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Apprenticeships and traineeships

I want to be an apprentice or trainee

Apprenticeships and traineeships are the way to go if you wish to kick start your career, re-enter the workforce or simply change your career.

Apprenticeships and traineeships combine work with structured training and require you to enter into a formal training contract with an employer.

Fees for apprenticeships and traineeships

Employers are not obliged to pay for apprentice fees and charges in advance. However some Industrial Agreements (Awards) require employers to reimburse their apprentice upon receipt of satisfactory progress. 

It is at the employer’s discretion whether they elect to pay apprentices fees up front, or reimburse the apprentice, if required in their relevant Industrial Agreement. Please refer to your Industrial Agreement (Award) which can be found at either:

State based awards

Wageline 1300 655 266

Federal (Modern) awards

If an employer elects to pay the fees for their apprentice and trainee, they will be billed directly by North Metropolitan TAFE.  It is important to note that the student remains legally liable for the debt at all times and should an employer fail to make payment, these fees will become the debt of the student.  

All apprentices and trainees will enrol on a semester basis. Enrolment will occur following the completion of the Training Plan and thereafter at the beginning of Semester 1 (February) and the beginning of Semester 2 (July) each year until TAFE training has been completed.

Fees will be invoiced and paid at the beginning of each semester. Apprentices and trainees who pay their own fees can opt to pay by instalment over 20 weeks of the semester.

Apprentice incentives and allowances

As an Australian Apprentice, you may be eligible for financial support from the Australian and State Governments.

Federal Incentives

Include incentive programs such as:

  • Australian Apprentice Training Support Payment
  • New Energy Apprenticeships Program
  • Living Away From Home Allowance
  • Assistance for Australian Apprentices with disability
  • Support for Women in trades
  • Trade Support Loans

Full details and eligibility requirements can be found at Support for Australian Apprentices | Australian Apprenticeships(opens in a new tab) .

State Incentives/Allowances

The Construction Training fund manages a number of incentive programs such as:

  • Apprentice Completion Grant
  • Apprentice Tool Allowance
  • Disaster Recovery Grant
  • Accommodation allowance
  • Upskilling and Short Course Funding

Full details and eligibility requirements can be found on the Construction Training Fund(opens in a new tab) webpage.

Travel and Accomodation Allowance

The Department of Training assists apprentices with travel and accommodation related to the completion of their off-the-job training component via a Travel and Accommodation allowance.

Financial assistance is available to support off the job training being delivered to apprentices who are, or would normally be, required to travel long distances to attend off the job training.

To claim assistance the minimum round trip distance an apprentice must travel from their residential address to the closest training venue of all training providers able to deliver the off the job training is:

  • 71 kilometres or more for travel allowance;
  • 150 kilometres or more for accommodation allowance; and
  • 1100 kilometres or more for airfare travel.  (Air travel must be booked by the RTO to be eligible)

Please note Distances are measured by Microsoft Virtual Earth (Bing Maps).

Procedures for the Travel Accommodation Allowance (801 KB) (PDF document - opens in a new tab)  (801 KB) (PDF document - opens in a new tab)  (TAA) for Apprenticeships are attached and available via the Apprenticeship Office(opens in a new tab)  (opens in a new tab) webpage.

Employers or apprentices wishing to claim for the Travel and/or Accommodation Allowance will need to completed one of the following forms:

Apprentices who require Air Travel will need to complete a Apprentice travel request form no less than two weeks prior to the date of the requested travel. 

Changes to flights must also be submitted using the Apprentice travel request form.

Mentoring Services

As an apprentice or trainee, you have access to free and confidential mentoring services through your Australian Apprenticeship Support Network (AASN).

What’s a Mentor? 
A mentor is like a friendly guide who listens to your concerns and helps you navigate through them. Whether you’re dealing with challenges at home that affect your work and studies or facing issues with your employer or workplace, mentors are there to lend a helping hand.

How Can They Assist You? 
Mentors can chat with you about anything that impacts your work, training, or personal life. Here are some areas they can help with:

Personal matters Work and Training Challenges
  • Relationships
  • Housing stability
  • Access to cultural programs and support
  • Mental health
  • Disabilities
  • Finances
  • Life skills development
  • Drug and alcohol concerns
  • Completing paperwork or accessing information
  • Transportation issues
  • Understanding your job role
  • Workplace-related problems
  • Completing training or assessments
  • Improving language, literacy, or numeracy skills
  • Addressing dissatisfaction with your apprenticeship or traineeship

Australian Apprenticeship Support Network (AASN) will often have staff available on campus in the Jobs and Skills Centres.

Future apprentices and trainees

  • You learn the skills on the job, study, and earn and income
  • You can be employed full-time, part-time or while you are at school
  • You graduate with a trade qualification or in the case of a traineeship with a qualification ranging from a Certificate III to a Diploma.

Talk to career advisers, family, and friends as well as people in the industry. If still at school, talk to your VET coordinator or career adviser.

Do some research

These websites will help you find information:

Create a personal portfolio and resume

Find an employer

There are three Australian Apprenticeship Support Network (AASN) providers in Western Australia contracted by the Australian Government to provide free Australian Apprenticeships support services to apprentices and employers.

These are tailored to the needs of employers and apprentices throughout the apprenticeship lifecycle from pre-commencement to completion.

Sign the training contract

Once you have found the position, you or your employer should contact the Australian Apprenticeship Support Network (AASN) to organise the signing of your training contract.

The Department of Training and Workplace Development's Apprenticeship Office registers and administer training contracts for apprentices in Western Australia.

Enrol at North Metropolitan TAFE

Through your employer, you enrol at North Metropolitan TAFE. We will develop a training plan with you.

If an office ‘isn’t you' and you would like to work with your hands then an apprenticeship or traineeship may be the right fit.

North Metropolitan TAFE offers pre-apprenticeship courses in industries to be considered in high demand now or will be in high demand in WA, maximising your employment outcomes. These courses take about six to nine months to complete.  

  • The skills you gain may shorten the term of a subsequent apprenticeship
  • You are more marketable to the employers.

If you're in Year 11 or 12, the PAiS program involves attending school, completing Certificate II pre-apprenticeship training at North Metropolitan TAFE, and completing work placements with an employer.

Graduate Year 12 with your WACE, a pre-apprenticeship in your chosen field and be a step ahead of others looking for apprenticeships.

There is no doubt employers look favourably at the candidate who already has a proven track record of study, demonstrated the capacity to apply themselves to a formal TAFE course and can understand the practices and terminology associated with the trade in question.

SBA or SBT are paid employment-based training programs for full time school students generally 15 years of age and over. As a SBA or SBT you will be a full-time student and a part-time employee with the same employment and training conditions and responsibilities as other apprentices and trainees.

Training is delivered by a Registered Training Organisation (RTO). This training can done as either a few hours every week or in weekly blocks depending on the qualification and scheduling arrangements.

As a SBA or SBT you will be paid by your employer for the hours you work. Working hours may take place during school hours or outside school hours based on your employer’s needs. The minimum number of hours of paid employment may be based on a set weekly schedule or averaged over a set period of time.

Depending on the qualification, your School Based Apprenticeship or Traineeship may be completed by the time you finish year 11 or 12. Other qualifications may continue past your graduation.

Before you can commence you will need to negotiate your attendance at work and training with your school to ensure the SBA or SBT meets school timetabling requirements. Please contact your school VET Coordinator to determine this.

Relevant SBA/SBT factsheets

An apprenticeship generally takes three to four years on-the-job training in traditional trade areas like mechanical fitter, plumbing, cooking, electronics and communications, or barbering.

A traineeship generally takes two years on-the-job training on vocational areas like tourism, travel, laboratory techniques, or accounting.  

When qualified you can look forward to:

  • Higher pay rates
  • Great job prospects
  • Advancing your career.

Current apprentices and trainees

As an apprentice or trainee you have entered into a Training Contract.  A training contract is a legally binding agreement between the employer and you as an apprentice or trainee. In signing the training contract, both parties are bound by certain obligations expressed in the contract.

The training contract sets out the terms of the apprenticeship or traineeship, which are agreed to by both the employer and the apprentice or trainee, such as:

  • The qualification the apprentice or trainee is working towards;
  • The nominal term of the apprenticeship or traineeship;
  • The number of hours in training and employment provided each week; and
  • Arrangements for on and off the job training.

Training contract obligations for the apprentice/trainee

I agree that I will:

  • Attend work, do my job, and follow my employer's instructions, as long as they are lawful.
  • Work towards achieving the qualification stated in our training contract.
  • Undertake any training and assessment in our training plan.

Training contract obligations for the parent or guardian

I agree that I will:

  • Uphold the responsibilities listed above for the apprentice/trainee until they are 18 years of age.

Training contract obligations for the employer

I agree that I will:

  • Employ and train the apprentice/trainee as agreed in our training plan and ensure the apprentice/trainee understands the choices that he/she has regarding the training.
  • Provide the appropriate facilities and experienced people to facilitate the training and supervise the apprentice/trainee while at work, in accordance with the training plan.
  • Make sure the apprentice/trainee receives on the job training and assessment in accordance with our training plan.
  • Provide work that is relevant and appropriate to the vocation and also to the achievement of the qualification referred to in this contract.
  • Release the apprentice/trainee from work to attend any training and assessment specified in our training plan.
  • Pay the apprentice/trainee the appropriate wages to attend any training and assessment specified in the training plan, noting that any time spent by the apprentice/trainee in performing his or her obligations under the contract whether at the employer’s workplace or not, is to be taken for all purposes (including the payment of remuneration) to be time spent working for the employer.
  • Meet all legal requirements regarding the apprentice/trainee, including but not limited to, occupational health and safety requirements, and payment of wages and conditions under the relevant employment arrangements.
  • Repay any payment I receive that I am not entitled to.
  • Work with our registered training organisation (RTO) and the apprentice/trainee to make sure we follow our training plan, keep training records up to date, and monitor and support the apprentice/trainee's progress.
  • Let the relevant State/Territory Training Authority and the RTO know within five working days (or when the local State/Territory legislation requires, if this is different) if our training contract has become jeopardised.

If any party fails to meet their contact obligations they are putting the contract at risk and the contract may be terminated.

As an apprentice or trainee, if you feel that your employer is not meeting their obligations, you can contact your AASN or the Apprenticeship Management Team (AMT) at North Metropolitan TAFE.

What is an AASN?

Australian Apprenticeship Support Network (AASN) Apprenticeship Network providers are funded by the Australian Government to provide advice and support services to employers and apprentices throughout the apprenticeship lifecycle from pre-commencement to completion through:

  • Administrative support, payment processing and regular contact.
  • Services for employers and individuals assessed as needing additional support to complete the apprenticeship.
  • In-training support services, such as mentoring, will help apprentices and employers at-risk of not completing the apprenticeship arrangement to work through issues and difficulties.
  • In addition, provide assistance to individuals who may be unsuited to an apprenticeship to identify alternative training pathways.

What is the Apprenticeship Management Team?

The Apprenticeship Management Team (AMT) is responsible for the management of Apprenticeship and Traineeship delivery across North Metropolitan TAFE. All enquiries regarding commencements, training plans, apprentice travel, training contract extensions, variations, suspensions, terminations and completions are handled by our team.

AMT Key contacts

General Business
Apprentice Travel
Manager Bianca Higgins

Once North Metropolitan TAFE receives notification of your contact, we will make contact with you and your employer to sign a training plan.  

At the same time as this is happening you details will be sent to our scheduling department. The training plan is used to monitor progress and record achieved competencies during the course of a training contract and must be negotiated and agreed to by the employer, the apprentice, and the registered training organisation.

When we email you to confirm we have received your contract, we will also ask if you have any credits. If you have successfully completed a superseded unit that has been deemed equivalent and you can demonstrate currency, North Metropolitan TAFE will recognise the unit and credit it to your current studies. You must grant viewing permission to your academic records for NMTAFE by logging into the USI Portal and following the Setup access for NMTAFE to view your USI transcript instructions.
If you don’t advise us of credits, you may be scheduled for units that you have already completed.

Throughout your life you will have gained skills and knowledge obtained through formal training (such as TAFE or university), non-formal training (via a professional development program conducted by your work) or informal learning (on-the-job experience).

Skills recognition is a formal process where we assess your knowledge and skills to determine if we can grant advanced standing for any of the units of competency you are enrolling into.  If you believe you may be eligible for RPL you should complete this self-assessment checklist.

Depending on when you contract commences and availability of the classes you need, you may start TAFE studies fairly close to your commencement or you may be waitlisted until another group becomes available. Either way you will receive communication from the scheduling department indicating the proposed dates.

The Vocational Education and Training Act 1996 (the VET Act) legislates that employers must release their apprentices for scheduled training. Failure to do so without approval requires us to inform the Apprenticeship Office, which may result in penalties being applied under the VET Act.

Once you are booked into training your employer is obliged to release you; directing you back to work disadvantages you by delaying your training program. Whilst you should comply with the instructions from your employer, if you believe that your training is being delayed you can contact the Apprenticeship Management Team to discuss your concerns. This contact will remain confidential.

Please be aware that if you attend training without the appropriate equipment you may be returned to the workplace. Please ensure that you are aware of the equipment requirements for your study area

Early completion

When you have successfully completed 100% of the TAFE Training, North Metropolitan TAFE will contact your employer to advise that off-the-job study is completed. They have the option at this time of signing you off as complete which will bring forward the completion date.  

Should the employer feel the apprentice still requires time to develop their skills on the job, they can continue until the scheduled completion date.

You will not be eligible for your certificate until the training contract is completed.


Approximately six (6) weeks prior to the completion date of the apprenticeship, the AMT will confirm that all TAFE requirements have been met, and then issue a Training Contract Completion Agreement (TCCA) via email to the employer. This is to be signed by the employer and apprentice and returned to the AMT.

Training contract extension

A training contract may be extended if both the apprentice or trainee and the employer agree that the training required will not be completed within the nominal term.  

Your employer must submit a Notice to extend a training contract to the Apprenticeship Office before the expiry date of the training contract.

On the day that all parties have agreed will be the completion date, your completion will be officially lodged. This will start the process for the Apprenticeship Office to issue your trade certificate, this should be received within five (5) days of completion.

Refer to the Completion Process Summary.

If your employment is terminated your employer should officially cancel your contact. Details of the process for Contract Termination vary depending on whether you as the apprentice agree to the termination.  

Fact Sheets area available at the Apprenticeship Office.

If your contract is suspended or terminated you are able to continue your TAFE study for six (6) months whilst you seek alternative employment.  

At any time if you employer is unable to continue your contract it can be transferred to another employer.

For detailed information about White Cards and construction inductions, see our White Card page.

Requirements apply to all trades and are outlined on our specific dress requirements page, along with any equipment and text book requirements.


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