Click on each step to get you on your way to becoming a school-based apprentice or trainee.

Do you have a good idea of the career you want?

Talk to your parents or guardians or career councilor at your school about the Trade Schools for the Future program that will lead to your career.

Do you need to find out more about possible careers?

Talk to your career counsellor at your school, complete the career quiz or check out hundreds of videos about getting a trade or skill.

Australian Apprenticeships Pathways videos videos about different careers.

Career Interest Explorer explore possible careers.

Career Interest Search search for careers.

My Future finds lots of activities to help you decide on your career.

Australian Apprenticeships Pathways career app download the career app.

Still need more information about the types of careers available?

Check out these websites:

Australian Apprenticeship Pathways
Job Outlook

Not sure which apprenticeship you should choose?

A good website to have a look at is Australian Apprenticeships

Are you ready for an apprenticeship? Try the apprenticeship quizzes.

Many trades require you to have good literacy and numeracy skills so choose the correct subjects while at school. Talk to your VET Coordinator or Career adviser at your local school about the subjects you need.
You can check out how your skills match various careers here.

Building and Construction
and more!

Apprenticeship quiz

How does it fit with the SACE?

  • TIP: Each qualification is different, and has compulsory and elective options, so the SACE credits you gain will vary from subject to subject. Your VET coordinator at your school will be able to help you work this out.

Talk to people both at home and at school like your Vet Coordinator or counsellor. There are many options for completing SACE using a school-based apprenticeship. SACE is designed to provide you with skills for life, whether you plan to undertake further study, enter the workforce or take up a trade.

You will need to earn at least 200 credits to gain the SACE certificate. This involves about 2 years of full-time study, but don’t panic – it is usually spread over 3 years. There are 2 stages to the SACE: stage 1 is usually done in Year 11, apart from the Personal Learning Plan (PLP), which is completed in Year 10. Stage 2 is studied throughout Year 12.

Each VET subject or course you complete will earn you credit towards the SACE. Recent changes mean that from 2011, students will be able to include more VET subjects in their SACE studies – up to 180 SACE credits at Stage 1 and/or 2 for successfully completed VET subjects!

Once you have chosen your VET options, you can work out how many SACE credits that counts for. You don’t have to complete every subject within a VET qualification to earn SACE credits – the courses you do complete will go towards this.

It’s as easy as that - you can study trades and industries to gain real qualifications, ones that will start you on your career path. Plus, the best bit is that you can do all this while at school! So what are you waiting for?
The SACE Planner may assist you to plan your SACE program, including your chosen VET program or see how other students planned their SACE with a school-based apprenticeship.

SACE Planner

Have you done work experience?

If you’re keen to try a school-based apprenticeship you could do some work experience in that area.  There are people at school who can assist you.

See your school’s career counselor or VET Coordinator for more information.

How to ask for work experience?

Now is the time to unashamedly ask your friends, relatives, parents and all of your parents’ friends to put in a good word for you and ask around about placements.  Just like with jobs, you’re more likely to get a foot in the door from someone who is already in the room.

Send out a letter

(not just an email but a typed letter posted through the mail)

Include in your letter:

  • Your name and address
  • The company name and address
  • Work experience availability
  • What your interests and relevant skills are
  • Why you would like to do work experience at that particular company and how it will benefit your future
  • What you think you could bring to their organisation

Go online

Use social networks such as Facebook and Twitter to connect with employers offering work experience.


Volunteer with a community or charity organisation.

Go door to door

Try going about it the old fashioned way and get dressed up and front up to the main reception and ask to speak to whoever organisers Work Experience Placements.  Have your CV with you.

Contact the Human Resources Department of the companies you are interested in and ask them about available work placements.

Have you done any VET?

You can do some VET courses while you are still at school.

The VET course may include work placements as a component so you can get work experience.

Prevocational and pre-apprenticeship courses help you develop job skills and prepare you to become an apprentice or trainee.

Completing a relevant pre-vocational or pre-apprenticeship course not only allows you to see what working in a particular job is like, but it may also reduce the term of an apprenticeship or traineeship if you decided to continue your training. See your school's career counsellor or VET Coordinator for more information.

Have you got a resume?

A resume is used to market yourself to an employer when you apply for an apprenticeship / traineeship.  It is a summary of what you have achieved and who you are and focuses on what you want the employer to know.

If you have completed the SACE PLP subject at school you should have the basis of your resume already prepared.   Your resume should include the following:  Contact details
Include your name, address telephone number and email address.

Your Skills
Include examples of your skills that relate directly to the apprenticeship / traineeship.  Remember generic skills such as communication skills, ability to work with others and in teams, problem solving skills, ability to work under pressure, ability to accept responsibility and computing skills.

Work History
List any work you have done while at school, such as work experience and structured workplace learning and any part-time work outside school.  Start with the most recent experience.  Include the job title, business name and location, dates of experience / employment and a brief description of your responsibilities, duties and achievements.

Include the name(s) of your school(s), the dates you attended and the subjects you have completed or are undertaking.

Other qualifications
List units of competency you have completed as part of your training in school or outside of school.

List awards, certificates and statements of attainment you have received from your school and registered training organisations.

Interest / Hobbies
List particularly those where you are required to work in a team or where they are relevant to the apprenticeship / traineeship

Include the name and address of the organisation and contact details (telephone numbers and email addresses).

Resume Templates
For a step by step guide on how to build a resume visit Job Guide or visit .
our tips for work section where you can find videos, student resume examples and much more.

Can you write a cover letter?

At some stage, you will want to send your resume to new employers.

When you send a resume you need a covering letter to explain what you are sending and why.   The letter should stand out and make the employer want to read your resume.

  • No spelling or word processing mistakes
  • Address it to the person who hires the apprentices/trainees in the company
  • Write it in your own words so it sounds like you.
  • Including something about the company and the industry.
  • Use terms and phrases that are meaningful to the employer.
  • Have someone read it to check for grammar, spelling, content and style.
  • Ask relatives or teachers for editing help

What makes a good covering letter?

  • Short and to the point.
  • Show that you’ve done some research on the business.
  • Make it clear that you’ve written the letter specially for this business.
  • Focus on your personal strengths (your resume will cover your work skills).
  • Be formal: don’t use slang.
  • Check your spelling and grammar.

For further information go to the tips for work section

Does having a casual job help?

Yes. A casual job, even if it’s not in the industry you want to pursue a career with, will demonstrate your work ethic to potential employers and show you are ready to work.

Register your interest

Complete the on-line registration and your local Apprenticeship Broker will contact you.

end faq

Broker contact details (PDF)

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