An apprenticeship or traineeship is a combination of employment and training which, when successfully completed, results in a nationally recognised qualification and the issue of a trade certificate.


A pre-apprenticeship is a full-time, Certificate II level course and can take up to six months to complete. These are normally completed while no longer enrolled at school.

You receive accredited training as well as on-site work experience. If you successfully complete a pre-app in a recognised construction trade you may be eligible to apply for an Award of $250 from the Construction Training Fund. You can find out about pre-apprenticeship enrolments from the Career Centre.

To apply, please contact CTF on 9244 0100 or email us.

Employment as an apprentice

There are two types of employers involved in apprenticeship training – a direct indenture employer and a group training organisation (GTO).

A direct indenture employer (an indenture is the relationship between the employer and employee) is a single business that employs and trains an apprentice for the entire duration of the apprenticeship.

A group training organisation (GTO) employs a large number of apprentices, often in a range of trade qualifications. As the employer, the GTO meets all conditions under which the apprentice is employed but places them with different host employers over the course of the apprenticeship. The GTO charges the host employer a fee for the apprentice’s services whilst ensuring the host employer provides essential on-the-job experience.

The Apprenticeship Journey

The first part of an apprenticeship is probation – a period of up to 90 days after which time the apprenticeship is registered with the Department of Training and Workforce Development.

Each apprenticeship has a nominal timeframe, ranging from 24-48 months (full-time) depending on the specific trade. Rather than a guaranteed timeframe, the nominal term itself is an indicator of the time that can be reasonably expected for an apprentice to complete training and perform at tradesperson standard.

Linked closely to the nominal term is competency based training. Completion of a qualification is measured against the apprentice’s ability to consistently demonstrate and apply knowledge and skills to the tasks expected of the trade, at tradesperson standard.

Off-the-job training (formal, classroom-based) must be completed within the nominal term of the indenture, which, as an example, may be 850 hours within 36 months. This is determined by the content and nominal hours of the training package that underpins the individual, nationally recognised trade qualification.

Off-the-job training must be delivered and assessed by a Registered Training Provider (RTP). The RTP is chosen by the employer at the very beginning of the apprenticeship indenture.

The RTP negotiates a Training Plan Outline (TPO) with the employer. The TPO takes into account the requirements of the training package and the nature of the employer’s business to ensure all requirements of the training package and qualifications are met. The TPO includes a schedule for the apprentice to attend the required number of training hours.

On-the-job training is provided by the employer to give the apprentice the depth and breadth of experiences essential to apply knowledge, skills and underpinning theory necessary to demonstrate and achieve competency as a tradesperson.

To be assessed as competent, an apprentice is required to successfully complete all off-the-job training and be verified as competent by their employer in all on-the-job tasks.