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Top 4 reasons why you should do an apprenticeship or traineeship

By Ana Isabel Alonsagay

When it comes to gaining qualifications, heading down the tried-and-true path of university is no longer an only option. Those looking to dive straight into building practical skills and experience can pursue the abundant apprenticeship and traineeship opportunities Australia’s workforce has to offer. 

This pathway lets you combine hands-on training and employment, helping you hone “job-ready” skills while gaining valuable workplace experience. You’ll learn the ins and outs of your potential career before setting out on your job hunt; making you a far more distinguished candidate on the job market. 

According to government statistics, 1 in 10 trade workers (and 1 in 50 workers from all occupations) were former trainees or apprentices. Plenty undertake this role while pursuing full-time (81%) or part-time (19%) study.

SkillsTalk dive further into the benefits of an apprenticeship/traineeship below, and how the government’s latest Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements initiative can help you in your search for one. 

How can you benefit from the JobMaker Hiring Credit Scheme?

Last month, the Australian government announced that around 450,000 Australians aged 16 to 35 will benefit from the $4 million wage subsidy that the Job Hiring Credit Scheme entails. With the youth unemployment rate at 14.3%, it makes sense why the government is pushing for companies to consider hiring Young Australians. 

The benefits of hiring young people is that they're generally eager to learn, full of energy and highly adaptable to the changes in a job, so it may be worth taking advantage of this scheme.

How does it work? 

  • From October 7, employers will be given money for every eligible young person they choose to hire, which is similar to JobKeeper.
  • The amount of money an employer receives varies and it depends on the age bracket of the young individuals; employers who hire young people between 16-29 will receive $200 per week; employers will receive $100 per week if they hire a person between 30-35 age. This will last for a period of up to 12 months. 

Why do an apprenticeship or traineeship? 

1. You’ll gain insight into the industry.

One of the greatest benefits of an apprenticeship/traineeship is the opportunity to gain first-hand experience in your industry or desired line of work. While traditional degrees have a primary focus on theory and knowledge-based learning; apprenticeships help you learn through practice, equipping you with the specific, job-ready skillset you need to find work in the field. 

Additionally, apprenticeships/traineeships (compared to university courses) often don’t involve as much time and financial investment to complete, helping you easily shift through your options if your original choice doesn’t pan out. With over 500 opportunities currently offered to apprentices and trainees, the pathway also provides a wide variety of interests to explore. These placements thus offer the chance to “test out” careers before seriously pursuing them, providing greater insight and hands-on experience to help you make your decision. 

You’ll also discover the real-world expectations employers have in your chosen field. This can help you pinpoint areas for skill improvement, as well as gain a deeper understanding of the work culture, etiquette, and environment. 

2. Your employability skyrockets.

employment concept

Becoming an apprentice or trainee equips you with the real-world experience to find work in your specific industry. Employers are far more likely to hire those who’ve developed a practical understanding of the day-to-day tasks and responsibilities of their field – compared to the entry-level seekers who only know these aspects in theory. On top of this, you can gain a nationally-accredited qualification verifying your skills in the sector. 

NCVER reports show that of those who completed an apprenticeship or traineeship in 2018, 80% were employed after their training. What’s more, plenty may just receive a full-time position from the company they trained under. 

You additionally get to build your transferable soft skills for the general workforce. As a trainee, you’ll likely be required to work with others, assist in client/customer service and make quick decisions when issues arise. These are valued in any business – regardless of industry – boosting your employability as a general worker. Since you’re granted the same rights as all other employees, you’ll also learn of these protections and entitlements – a must for any workplace. 

3. You’ll get to build your professional network.

When it comes to job-hunting, they say it’s who you know that makes all the difference. While finding work shouldn’t be reliant on contacts alone (after all, it’s your skills, ideas, and experience that earn you success in any industry), they’re nonetheless a vital element in anyone’s professional journey.

The right connections can build you the launchpad you need to start your career path, and may just open new doors of opportunity as you build on your experience. They might just be the driving force in making new career turns or shifts for the better. According to research, 60% of jobs are found through face-to-face networking, rather than online job ads or social media messaging. 

By pursuing an apprenticeship or traineeship, you’ll not only build your skills for the workforce – but your professional network of contacts can assist you beyond your placement. Your employer also doubles as the ultimate coach or mentor; since they work in the field, they’ve got the utmost expertise to help you out!

4. You can “earn while you learn”.

money concept

Finally, apprenticeships and traineeships provide you with the opportunity to earn money as you study. Not only are you developing valuable, hands-on experience in your industry – you’re getting paid for all your efforts, too. 

Typically, these placements are also flexibly structured to suit your needs. Trainees or apprentices can undertake work on a full or part-time basis, helping them tend to other educational (or personal) commitments if necessary. 

There are also school-based apprenticeships/traineeships, often available for secondary school students, helping them gain work experience as they complete their education. According to the AIHW (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare), apprenticeships commonly take around four years to complete, while traineeships last between one to two years. 

The best part is, there are no tuition fees or educational costs when applying for apprenticeships/traineeships. On the flipside, employers are funded by the government to offer students with the best work experience programs – such as the most recent Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements subsidy.

What is the Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements initiative?

The government’s $1.2 billion Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements subsidy (2020) is designed to encourage employers to take on new apprentices or trainees, regardless of business size or industry. The initiative aims to support 100,000 new apprentices Australia-wide, helping spur new employment opportunities and business activity amidst the economic impact of COVID-19.

Those who take on a trainee or apprentice on or after October 5, 2020 may be eligible for a subsidy of 50% of an apprentice’s wages. This is applicable between October 5, 2020 and September 30, 2021, with a maximum of $7,000 per quarter. 

While there is currently no limit of Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements per employer; a new, eligible apprentice must be one of the first 100,000 who commences on or after October 5, 2020.

Launch your career as an apprentice or trainee

Pursuing opportunities as an apprentice or trainee can grant you that much-needed advantage on the job market – offering an alternative, hands-on pathway to attaining your desired career. 

Online courses are also another flexible option for building specific industry skills. Upskilled currently offers a wide range of qualifications across Australia’s thriving fields – from community services to information technology – offering you plenty of training options 

With each course delivered online, students also have the option of studying where and when suits them best. 
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