Study, earn and become qualified

A SBAT allows senior secondary students to begin their apprenticeship or traineeship in years 10, 11 or 12 as part of their SACE. SBATs combine paid employment and structured work-related training within the SACE. SBATs are a pathway to employment in a trade or occupation, self-employment, further training or higher education. Apprenticeships and traineeships have similar structures and requirements, however they differ in occupations offered, length and Australian Qualified Framework (AQF) certificate levels.

Click here to see our apprenticeship and traineeship courses.

SBAT = study at school + training towards a VET qualification + paid employment.

Apprenticeships usually:

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

Traineeships usually:

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

School-based apprentices and trainees:

  • negotiate a flexible personalised SACE program with their school which allows for employment and training in and outside of school hours
  • commence an apprenticeship/traineeship while at school
  • count the units of competence achieved as part of their apprenticeship/traineeship training as an integral part of their SACE
  • complete their SACE

... and either

  • complete their apprenticeship/traineeship while still at school

... or

  • convert their apprenticeship/traineeship to full-time (or part-time if the school based apprentice/trainee and employer agree) upon leaving school.


As a school based apprentice or trainee, you will have an employer who will employ and train you on the job, plus you will do some formal off-the-job training with a TAFE SA. You will attend school part of the week, go to work on some days and attend TAFE SA on other days.

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 Apprenticeships Centre.

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.