apprenticeships and traineeships in just about every area, including regional and remote places.

Here’s how to search for an apprenticeship or traineeship

Let people know you’re looking. Tell your teachers, friends, or parents (and their friends). Word of mouth is still a great way to get a job.

Search job sites. Simply googling apprenticeships or traineeships in your area will give you a good start. You might also like to try searching popular job sites like SEEK or Indeed.

Look at government websites. Most countries usually have a government website built especially for apprentices and trainees to look for opportunities, including support options and other handy info. Here are some government sites you might like to browse:

Find out more

So, if you’d like to earn a good wage, enjoy a secure and rewarding job, and earn while you learn, getting an apprenticeship or traineeship could be the right option for you. And we can guarantee it’ll be a whole lot more fun than spending your life on the couch.

If you’d like more help, or any advice on finding an apprenticeship then talk to your careers advisor or guidance counsellor. Or you might like to read more resources on our website here.

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