Apprentice or trainee

Be paid while you train

Learn a trade or workplace skill, get a nationally accredited qualification, and be paid while you train.

Apprenticeships and traineeships can be done either full time or part time. Regional students may study in 'block release' mode - this means you come to college for one-two weeks at set times during the year. The minimum age is 16 years (or 18 years if serving alcohol) and there is no maximum age.


Apprenticeships are usually three to four years in ‘traditional’ trades such as automotive, building construction, carpentry, electrical, hairdressing and plumbing.


Traineeships are usually one to two years in vocational areas not covered by apprenticeships. They are available in most business and industry sectors.

School-based apprenticeships and traineeships

With school-based apprenticeships and traineeships (SBATs) you can start while you are still at school and get part-time paid employment while you study.

Find out more about school-based apprenticeships and traineeships under What is TVET? in our TAFE at school section.

Why choose us?

Sydney TAFE enrols almost 6,000 apprentices and 800 trainees each year. We offer more than 150 courses for trainees and apprentices and target our training to suit both you and your employer.

Employers and students chose us because:

  • We are experienced: Sydney TAFE has been a leader in vocational training for over 100 years
  • Our industry-experienced teachers are passionate about their subject and genuinely care about your success
  • We work closely with industry so you are exposed to the latest technology and train in the highest industry-standard facilities available.

We also offer a range of pre-apprenticeship courses in skill shortage areas such as carpentry and the automotive trades to help you fast-track your way into an apprenticeship.

How to get started

You must find an employer who’ll take you on as a trainee or apprentice. Approach them yourself or through an Australian Apprenticeships Centre (an organisation that finds employers for apprentices and trainees).

Your employer is required to complete a training contract and lodge it with an Australian Apprenticeships Centre before you can enrol.

Talk to us

For  more information about apprenticeships and traineeships call the Sydney TAFE Information Centre on 1300 360 601. 

Not sure whether an apprenticeship or traineeship is for you? Make an appointment to talk about career options with one of our counsellors.