education.vic.gov.au

Policy last updated

4 January 2023

Scope

  • Schools

Date:
February 2020

Policy

Policy

This policy sets out the requirements for schools to run and manage apprenticeships and traineeships for secondary school students.

Summary

  • School-Based Apprenticeships and Traineeships (SBATs) are available to secondary school students who are over 15 years old and enrolled in Victorian Certificate of Education or Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning, the VCE Vocational Major and Victorian Pathways Certificate (VPC).
  • SBATs must be established through a training contract between the employer and the apprentice or trainee. The training contract is then submitted to the Apprenticeship Network Provider (ANP), and a training plan is endorsed by the school.
  • The minimum number of employment and training hours for SBAT arrangements is 13 hours per week.
  • Head Start is a school-based apprenticeships and traineeships model for secondary students which focuses on flexible delivery Victorian Certificate of Education, Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning, VCE Vocational Major or Victorian Pathways Certificate.

Details

School-Based Apprenticeships and Traineeships (SBATs)

SBATs are available to secondary school students who are:

  • over 15 years old
  • enrolled in years 10, 11 or 12
  • Australian citizens or permanent residents.

Non-citizens may be eligible under certain circumstances. To find out more speak with your Head Start coordinator.

SBATs offer students the option of combining:

  • part-time employment
  • school
  • training.

An SBAT program runs under a contract with an employer and has a training plan registered with the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority (VRQA). The training must lead to a nationally recognised qualification.

The vocational training components of SBATs also contribute credit towards a senior secondary certificate. Many SBATs move on to a full-time contract with their employer after leaving school, while others choose to continue their education and training at a registered training organisation (RTO) or university.

Head Start Apprenticeships and Traineeships

Head Start is a school-based apprenticeship and traineeship model for secondary students which focuses on the flexible delivery of VCAL and VCE .

Head Start will be available in all government schools from 2023 to support all SBATs regardless of the qualification (Certificate II/ III/IV), as long as the employment represents a genuine, long-term career opportunity.

Materials to support the transition to Head Start SBATs are available in the Resources tab.

The Head Start Delivery Guide (PDF)External Link supports school staff, employers, training providers and apprenticeship partners to establish and run a Heat Start apprenticeship or traineeship.

Participating schools will receive their funding through the Student Resource Package — Targeted Initiatives.

Further information about the Head Start program is available at: Head Start apprenticeships and traineeshipsExternal Link .

Training plans for SBATs

Training plans must be signed by an authorised school representative within 2 months of the training contract commencing. A copy of the signed training plan is to be provided to the relevant Australian Apprenticeship Support Network.

A school representative must only endorse the training plan for an SBAT if:

  • the student is enrolled in years 10, 11 or 12
  • the student’s study, training and work commitments form an integral part of that student’s school learning program and study timetable and are consistent with the student’s career aspiration as outlined in their career action plan
  • it will not be detrimental to the student’s overall education.

Following endorsement of the training plan, the school is responsible for enrolling the student on the Victorian Assessment Software System (VASS) so that the credit for the training within the VCE or VCAL can be awarded to the students.

In order for the training contract to be registered with the Victorian Regulations and Qualifications Authority (VRQA) as an SBAT, a school representative is required to sign the student’s training plan to acknowledge that the student is enrolled in a senior secondary program and that it forms an integral part of the student’s learning program and study timetable.

Training hours

The minimum number of employment and training hours is 13 hours per week, which is made up of:

  • 7 hours of employment
  • 6 hours of training.

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

At least 1 day during the normal school week must be timetabled to be spent on the job or in training. Schools should 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 1 day of the normal school week in employment and/or structured training as an apprentice or trainee.

Normal school hours are generally between 8:30am and 3:30pm, 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 but must then complete at least 1 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 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 1 day of each school week during normal school hours timetabled to be spent on the job or in structured training.

Apprenticeships that are not integrated into a learning program

Students who undertake an apprenticeship or traineeship that is not integrated into their learning program and study timetable will be undertaking a part-time apprenticeship or traineeship instead.

This type of arrangement will still provide credit for VCE or VCAL if it is recorded on the Victorian Assessment Software System (VASS). These arrangements do not require school endorsement. These arrangements are at an individual student’s discretion and do not attract Skills First or Targeted VET funding subsidies.

Child Safe Standards

The Child Safe Standards are compulsory minimum standards for organisations which provide services for children, to ensure they are well prepared to keep children and young people safe and protect them from abuse.

Ministerial Order 1359 – Implementing the Child Safe Standards - Managing the risk of child abuse in schools (PDF)External Link outlines how the Child Safe Standards apply in schools and school boarding premises. Schools and school boarding premises must comply with Ministerial Order 1359 as part of the prescribed Minimum Standards for school registration.

The child safety obligations under the Child Safe Standards and Ministerial Order 1359 apply to all school environments, including workplace learning environments where students undertake work experience, structured workplace learning, school community work (volunteering) and school-based apprenticeships and traineeships.

Guidance on the Child Safe Standards and workplace learning is available in Duty of care and Child Safe Standards for SBATs.

Definitions

Apprenticeships
Structured training arrangement of usually 3.5 or 4 years duration. The training combines practical experience at work with complementary off-the-job training with a Registered Training Organisation (RTO).

Child Safe Standards
Compulsory minimum standards for organisations which provide services for children, to ensure they are well prepared to keep children and young people safe and protect them from abuse. Ministerial Order 1359 – Implementing the Child Safe Standards – Managing the risk of child abuse in schools (PDF)External Link provides the framework for child safety in schools, including workplace learning environments.

Head Start
An apprenticeship and traineeship pathway available to all government secondary students from 2023 to spend more time working, while completing the necessary vocational training and a senior secondary qualification. Head Start school-based staff support the student throughout the apprenticeship or traineeship, and engage regularly with the employer, registered training organisation (RTO), school and other stakeholders.

School based apprenticeships and traineeships (SBATs)
Apprenticeships and traineeships available to secondary school students who are over 15 years old and enrolled in years 10, 11 or 12.

Traineeships
A training agreement between the trainee and respective employer whereby the employer agreed to train in a specific industry, and the trainee agrees to work and learn. Traineeships usually last between 9 to 48 months, depending on the vocation and certificate level undertaken.

Relevant legislation


Guidance

Guidelines for School Based Apprenticeships and Traineeships

These guidelines contain the following chapters:

  • Introduction and note on the guidelines
  • Glossary
  • What is an SBAT?
  • Registering an SBAT
  • Head Start apprenticeships and traineeships
  • Advantages of undertaking an SBAT
  • Who is eligible to undertake an SBAT?
  • Types of SBATs
  • Student considerations – Checklist, recognition of prior training, ATAR contribution and credit towards VCE including VCE Vocational Major and Victorian Pathways Certificate
  • Apprenticeships not integrated into a learning program
  • Overview of establishing an SBAT
  • Roles and responsibilities
  • Duty of care and Child Safe Standards for SBATs
  • The importance of communication
  • Key steps to establish an SBAT – detailed considerations
  • Safety resources for students with a disability

Introduction and note on the guidelines

Introduction and note on the guidelines

Introduction

School-Based Apprenticeships and Traineeships (SBATs) enable students aged 15 years or over to combine their education with practical skills training and part-time work in a career of their choice.

Established in 1998 as a distinct pathway in Victoria’s Vocational Education and Training system, SBATs are available to secondary students who are enrolled in years 10, 11 or 12.

SBATs are available at registered schools or Non-School Senior Secondary Providers and Foundation Secondary (NSSSFSPs), including Registered Training Organisations (RTOs), TAFE institutes, and adult, community and further education providers. For the purposes of these guidelines, all references to ‘schools’ are equally applicable to NSSSFSPs.

A note on the guidelines

These guidelines cover the roles and responsibilities of all parties involved in supporting or participating in apprenticeships and traineeships offered as part of a senior secondary or foundation secondary program.

All schools have a responsibility to provide effective oversight of SBAT arrangements to ensure a direct link with their students’ career plans. Tailored career education and guidance should be provided, with the emphasis on productive employment arrangements that lead to strong career outcomes. Schools must also support their students to ensure that an SBAT will not be detrimental to their overall education.


Glossary

Glossary

AASN
Australian Apprenticeship Support NetworkExternal Link is the Commonwealth scheme that supports apprenticeship stakeholders by providing recruitment, support and administrative services nationally.

ANP
Apprenticeship Network providersExternal Link are agencies contracted by the Australian Government to provide apprenticeship services to apprentices and employers.

Approved training schemes
Approved training schemesExternal Link list which qualifications in a training package for a specific industry are available as apprenticeships and traineeships in Victoria.

AQF
Australian Qualifications FrameworkExternal Link is the national policy for regulated qualifications in Australian education and training.

AO
Authorised Officer

ASO
Apprenticeship Support OfficerExternal Link

ASQA
Australian Skills Quality AuthorityExternal Link

Child Safe Standards
The Child Safe StandardsExternal Link are compulsory minimum standards for organisations, including Victorian schools, to ensure they are well prepared to keep children and young people safe and protect them from abuse.

Credit transfer
Credit given based on documentary evidence or statement of attainment/qualifications for a unit of competency previously achieved.

Direct employer
The individual or business that engages the apprentice or trainee

Employer
An employer may be the individual or business that engages the student (a direct employer) or a business that engages the student through a group training organisation (GTO) (a host employer). The GTO is the student’s legal employer but the student performs work duties with the host employer. The employer, not the host employer, GTO is responsible for signing the training contract.

GTO
Group training organisationsExternal Link provide apprenticeship and traineeship employment opportunities through hosting agreements in a broad range of industries. In Victoria, GTOs are regulated and recognised by the VRQA to provide quality training and employment pathways for apprentices and trainees in a supportive environment.

Head Start
Head StartExternal Link is an apprenticeship and traineeship pathway available to all government secondary students from 2023 to spend more time working, while completing the necessary vocational training and a senior secondary or foundation secondary qualification. Head Start school-based staff support the student throughout the apprenticeship or traineeship, and engage regularly with the employer, registered training organisation (RTO), school and other stakeholders.

LLEN
Local Learning and Employment NetworkExternal Link

NSSSFSP
Non-School Senior Secondary or Foundation Secondary Provider

RCC
Recognition of Current Competence (RCC) is defined as the process of assessment and formal recognition by an assessor of competence currently held by a candidate which has been gained through any combination of formal, informal training and education, work experience or real life experience.

RPL
Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is an assessment process that involves assessment of an individual’s relevant prior learning (including formal and informal) to determine the credit outcomes of an individual application for credit.

RTO
Registered Training Organisation

SBAT
School Based Apprenticeship or Traineeship (also referred to as ASbA, which stands for Australian School-based Apprenticeship, and includes traineeships).

School
For the purposes of these guidelines, a school is a registered provider of a senior secondary or foundation secondary certificate, either the VCE including the VCE Vocational Major or the Victorian Pathways Certificate. This includes Non-School Senior Secondary and Foundation Secondary Providers.

Structured training – ‘off-the-job’
Structured training and assessment delivered by an RTO in a formal setting. It is often referred to as ‘trade school’ or ‘block release’. Timetables vary, but usually include a day a week and sometimes blocks of weeks at a training facility during holiday periods.

Structured training – ‘workplace-based’
This is the structured training (and assessment) organised to take place in the workplace by the RTO. It takes place when the apprentice or trainee is withdrawn from regular work duties.

Student
For the purposes of these guidelines, a student is someone aged 15 years and over, enrolled in a senior secondary certificate, and undertaking an SBAT or a part-time apprenticeship or traineeship.

Training contract
An agreement signed by the employer and the apprentice or trainee (and a parent or guardian if applicable) specifying the type of apprenticeship or traineeship to be undertaken. It details the training obligations of employers and apprentices or trainees. It contains details of the commencement date for training, the duration of the training and the workplace location at which the apprentice or trainee will receive practical experience. A training contract must be signed within 14 days of the apprentice or trainee being employed.

Training contract commencement date
The date on which the training contract between the employer and the apprentice or trainee comes into effect.

Training package qualification
Identifies the title of the training package qualification directly related to the training, as described at training.gov.auExternal Link

Training plan
Employers and RTOs must discuss the business needs and the learning needs of the apprentice to develop a training plan. Records detailed information of training and assessment for a student whose training is funded under the training contract. This information ensures that both the RTO and the student make informed decisions about the services required and the respective obligations in the delivery of these services. The training plan developed by the RTO with the employer details these arrangements.

UOC
Unit of Competency are the nationally agreed statements of the skills and knowledge required for effective performance in a particular job or job function. They describe work outcomes as agreed by industry.

VASS
Victorian Assessment Software System

VCAA
Victorian Curriculum and Assessment AuthorityExternal Link

VCAL
Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning

VCE
Victorian Certificate of Education

VCE Vocational Major
The VCE Vocational Major (VM)External Link is a vocational and applied learning program within the VCE designed to be completed over a minimum of two years. The VCE VM will give students greater choice and flexibility to pursue their strengths and interests and develop the skills and capabilities needed to succeed in further education, work and life.

VDSS
Vocational Education and Training (VET) Delivered to School Students

VET
Vocational Education and Training

VIT
Victorian Institute of TeachingExternal Link

VPC
Victorian Pathways CertificateExternal Link

VRQA
Victorian Registration and Qualifications AuthorityExternal Link

VTAC
Victorian Tertiary Admissions CentreExternal Link

VTG
Victorian Training Guarantee (VTG) is an entitlement to a government-subsidised place in recognised training that can be accessed at a wide range of RTOs contracted to deliver training.


What is an SBAT?

What is an SBAT?

A School Based Apprenticeship or Traineeship (SBAT) offers students the option of combining their senior secondary education with part-time employment and skills training. The program is undertaken under a formal training contract with an employer and has a training plan registered with the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority (VRQA). The training must lead to a nationally recognised qualification, as determined by the VRQA.

An SBAT is an integral part of the student’s senior secondary program and study timetable. Regular school attendance is combined with a minimum of 1 timetabled day a week of employment and/or structured training. The student’s work and training should last at least 13 hours a week on average over each 4-month period — comprising 7 hours of employment and 6 hours of training.

The VRQA is responsible for regulating students’ minimum hours of employment and training. See the VRQA websiteExternal Link for the full policy on minimum hours per week for employment and training.

Apprenticeship versus traineeship — what’s the difference?

The approved training scheme for each qualification lists whether it is available as an apprenticeship or a traineeship. For information, visit Approved training schemesExternal Link .

Generally, an apprenticeship provides training in a skilled trade, while a traineeship provides training in a vocational area.

For more information visit VRQA — about apprenticeships and traineeshipsExternal Link .


Registering an SBAT

Registering an SBAT

To qualify as a School-Based Apprenticeship or Traineeship (SBAT), an apprenticeship or traineeship must:

  • be under a training contract with an employer
  • include paid work carried out under an appropriate industrial instrument that endorses part-time apprenticeships or traineeships
  • include work relevant to the student’s chosen qualification
  • lead to a nationally recognised qualification at Certificate II, III or IV level
  • be integrated into the student’s school-based learning program, study timetable and career plan
  • include training that complies with an approved training scheme for the certificate undertaken and at a level appropriate for the student

The employer selects the registered training organisation (RTO) to deliver training. The RTO must prepare a training plan in consultation with the employer and the school. Schools should sign a training plan only if, after speaking with the student, employer and training provider, it is sure that it meets all necessary requirements for an SBAT arrangement.

The school’s endorsement of the training plan indicates that:

  • the student is enrolled in years 10, 11 or 12
  • the SBAT forms part of the student’s career plan and study timetable
  • the student is undertaking genuine paid employment under a training contract

Head Start apprenticeships and traineeships

Head Start apprenticeships and traineeships

Head Start is an apprenticeship or traineeship program that allows students to spend more time working, while completing the necessary vocational training and a secondary qualification.

Head Start is available to all government secondary students from 2023, supported by school-based staff as well as Departmental staff. The school-based staff support the student throughout the apprenticeship or traineeship, and engage regularly with the employer, registered training organisation (RTO), school and other stakeholders.

Visit the Head StartExternal Link page for further details. The Resources tab also includes fact sheets for students, school staff, employers and RTOs.[EF4] [WC5] [EF6]


Advantages of undertaking an SBAT

Advantages of undertaking an SBAT

Undertaking a School-Based Apprenticeship or Traineeship (SBAT) enables a student to:

  • incorporate vocational training and work into their secondary education
  • achieve significant progress towards, or completion of ,a trade or vocational qualification
  • complete the VCE, VCE Vocational Major, or Victorian Pathways Certificate
  • gain valuable knowledge and hands-on experience in their chosen field
  • start earning money.

Who is eligible to undertake an SBAT?

Who is eligible to undertake an SBAT?

School Based Apprenticeship or Traineeships (SBATs) are open to students who are:

  • at least 15 years of age
  • enrolled in either the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) including the VCE Vocational Major, or the Victorian Pathways Certificate
  • an Australian citizen or permanent resident**

**In certain cases, select non-citizens holding a Bridging Visa E, Temporary Protection Visa or Safe Haven Enterprise Visa may be eligible to undertake a VTG subsidised SBAT.

To be eligible to enrol with a private Registered Training Organisation (RTO), a non-citizen must be formally referred to the RTO by the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC) or the Australian Red Cross (ARC). To be eligible to enrol with a TAFE Institute or a Learn Local RTO, they must hold a valid referral form from the ASRC or the ARC or an appropriate visa verified by the TAFE Institute or Learn Local RTO using the VEVO system.

Steps required to develop and undertake an SBAT are summarised in the overview of establishing an SBAT chapter of these Guidelines. Further details can be found in the key steps to establishing an SBAT chapter.


Types of SBATs

Types of SBATs

There are two types of SBAT arrangements:

Type A

  • 'off the job’ training, requiring at least 13 hours a week (7 hours of paid employment and 6 hours of training) over 3 periods of 4 months in each year of the program

Type B

  • ‘workplace-based’ training where the student undertakes a minimum of 13 hours of paid employment a week
  • at or above Certificate III level, the student is withdrawn from normal work duties for at least 1 hour a week to undertake structured training. This 1-hour minimum is averaged over a 4-week cycle

Student considerations — Checklist, recognition of prior training, ATAR contribution and credit towards VCE or VCAL

Student considerations — Checklist, recognition of prior training, ATAR contribution and credit towards VCE or VCAL

Checklist

  • Do you have an employer who can take you on for the required hours?
  • Does your career plan indicate that you intend to pursue this type of career?
  • Would you be able to handle work, training and other study at this time in your senior secondary program?
  • Is the SBAT going to place additional pressure on your VCE or VCAL program?
  • Have you spoken to your teachers or careers advisor?
  • Do you have any formal training or experience that may give you credit towards the training component of your SBAT?
  • Have you undertaken any VET that might be eligible for credit?

Recognition of prior training

A student who moves from a general Vocational Education and Training (VET) program to a School Based Apprenticeship or Traineeship (SBAT) program may be eligible for credit transfers for any Units of Competency (UOCs) completed as part of previous VET qualifications.

School staff may explore the Victorian Assessment Software System (VASS) database to identify potential credit transfers from previous training. A student will not receive any additional credit towards their Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) or Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) for units that are credited towards their SBAT qualification from UOCs or modules undertaken in previous VET qualifications.

Scored assessment and ATAR contribution

Students undertaking an SBAT typically do not undertake a scored assessment in their SBAT qualification. Contributions towards their Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) would derive from achieving a Unit 3 and 4 sequence from their SBAT, which may provide a 10%, fifth or sixth study increment. Students wishing to access a study score from their SBAT would need to complete Units 3 and 4 from the VCE/VET scored program as a separate enrolment to their SBAT.

Detailed advice on the calculation of the ATAR is available from the Victorian Tertiary and Admissions Committee websiteExternal Link .

Credit towards VCE or VCAL

Like other VET offerings for school students, the vocational training components of SBATs may also contribute credit towards a senior secondary certificate.

VCE students may accrue credit in the following ways:

  • The student can receive credit determined by the Victorian Curriculum Assessment Authority (VCAA) within the VCE Unit 1 to 4 credit structure. Typically students completing a qualification with a 360-hour nominal duration receive Units 1 to 4 towards the VCE.
  • All other qualifications at Certificate II or above provide credit on the basis of one VCE unit for each 90 hours of completed Units of Competency (UOCs).
  • UOCs at AQF level II provide credit at VCE Unit 1 and 2 level and UOCs at AQF level III or above provide credit at VCE Unit 3 and 4 level.

VCAL students receive 1 unit of credit for each 90 hours of completed UOCs. These credits relate to the Industry Skills and Work Related Skills strands. A student completing a qualification with 450 nominal hours will receive five credits towards their VCAL.

Further information about credits towards VCE and VCAL is available from the VCAAExternal Link .


Apprenticeships not integrated into a learning program

Apprenticeships that are not integrated into a learning program

Where a proposed apprenticeship or traineeship cannot be undertaken as an SBAT, the employment and training arrangement may continue to proceed under the training contract with confirmation that the student is ‘part-time attending school’.

‘Part-time attending school’ arrangements for apprenticeships and traineeships differ from school-endorsed SBATs as:

  • the training and employment are outside the school timetable
  • the school does not endorse the training plan

Where this is the case, there is no funding support provided to the RTO either through the Victorian Training Guarantee or through school funding to subsidise training. The school or RTO should advise the student and their parent/guardian that they will be required to pay additional fees or enter a fee-for-service arrangement with the RTO, through which they will be responsible for all fees related to the training component of the part-time apprenticeship or traineeship.


Overview of establishing an SBAT

Overview of establishing an SBAT

School Based Apprenticeship or Traineeship (SBATs) are arranged by a number of parties, including the student and their parent/guardian, the employer, the Registered Training Organisation (RTO), the school (where the student is enrolled to undertake their senior secondary certificate), and the Apprenticeship Network Provider (ANP).

Below are 6 key steps to establish an SBAT. Further detailed information on each of these 6 steps can be found in key steps to establish an SBAT — detailed considerations.

Step 1: Establishing an SBAT

  • An employer makes an offer of an SBAT to a student.
  • The employer or student advises the school that they wish to negotiate the details of the employment and training.
  • The school facilitates this process (and oversees the SBAT for its duration).
  • The parties identify an appropriate RTO to deliver the training.
  • The employer, the student and their parent/guardian sign the training contract.
  • The employer is to ensure the training contract is registered with the ANP.

Step 2: Sign-up and approval

  • The RTO prepares an appropriate training plan with the employer.
  • The employer, the RTO and the student agree to and sign the training plan.
  • The school is the final party to sign the training plan, after verifying its arrangements, prior to the student being enrolled with the training provider.
  • The RTO provides the training plan to the relevant ANP.
  • The school records the Vocational Education and Training (VET) Certificate and flags it as being undertaken as an apprenticeship or traineeship on the Victorian Assessment Software System (VASS).

Step 3: Implementation

  • The student undertakes their Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) or Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) at school, employment with their employer, and structured training at an RTO.
  • The RTO is required to provide the results of training to the school in order to meet the reporting requirements of the VCE or VCAL.

Step 4: Changes to the Training Contract

  • All parties must be notified immediately if there are any changes that need to be made to the training contract.
  • Changes that may occur include:
    • cancellation of an SBAT
    • illness or injury
    • significant time off work
    • changes to RTO qualifications, units or training packages
  • The school should facilitate clear communication between all parties.

Step 5: Completion of an SBAT

  • Upon achievement of the required competencies, the student receives the qualification issued by the RTO.
  • The school needs to ensure credits are entered into VASS by the yearly due date.
  • The student receives credits towards their senior secondary program (VCE or VCAL certificate) from the VCAA.

Step 6: Student support

  • Any absences, difficulties, issues or concerns must be reported to the school and the school must monitor these and follow up where necessary.
  • Regardless of which party is involved, the school has a constant duty of care and plays an important role as intermediary between the student and other parties if any issues arise.
  • Schools may wish to contact their ANP or Apprentice Support Officers (ASOs) as required. For more information on the ASO program visit the apprenticeship support officersExternal Link website.

Roles and responsibilities

Roles and responsibilities

Student

To ensure students are adequately prepared for a School Based Apprenticeship or Traineeship (SBAT), they will be encouraged to undertake a range of career planning activities and pre-vocational programs in Years 7 to 9. A qualifying student who is undertaking the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) including the VCE Vocational Major or Victorian Pathways Certificate (VPC) will then undergo the following steps:

  • Decides, together with their parent/guardian and career advisor, that an SBAT is an appropriate part of their career action plan
  • Approaches employers who have identified employment opportunities to their school, or another employer who is willing to take them on
  • Agrees to undertake the training specified in their training plan
  • Ensures that their school provides details of any Vocational Education and Training (VET) completed to the Registered Training Organisation (RTO) for Recognition of Prior Learning assessment
  • Spends at least 1 day a week of their school timetable in work or in training
  • Notifies their employer or RTO of any absences
  • Participates in their other VCE including the VCE Vocational Major or VPC classes

Parent/guardian

  • Gives permission for the student to undertake the SBAT, including training during holiday periods
  • Supports the student in securing employment and undertaking their training
  • Reports any absences to the workplace supervisor, RTO or school as required
  • Maintains communication to support the school, RTO and employer with any issues during the SBAT program

School

  • Provides advice to the student in developing their career plan, and deems the SBAT to be in the best interests of their career
  • Checks whether a training contract has been signed by the employer, the training provider and the student, and lodged with the Apprenticeships Network Provider (ANP)
  • Checks the contribution towards the VCE including the VCE Vocational Major or VPC of the SBAT program on the Victorian Assessment Software System (VASS) to ensure the student is eligible to complete their VCE including the VCE Vocational Major or VPC
  • Provides the student with release from structured classes, if necessary, to incorporate training or employment
  • Provides a school staff member to regularly communicate with the student for pastoral and duty of care requirements
  • Ensures there are strategies, policies and procedures in place to address any risks of child abuse (in order to comply with the Child Safe Standards)
  • Endorses the student’s training plan prior to their enrolment with an RTO
  • Informs the employer and RTO of any student issues that need to be addressed to minimise health and safety risks during their employment or training
  • Ensures students are aware of equal opportunity, harassment and discrimination, can recognise abuse or other risks to their safety, and have the skills and confidence to raise concerns, make complaints, or let someone know if they feel unsafe
  • For students who are not Australian citizens or permanent residents enrolling in a Victorian Training Guarantee (VTG) subsidised SBAT, confirm their eligibility to undertake VTG subsidised training with the TAFE institute or Learn Local RTO. Prior to enrolment with a private RTO, the school must contact the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC) to confirm eligibility to undertake VTG subsidised training and confirm that training places are available under the Asylum Seeker VET Program

Employer

  • Offers paid employment to a student under an industrial agreement that recognises SBATs
  • Obtains Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority (VRQA) approval to enter into a training contract
  • Enables the student to undertake their structured training
  • Ensures the student understands workplace policies regarding child safety, bullying, harassment and discrimination, and any other behavioural standards or codes of conduct that apply to the workplace
  • Ensures that other employees in the workplace understand acceptable and unacceptable behaviour in dealing with students
  • Ensures the student can readily contact their school if required during their placement
  • Ensures school staff can readily contact the student to check how their placement is progressing
  • Engages an RTO to support and deliver any training required during the program
  • Checks whether they are eligible for Commonwealth incentives
  • Arranges for signing and lodgement of the training contract with the ANP

Registered training organisation (RTO)

  • Is an RTO (or TAFE) registered with the VRQA and or Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) and has on their scope of registration the training required for the SBAT
  • Delivers a training program to the SBAT student that meets the requirements of the approved training scheme
  • Implements appropriate processes to ensure the student’s safety and wellbeing
  • Ensures the training plan is endorsed by the student’s school prior to their enrolment, in order to be eligible for VTG subsidies
  • Is responsible for the assessment of the student and keeps the school regularly informed of their progress
  • For Learn Local RTOs or TAFE institutes enrolling non-citizens, confirm their eligibility by verifying their visa using the Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) system. The ASRC can provide guidance if required. Private RTOs may enrol certain non-citizens, confirming their eligibility on VEVO. Private RTOs may enrol certain non-citizens if they have been previously referred to them via a valid Referral Form issued by the ASRC

Apprenticeship Network Provider (ANP)

  • Oversee the signing and registration of the training contract
  • Provide assistance to employers, apprentices, trainees and training providers throughout the duration of the apprenticeship or traineeship
  • Administer incentive payments to employers and apprentices
  • Work with state and territory training authorities to provide an integrated service
  • Establish effective relationships with Job Services Australia providers, group training organisations (GTOs), RTOs, schools and community organisations

Apprenticeship Support Officer (ASO)

  • Support and guide all apprentices aged 15 to 24 in the first year of their apprenticeship
  • Offer advice and assistance on any personal or workplace issues
  • Work with RTOs, ANPs and other service providers to deliver an integrated apprenticeship support service

Other supports available

To monitor compliance, regulatory field services are provided by a network of authorised officers (AOs), who have a right of entry and inspection. Access to AOs is provided through the VRQA.

Where necessary, AOs will refer apprentices and trainees to other agencies for advice on issues that are outside the VRQA’s remit — for example, questions about wages, industrial issues, occupational health and safety, or harassment and bullying.

For further information about workplace visits by authorised officers, see the VRQA webpage Workplace visits by authorised officersExternal Link .


Duty of care and Child Safe Standards for SBATs

Duty of care and Child Safe Standards for SBATs

Duty of care

The responsible parties in a School Based Apprenticeship or Traineeship (SBAT) all have a duty of care to take reasonable steps to manage reasonably foreseeable risks of harm to participating students. These steps will differ depending on the role and responsibilities of the parties.

The school or Non-School Senior Secondary and Foundation Secondary Provider (NSSSFSP) must ensure that:

  • it meets the minimum requirements for SBAT registration, including in relation to safety and wellbeing
  • risks relating to student health, safety and wellbeing are identified and managed
  • all relevant persons are aware of their roles and responsibilities with respect to student health, safety and wellbeing.

Child Safe Standards

The purpose of the Child Safe Standards is to prevent abuse of children by making organisations safer for them.

Under legislation, the Department and every Victorian government school must comply with the Child Safe Standards. There are 11 standards:

  • Standard 1 – Organisations establish a culturally safe environment in which the diverse and unique identities and experiences of Aboriginal children and young people are respected and valued
  • Standard 2 – Child safety and wellbeing is embedded in organisational leadership, governance and culture
  • Standard 3 – Children and young people are empowered about their rights, participate in decisions affecting them and are taken seriously
  • Standard 4 – Families and communities are informed, and involved in promoting child safety and wellbeing
  • Standard 5 – Equity is upheld and diverse needs respected in policy and practice
  • Standard 6 – People working with children and young people are suitable and supported to reflect child safety and wellbeing values in practice
  • Standard 7 – Processes for complaints and concerns are child focused
  • Standard 8 – Staff and volunteers are equipped with the knowledge, skills and awareness to keep children and young people safe through ongoing education and training
  • Standard 9 – Physical and online environments promote safety and wellbeing while minimising the opportunity for children and young people to be harmed
  • Standard 10 – Implementation of the Child Safe Standards is regularly reviewed and improved
  • Standard 11 – Policies and procedures document how the organisation is safe for children and young people

Ministerial Order 1359 – Implementing the Child Safe Standards – Managing the risk of child abuse in schools (PDF)External Link outlines how the Child Safe Standards apply in schools and school boarding premises. Schools and school boarding premises must comply with Ministerial Order 1359 as part of the prescribed Minimum Standards for school registration.

The Child Safe Standards and Ministerial Order 1359External Link apply to all school environments, including workplace learning environments such as SBATs and schools must work closely with SBAT employers to make sure that the employment environment is safe for children. Refer to Child Safe Standards roles and responsibilities below for further information.

Child Safe Standards roles and responsibilities

Schools

Schools must consider child safety and Working with Children requirements in their procurement of SBAT training providers.

The school’s child safety strategies, policies and procedures should address and respond to child safety risks relating to SBATs. For example, schools should ensure that:

  • written agreements between the school and the SBAT provider include conditions relating to child safety and parties are aware of their roles and responsibilities relating to protection of children
  • there are clear processes for responding to and reporting suspected child abuse that affects children participating in the SBAT program
  • particular risks of child abuse at the SBAT employer's premises are identified and strategies are put in place to reduce or remove these risks
  • the effectiveness of risk controls is monitored and evaluated
  • steps are taken to ensure that children participating in an SBAT feel empowered and comfortable to raise concerns about their safety.

Schools are not directly responsible for incidents that occur when a student is undertaking work or training under an SBAT. However, schools should take measures to protect the student from harm and address issues as they arise, for example, if:

  • the school becomes aware of an incident involving the student at the workplace or in training
  • the school is concerned that the student is not being supervised properly in the workplace.

The school should nominate a staff member for the student to contact about any issues they may have with the SBAT. The nominated staff member should be made aware of any Individual Education Plans and Student Support Group for a student. This staff member should have received child safety training and have knowledge of indicators of child harm and related school policies.

RTOs

During the training component of an SBAT, RTOs must:

  • be compliant with the Child Safe Standards and have child safety policies and a code of conduct
  • provide the student with information and support about the training requirements being undertaken
  • ensure all trainers providing training services to the SBAT student have a valid Working with Children Clearance, as required by the Worker Screening Act 2020 (Vic)
  • report any student absences to the employer and the school at least weekly.

Employers

Employers involved in an SBAT program must ensure that:

  • the workplace is safe and appropriate supervision of the student is provided
  • paid work is carried out under an appropriate industrial agreement that endorses part-time apprenticeships or traineeships
  • the student’s work is supervised by a ‘fit and proper’ person with the skills and qualifications to enable them to attain the skills outlined in their training plan.

These obligations extend to any host employer that the employer may engage to provide employment to the student, for example hosted arrangements through a Group Training Organisation (GTO). Note that a host employer is also considered as part of the school environment in the context of an SBAT.

As in any employment situation, the employer must provide a safe working environment free from bullying, harassment, discrimination or abuse.

The employer should monitor the student’s attendance at work (including work with any host employer) and use an agreed mechanism with the school, at least weekly, to record and report to the school any non-attendance. Once reported, the school should discuss the reasons for any absences with the student.


The importance of communication

The importance of communication

Schools should try to provide students with access to the widest possible array of locally available School Based Apprenticeship or Traineeships (SBATs). Schools can use the Structured Workplace Learning Statewide PortalExternal Link to identify possible placements.

  • Schools can advertise SBAT vacancies through appropriate communication channels and help students apply for suitable vacancies.
  • Some students may identify SBAT opportunities themselves through family or local networks. They should advise the school principal or Non-School Senior Secondary Provider (NSSSP) CEO as soon as an offer of employment for an SBAT is made. SBATs require formal documentation and any verbal offer should be translated into a written offer as soon as possible (the school may request a copy).

Schools play an important role in arranging for the student (and parent/guardian) to attend meetings with other parties such as the employer and the RTO.

  • The aim of these meetings is for the student’s learning needs to be discussed, addressed and implemented in a training plan delivered by the RTO.
  • The school must approve the integrated timetable arrangements agreed to by the student (and parent/guardian), the employer and the RTO.
  • The RTO will ensure the training plan is signed by the school prior to enrolling the student in training, in order to be eligible for VTG subsidies.

Open and timely communication is also vital for any employer hosting an SBAT student, including:

  • providing the school with contact details of its business, including the name and contact details of the staff member responsible for the student’s employment
  • providing details of any host employer (for example, a Group Training Organisation) and their supervising staff and relevant Working with Children checks
  • ensuring prompt communication of any offer of work, training opportunities, incentives, absences, or any other issue that may impact on the success of an SBAT

It is recommended that all parties meet at least 3 times a year to review SBAT arrangements, discuss student progress, and identify any issues that may need to be addressed.


Key steps to establish an SBAT — detailed considerations

Key steps to establish an SBAT — detailed considerations

Step 1: Establishing an SBAT

If the student is not an Australian citizen or does not hold a permanent resident visa, the school should first confirm their eligibility to undertake an SBAT. Schools and employers should also be aware that Commonwealth incentives may not be available to non-citizen students. Further advice about Commonwealth incentives can be found on the Australian ApprenticeshipsExternal Link website.

When an employer offers work to a student undertaking an School Based Apprenticeship or Traineeship (SBAT), the employment conditions, hours and wages should be discussed and negotiated with the student, the parent/guardian and the school.

If the only time a student can work as part of their apprenticeship or traineeship is outside ‘normal school hours’, the student is permitted to undertake employment at these times. However, this is only acceptable in an industry that operates in the mornings or evenings, such as bakeries, horseracing stables and some hospitality providers.

In order to establish an SBAT, the employer must:

  • engage an Registered Training Organisation (RTO) to develop a training plan and deliver the structured training
  • ensure the student is trained in accordance with the approved training scheme
  • ensure training is completed by the prescribed assessment date and advised to the school
  • ensure that any host employer meets the standards for an employer established by the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority (VRQA)

If the employer fails to do these things, it may be a breach of the Education and Training Reform Act 2006 (Vic) and may place them at risk of penalties under the Act.

Timetabled employment arrangements

A student may undertake work during weekends and school holidays. The employer, the parent/guardian and the student should discuss and agree to these arrangements before signing the training contract.

The employer may enter into a training contract with a student only if approved by the VRQA to do so. The employer must notify the student, the RTO and the school if the VRQA does not approve them, imposes conditions on the employment, or cancels its approval.

It remains the employer’s legal obligation to ensure that the student:

  • is placed in a safe work and training environment
  • is given duties appropriate to their qualification
  • is supervised by a staff member who is a ‘fit and proper’ person and has the competencies the student is required to develop

Training contracts

A training contract is a legally binding document registered with the VRQA through a nominated Apprenticeship Network Provider (ANP).

The employer has 14 days from the start of employment in which to contact an ANP to initiate the signing and registration of the Training Contract with the RTO, the student, their parent/guardian, and their school.

The ANP will engage with the employer, the student and their parent/guardian to attend and assist with the signing within 14 days of the start of employment. The ANP will lodge the training contract within 10 working days as ‘part-time attending school’ and send details to the VRQA and/or ASQA for registration.

The ANP should notify the school once the training contract has been registered.

ANPs are contracted by the Australian Government as part of the Australian Apprenticeship Support NetworkExternal Link (AASN) to provide a ‘one-stop shop’ of information and support to employers, apprentices and trainees.

In Victoria, ANPs provide these services for both apprenticeships and traineeships. They facilitate the completion and signing of training contracts and assess and process the payment of Commonwealth incentives to eligible employers, apprentices and trainees.

Step 2: Sign-up and approval

Once the SBAT offer has been made, the employer works with a suitable RTO to develop a training plan. The employer and the RTO must ensure that the qualification is appropriate for an SBAT and matches the job role — including any role negotiated with a host employer.

Upon receipt of notification of a training contract, the RTO should:

  • arrange a site visit to negotiate a training plan with the employer and the student
  • conduct a pre-training interview
  • ensure that the proposed training complies with an approved training scheme for the certificate being undertaken and is appropriate to the needs and learning level of the student
  • discuss any enrolment fees with the student and their parent/guardian
  • forward the training plan to the school principal or Non-School Senior Secondary Provider CEO for final endorsement prior to the student being enrolled with the RTO
  • ensure the school-endorsed training plan is lodged with the nominated ANP within 2 months and alert the student to their start date with the RTO

The business name and place of employment should also be listed in the training plan when a host employer (for example, a Group Training Organisation) has been sourced by an employer.

Note: The employer, the RTO and the student agree to an appropriate training plan and sign it.

Schools should take time to review a training plan in detail before signing it. Working with the parent/guardian, the school should determine that the proposed out-of-school hours employment and training specified in the plan will not have a detrimental impact on the student’s overall education or senior secondary program achievement.

The school should be reasonably satisfied that:

  • the type of program and the amount and level of training proposed in the training plan is appropriate for the student and will contribute to their Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) or Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL)
  • the training is matched to the employment undertaken, and is within the student’s capacity to complete

Schools should only sign a training plan after speaking with the student, the employer and training provider, and being sure that it meets all necessary requirements for an SBAT arrangement.

The school and the RTO must ensure that the student is undertaking an appropriate SBAT program and has the capacity to undertake this program.

The student must undertake a minimum of 1 timetabled day of employment and/or structured training during normal school hours each week. The definition of a ‘normal school day/ or week’ is determined by the school and, for government schools, must be consistent with advice in the Department's policy – School Hours.

School endorsement of a training plan

A school representative should endorse the training plan for an SBAT only if:

  • the SBAT provides for genuine employment that is paid according to an appropriate industrial award and is matched to the training undertaken
  • the student is enrolled in a senior secondary program (VCE or VCAL)
  • the student’s study, training and work commitments form an integral part of that student’s senior secondary learning program and study timetable, and are consistent with the student’s career aspirations as outlined in their career action plan
  • it will not be detrimental to the student’s overall education

When the school signs the training plan, it undertakes to enrol the student on the Victorian Assessment Software System (VASS) so that the training specified in the plan can be credited to the student’s VCE or VCAL program.

Note: Training plans must be endorsed and submitted to the relevant AASN within 2 months of the training contract commencing.

Step 3: Implementation

Once a training plan has been agreed and signed by all parties, the student can begin their employment and structured training as part of the senior secondary program.

The school must ensure that the student is enrolled in the qualification being delivered through their apprenticeship or traineeship pathway, which has been entered appropriately on VASS.

The student should only be enrolled in Units of Competency (UOCs) that the RTO expects they will complete in the current year of delivery (with results being made available in time for end-of-year results for processing by the VCAA). Remaining UOCs will be entered on VASS the following year when they are expected to be completed.

Reporting

The RTO should report on the completion of assessments to the school as soon as possible, and no later than the date determined each year by the VCAA for inclusion on the student’s senior secondary statement of results lodged through the VASS system.

Schools should confer with the employer and the RTO to establish appropriate and regular reporting mechanisms for student attendance between the school, employer and RTO. The school must monitor and report unsatisfactory attendance for other VCE or VCAL classes as part of the student’s assessment process.

Failure to identify a student at risk of non-completion and/or to report their result may affect their ability to complete their SBAT. This may impact on completion of their VCE or VCAL program, and any contribution to the student's ATAR.

Step 4: Changes to a training contract

Changes to a training contract may be required from time to time for various reasons, including:

  • cancellation of an SBAT
  • illness or injury
  • absences from work
  • changes to RTO qualifications, units or training packages

If there is any variation to a training contract, an application to vary that contract must be completed by the employer and the apprentice and submitted to an ANP. The form for making this application is available from the VRQA websiteExternal Link .

Step 5: Completion of an SBAT

The RTO is responsible for issuing the appropriate qualification to the student when their structured training has been completed, and the employer acknowledges that the student is competent ‘on the job’.

Final results for students who have completed UOCs must be provided to their school by no later than the final date advised by the VCAA each year.

At the end of an SBAT, the student may explore pathway options that lead to continued employment and/or completion of further training.

Step 6: Student support

Vocational training is a formally agreed school activity/subject and is of equal value and importance to subjects undertaken at school. A student’s failure to treat workplace and training requirements as equivalent to a ‘timetabled activity’ could affect their VCAL or VCE results.

Help for students

Although most students enjoy their training, sometimes problems can arise. For a student experiencing a problem or issue, the Department’s website provides advice on the following common concerns:

  • I am not happy with my training
  • I am being harassed or discriminated against
  • I think I am being underpaid
  • I think my workplace might be unsafe
  • I want to terminate my training contract
  • what is meant by ‘mutual consent’?

Further information can be accessed at the apprentice and trainee rights and responsibilitiesExternal Link page of the VRQA website.

Concerns relating to bullying, harassment and discrimination

All schools are required to have a policy addressing bullying and harassment that is accessible to all members of their community.

The school should ensure that the student understands their right to a safe working and training environment, is aware of how to recognise abuse or other risks to their safety, and has been provided with the skills and confidence to raise concerns, make complaints, or let someone know if they feel unsafe.

Both the school and the RTO must ensure that the student is aware that in the workplace and at any training activity or at school, they must not engage in conduct that may constitute bullying, harassment or discrimination, or may pose a risk to the health and safety of others.

Attendance

The student (or their parent/guardian) must advise the school, the employer or the RTO if they are unable to attend work or training. Unexplained absences could result in a loss of wages or failure to meet the work requirements of the SBAT.

The student must undertake the training as specified in their training plan.

They are obliged to attend their workplace for all scheduled working hours and to follow all lawful and reasonable instructions from their employer. Failure to comply may constitute a breach of the terms of the training contract and affect the student’s ability to complete their qualification within the agreed schedule.


Safety resources for students with a disability

Safety resources for students with a disability

The Department has prepared a series of lesson plans, videos and activities to help students living with a disability to prepare for the world of work.

A Job Well DoneExternal Link is a suite of resources to help students with a disability to:

  • prepare for work experience
  • stay safe in different industries
  • build the knowledge and capacity of teachers and career practitioners to support these students

Resources

Resources

Head Start and SBAT explainers

Understand the essential details of Head Start expansion

Use this tool to better understand the certificate requirements:

SBAT Vocational Major student check list (XLSX)External Link

Child Safe Standards

For more information on how schools can create and maintain a child safe organisation and protect students from all forms abuse, see resources available on the Child Safe Standards policy page.

Useful websites

Australian Apprenticeships and Traineeships Information ServiceExternal Link an Australian Government website with information about apprenticeships pathways, industry updates and government initiatives for apprenticeships and traineeships.

Local Learning and Employment NetworksExternal Link a website with information about the activities and contact details of the Local Learning and Employment Networks.

Group Training Association of VictoriaExternal Link information and contact details for the local Group Training Companies.

Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA)External Link information relating to the requirements for completion of the VCE or VCAL and the credit that VET qualifications provide.

Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre (VTAC)External Link calculating the Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank (ATAR) and information relating to entry to university, TAFE and independent tertiary colleges.


Reviewed 23 March 2020