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Home | Courses | Study types | Apprenticeships and traineeships

Apprenticeships and traineeships

South Metropolitan TAFE's industry recognised apprenticeship and traineeship programs combine on-the-job work experience with practical education, training and development.  To become an apprentice or trainee, you need to be employed and registered as an apprentice or trainee with a contracted study plan in place. 

Let us help you find an employer

Our Jobs and Skills Centres team is available to assist you become apprenticeship or traineeship ready.

Call, book an appointment or drop in.

Visit your local JSC or book an appointment by phoning 13 64 64 or email one of our centres:


Pre-apprenticeship courses take about six to nine months and the skills you gain may shorten the term of a subsequent apprenticeship. The courses often lead to offers of employment from employers who are increasingly working with state training providers such as SM TAFE to find suitable apprentices/trainees. 

Please be aware that industries and employers have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic which has meant that in some cases it may not be currently possible to place students in a prospective employment opportunity. If that occurs, students will be able to complete training in a simulated workplace on campus.


Apprentices enter into a contract with an employer who teaches all aspects of a trade. Apprenticeships are structured programs where you learn on-the-job and attend off-the-job training, either on a one day a week basis or block release pattern. An apprenticeship leads to a nationally recognised trade qualification and are available in a number of industries and are offered as full-time, part-time and school-based. The term of an apprenticeship will depend on the employment type but will range from 2.5 to 4 years for full-time employment. Engineering apprentices may also benefit from South Metropolitan TAFE’s SMART apprenticeship program, which recognises industry experience to shorten the duration of training.​


Trainees enter into a contract with an employer to gain hands-on skills and work experience while earning a wage. Traineeships are usually in non-trade related areas and last for 12 months or more. Traineeships may be workplace based or encompass both off and on-the-job training options, leading to a nationally recognised qualification in a wide range of occupations. They are available on a full-time, part-time, and as school-based. The nominal term of a traineeship will depend on the employment type and will range from 12 months to three years for full-time employment.


How do I obtain an apprenticeship or traineeship?


1. Speak to your teachers, career advisors or family and friends
Think about the type of industry that interests you and contact employers to arrange work experience to give you a better idea of the job. Explore our courses now (use the filter to find an apprenticeship or traineeship study mode.


2. Find an employer offering an apprenticeship or traineeship in your chosen area
There are many ways to find an employer. We understand the task can be daunting. Download our guide below to share with your network and read our blog series 'How to become an apprentice or trainee'.


3. Enrol at South Metropolitan TAFE
Through your employer you can enrol with South Metropolitan TAFE and start your new career pathway!


Trade Support Loans

The Federal Government has introduced a new initiative - loans of up to $20,000 for apprentices and trainees working in specific skills sets.

To be eligible for Trade Support Loan payments, you must:

  • reside in Australia and be an Australian citizen, or the holder of a permanent visa;

  • be undertaking a:

    • Certificate III or IV level qualification that leads to an occupation on the National Skills Needs List; or

    • Certificate II, III or IV agricultural qualification; or

    • Certificate II, III or IV horticulture qualification while working in rural or regional Australia; and

  •  meet the eligibility criteria which is assessed by your Australian Apprenticeship Support Network Provider (AASN) on receipt of a Trade Support Loans Application Form.

Current apprentices are able to opt-in for a loan.

To find out more about the Trade Support Loan programme and how you can apply, visit the Trade Support Loans page on the Australian Apprenticeships website. 

Training area requirements

Depending on your course, as an apprentice or trainee you may need to arrange Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) or maintain safe dress standards, equipment, textbooks, documentation and licences to study in our on-campus workshops. Check the page on the button below for additional requirements for your study.


Page last updated May 03, 2020