What you need to know about becoming an Apprentice or Trainee

To start an apprenticeship or traineeship you will need to find an employer who will take you on as an apprentice or trainee.

Learn the skills of a trade or occupation in the workplace with an apprenticeship or traineeship. You get a mix of classroom learning and real-world experience, and you get paid while you work towards your qualification. Once completed, your qualifications are recognised around Australia.

Apprentices learn a skilled trade under a qualified tradesperson, while also studying off the job at TAFE SA. You and your employer sign a contract that lasts until you complete your training and you both agree that you are competent. When your apprenticeship is complete, you receive a trade certificate. Some examples of trades include chef, cabinet maker, hairdresser, electrician, plumber and motor mechanic.

Trainees also learn on the job, which can be in many kinds of workplace. A traineeship can result in qualifications ranging from Certificate II to Advanced Diploma. As with an apprenticeship, you sign a contract with an employer that lasts until you have completed your training. 

Who can become an Apprentice or a Trainee?

  • Apprenticeships are open to anyone of working age.
  • You don't need a school certificate or any other qualification.
  • Year 10, 11 and 12 students, school leavers, people re-entering the workforce or professionals.

What's in it for you?

  • Paid employment under an appropriate industrial arrangement.
  • A training agreement between the employer and apprentice or trainee.
  • Structured on-the-job training delivered by TAFE SA.
  • A nationally recognised qualification.
  • Get a head start in your chosen career.
  • You can start apprenticeships and traineeships while at school that may count towards your SACE.

Applying for Apprenticeships and Traineeships

To start an apprenticeship or traineeship you will need to find an employer who will take you on as an apprentice or trainee.

Talk to local businesses, or contact one of the Australian Apprenticeship Support Networks which operate in South Australia. 

Find an Apprenticeship Network Provider

5 Steps to success for an Apprenticeship or Traineeship

Download the TAFE SA Apprenticeship and Traineeship brochure for hints, tips and contact details to help you on the path to success. Also available from a campus near you.


Discover a career that excites you.

Learn about industries that best suit you and your interests.

Helpful sites:

  • Job Outlook - career and job prospects information site
  • My Future - career options, job descriptions, resources for advisors
  • Skills.sa.gov.au – discover your passion, career options


Apply for an Apprenticeship or Traineeship

Prepare your Resume and search job sites online, ask family or friends for referrals and research companies you would like to work for.

  • OR get in touch with a Group Training Organisation (GTO) which is an organisation that employs apprentices and trainees, and then place them with a host employer.
  • OR use an Apprenticeship Network Provider.


Enrol at TAFE SA

Your new employer, GTO or ANP will connect you with TAFE SA to confirm the appropriate qualification that will both meet your career goals and be suitable for the workplace. 

Once you have started work, an ANP will help you and your employer complete a Training Contract.

Your ANP and TAFE SA will assist you and your employer to develop a Training Plan.

* If the apprentice or trainee is under 18, the parent or guardian must also agree.


Start your journey with us

Learn with TAFE SA’s industry trained staff and access the latest learning technologies through our unrivalled and award-winning specialist education centres. Our qualifications are nationally recognised and give you the skills that employers want. We consult regularly with industry and make regular updates to ensure they stay that way.  


Never stop learning

After your apprenticeship or traineeship, the sky’s the limit to advance your career and build new skills. Many apprentices and trainees go onto further study like project management or courses to start their own business or to upgrade their skills to ensure they are current to industry requirements.

Apprenticeships and Traineeships available

107 Apprenticeships and Traineeships


When you study at TAFE SA, you’ll have all the support you need to help you be successful. Please reach out to our Support Services should you need support for your studies PRIOR to enrolment.

Here are some other ways to get more information:

5 reasons for doing an Apprenticeship or Traineeship


An apprenticeship or traineeship gives you the chance to build transferablle skills which attract employers making you more job-ready.


Doing an apprenticeship or traineeship give you real workplace experience and will help you climb the career ladder, giving you the chance to find out what is best for you along the way.


There are over 400 professions ranging from traditional trades, engineering, media, retail, business and financial services


Do it like the professionals and learn step-by-step from the best in the business.


As an apprentice or trainee you are paid a wage whilst achieving a nationally recognised qualification.

Student Stories

Meet Shantel

Shantel Hall
Certificate III in Business [BSB30115] Trainee

Hi, I’m Shantel and as a trainee with Datacom, a large and growing company, I am exposed to so many new skills whilst undertaking on the job learning and I get a qualification at the same time.

I feel my traineeship is a great pathway for my business career.


Meet Srecko "Shrek"

Srecko Elcic
4th year Apprentice
Certificate III Hairdressing [SHB30416]
IL Barbiere

Hi, I’m Shrek and when I chose barbering I was not picking a job; I was picking an art to master.

Every day I get to use my passion and style to make people feel great about themselves.
Amongst witty banter with my customers; I enjoy learning one-on-one with direct hands-on training to master techniques. Plus the freedom to be experimental too.

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