About SBATs

What is a school-based apprenticeship and traineeship?

A school-based apprenticeship and traineeship (SBAT) is an employment-based learning pathway that combines completion of secondary school (the VCE, including the VCE Vocational Major, or the Victorian Pathways Certificate (VPC)) with part-time paid employment and training.

An SBAT is a valuable part of a student’s senior secondary or foundation secondary learning program and study timetable. Regular school attendance is combined with a minimum of 13 hours per week of paid employment and structured training (averaged over each 4-month period for the duration of the SBAT).

To be endorsed by the school and registered with the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority (VRQA), an SBAT must:

  • include employment under a training contract with an approved employer
  • include regular paid work carried out under an appropriate industrial instrument that endorses part-time apprenticeships or traineeships
  • include work relevant to the qualification undertaken by the student
  • feature a school-endorsed training plan lodged with the VRQA
  • feature training, under an approved training scheme, that leads to a nationally recognised qualification at the certificate II, III or IV level
  • be integrated into the student’s school-based learning program, study timetable and career plan
  • be enrolled in the VCE, including the VCE Vocational Major, or the VPC.

SBATs do not have to be completed before the student completes school. Many SBAT students complete the remaining portion of their training and employment hours as a full-time apprentice or trainee after successfully completing their senior secondary or foundation secondary certificate.

SBAT qualifications

SBATs may be available at certificate II, III or IV levels for courses within an approved training scheme. For more information, visit approved training schemesExternal Link .

There are specific qualifications which are not available for SBATs. For more information, visit the VRQA’s websiteExternal Link .

Best practice principles

Before establishing an SBAT, schools must ensure that:

  • they develop a pathway plan to be agreed by the student, parent/carer (for students under 18 years of age), school, employer and RTO before a training contract is entered into
  • the SBAT is consistent with the student’s career action planExternal Link
  • student readiness and needs are assessed ahead of sign up, including whether the student has the maturity, potential and genuine interest to successfully complete all elements of the SBAT
  • the student, employer and RTO are committed to continue training and paid employment after successful completion of school if necessary to complete the apprenticeship or traineeship
  • proposed work arrangements are appropriate to allow the student to successfully undertake all elements of the SBAT
  • they confirm with the employer there is a genuine staffing need and the potential to offer ongoing employment to the student after the SBAT is successfully completed
  • paid employment through the SBAT will include a job role that substantially builds competencies within the nominated training program and industry
  • SBAT training contracts are registered by the Apprentice Network Provider (ANP) with confirmation that the school has endorsed the proposed SBAT
  • the SBAT duration is no less than the prescribed maximum full-time duration for the applicable approved training schemeExternal Link and qualification
  • they refer to SBAT guidance on Identifying a suitable employer, training course and hours before approving the pathway plan
  • students access pre-vocational programs in Years 9 and 10, and/or undertake a short work experience, before commencing an SBAT
  • completion of the SBAT includes calculation of credit towards a senior secondary or foundation secondary certificate as applicable, and completion of SBAT minimum duration and weekly training and paid employment hours.
Includes information on SBATs, SBAT qualifications and best practice principles

Reviewed 21 February 2024

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