School operations

School-Based Apprenticeships and Traineeships

Identifying a suitable employer, training course and hours

Eligible employers

Participating employers must:

  • be approved by the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority (VRQA) to employ apprentices and trainees
  • have a sound regulatory track record, including safety record
  • meet the requirements and obligations under the Commonwealth’s Fair Work Act 2009
  • have the necessary organisational ability, and a ‘fit and proper person’ with the requisite skills and qualifications, to support and mentor the apprentice or trainee in the identified job role.

Identifying approved employers

Under section 5.5.7 of the Education and Training Reform Act 2006 (Vic)External Link , employers of apprentices and trainees must be approved by the VRQA for:

  • the premises in which the apprentice or trainee is to be employed
  • equipment and methods to be used in training
  • whether the supervisor has appropriate qualifications, knowledge and skill, and is fit and proper.

The Apprenticeship Network Provider (ANP) can advise whether an employer is approved by the VRQA to employ apprentices and trainees and can support schools in determining workplace suitability for the individual student and chosen qualification.

The ANP uses its Training and Youth Internet Management System database to determine whether an employer has previously registered an apprentice or trainee. First-time employers of apprentices or trainees make a declaration to the VRQA that they are a fit and proper person to employ an apprentice or trainee.

ANPs can also recommend financial incentives for employers and funds to support apprentices and trainees with special needs.

Matching students to employers

Schools will guide and assist students to find genuine employment arrangements that will lead to strong employment outcomes and that are aligned with the student’s career action plan.

Schools will facilitate the selection and placement of students through targeted engagement with employers, TAFEs, registered training organisations (RTOs), Local Learning and Employment Networks, and ANPs in their region.

In some cases, students may have already discussed a potential school-based apprenticeship and traineeship (SBAT) with an employer through an existing part-time employment arrangement or after undertaking structured workplace learning, referral from family or friends, or by their own research.

The school should ensure that the proposed job role, work tasks and paid employment schedule are aligned to the student’s career action plan and nominated training course and will allow the student to successfully complete all elements of the proposed SBAT.

Identifying training course and provider

The employer has primary responsibility for selecting a suitable TAFE or RTO to contribute to the pathway plan, develop a training plan, and deliver the structured training. In doing so, the employer must consider:

  • the qualification to be delivered
  • availability of modes of delivery that suit the needs of the student, school timetable and paid employment hours
  • whether the RTO is a Skills First contracted provider.

The employer is also responsible for:

  • ensuring the student is trained in accordance with the approved training scheme
  • providing timely advice to the school regarding the student’s progress, attendance and any issues with training
  • ensuring training is completed by the prescribed assessment date and advised to the school.

Training hours

The minimum number of employment and training hours is 13 hours per week, which must include at least 7 hours of paid employment.

These hours may be averaged over 3 periods of 4 months in each year of the training contract.

At least one day during the normal school week must be timetabled to be spent on the job or in training. Schools must only endorse the training program when:

  • it forms an integral part of the student’s school learning program and study timetable
  • it can be verified that the student’s timetable includes one day of the normal school week in employment or structured training as an apprentice or trainee.

Normal school hours are generally between 8:30 am and 3:30 pm, however schools may set their own normal hours and normal week. For more information, refer to School Hours.

RTOs should consult with the school about their hours and ensure the SBAT program satisfies the requirements above.

Employment outside normal school hours

If the only time a student can obtain employment is outside normal school hours, the student is permitted to be employed then and must also complete at least one day of structured training per week during normal school hours to fulfil the SBAT requirements.

This may happen in an industry that operates early or late, such as bakeries, horse-racing stables or hospitality.

Employment over school holiday periods

A school-based apprentice or trainee’s employment and structured training obligations may be averaged over 3 periods of 4 months in each year of the program. This allows for employment to be undertaken in school holiday periods.

Regardless of the amount of employment undertaken in school holidays, school-based apprentices and trainees must still have at least one day of each school week during normal school hours timetabled to be spent on the job or in structured training.

Includes information on eligible employers, identifying approved employers, matching students to employers, identifying training course and provider, training hours and more

Reviewed 21 February 2024

Was this page helpful?