School operations

School-Based Apprenticeships and Traineeships

Delivery and monitoring of SBATs

Throughout the school-based apprenticeship and traineeship (SBAT) students are required to undertake paid employment as agreed in the training contract and the pathway plan.

The student is expected to:

  • have a positive work attitude and willingness to learn and acquire knowledge and skills
  • seek help from the employer, school, Head Start coordinator or Apprenticeship Support Officer for any issues or concerns that may impact the SBAT
  • maintain a record of their paid employment hours
  • notify their employer of any absences as soon as possible.

The employer must:

  • pay the student in accordance with the correct classification under an industrial agreement that recognises SBATs
  • allow the student to undertake agreed structured training
  • ensure the student understands workplace policies regarding bullying, harassment and discrimination, and any other behavioural standards or codes of conduct that apply to the workplace
  • make sure that any reasonable adjustments as identified in the pathway plan are in place
  • ensure other employees understand acceptable and unacceptable behaviours in dealing with students
  • ensure SBAT students can readily contact their school and ASO when required during the SBAT
  • support school staff to contact the student as needed
  • advise the school of any absences or risks relating to the student as soon as possible.

Progress reporting

The employer is required to keep a record of the student’s paid employment hours and to report to the school at agreed intervals on:

  • the student’s hours worked
  • learning and work performance
  • any issues regarding the SBAT (including student behaviour and suitability of SBAT arrangements).

Averaging hours

The employer provides SBAT students with a minimum of 13 hours per week in structured training and paid employment (which must include a minimum of 7 hours of employment and up to 6 hours of training). This is averaged over each 4-month period to provide the flexibility required to meet periods of higher demand in school study (for example, assessment periods), employment or structured training.


The RTO is responsible for delivering structured training to the student in accordance with the pathway plan and training plan.

The school is responsible for ensuring that the student is enrolled in the agreed SBAT qualification and that this is entered correctly onto VASS.

The student should only be enrolled in units of competency that the RTO expects they will complete in the current year of delivery. Remaining units of competency will be entered on VASS in the year they are expected to be completed.

The RTO must report completion of assessments to the school as soon as possible, and no later than the date required by the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment AuthorityExternal Link for inclusion on the student’s senior secondary or foundation secondary statement of results lodged via VASS.

The RTO must advise the school of any absences or risks relating to the student as soon as possible.

For students with additional needs, the RTO should ensure that identified reasonable adjustments are in place.

Attendance reporting

Schools should confer with the employer and RTO to establish appropriate and regular reporting mechanisms for student attendance at structured training.

The school must monitor and report unsatisfactory attendance for other VCE (including VCE Vocational Major) classes or VPC classes, as part of the student’s assessment process.

Student support

The school is required to nominate a staff member as the primary point of contact for any matters related to the SBAT in the pathway plan. The school must notify the student, employer and RTO of any changes (including temporary changes) to the contact as soon as possible.

The nominated school contact may seek information and support from the VRQAExternal Link , Australian Skills Quality AustraliaExternal Link or WorkSafe VictoriaExternal Link .

The school may also refer the student for additional support from the Fair Work CommissionExternal Link or the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights CommissionExternal Link for issues related to workplace rights, discrimination or sexual harassment.

Apprenticeship Support Officers

Apprenticeship Support Officers (ASOs) may provide additional support to SBAT students on personal and workplace issues. ASOs will continue to offer support if the student transitions to a full-time apprenticeship.

ASOs have an expert and mandated role in supporting apprentices across a wide range of industries and workplaces and can be an invaluable resource for schools offering SBATs. Schools are encouraged to establish constructive relationships with their local ASO and connect individual students with ASO support where this may be helpful. To connect with an ASO, schools can call the ASO Hotline on 1300 311 820 or email

SBAT arrangements review

The school is required to lead a review of SBAT arrangements at least 3 times per year. The review may consider:

  • student progress at school, training and employment
  • employer feedback
  • student feedback
  • workload balance
  • continuing alignment with student career action plan
  • identifying any issues and agreed corrective actions.

A summary of outcomes from the review should be recorded in the pathway plan and should include whether the school endorses continuation of the SBAT.

Changes to the training contract

Changes to the training contract may be required during the SBAT for various reasons including:

  • cancellation of the SBAT
  • illness or injury
  • time off work
  • changes to RTO qualifications, units or training packages.

Proposed changes to the training contract may affect other elements of the SBAT. The employer should discuss proposed changes with the student, RTO and school, and agree any required changes to the pathway plan before varying the training contract.

Where a change is required, an application to vary a training contract formExternal Link must be completed by the employer and student and submitted to the Apprenticeship Network Provider.

Includes information on paid employment, progress reporting, averaging hours, training, attendance reporting, student support and more

Reviewed 21 February 2024

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