High school students urged to consider a school-based apprenticeship

Thousands of young Australians starting or returning to senior secondary school are being reminded about the option of a school-based apprenticeship that can help prepare them for a career in a trade or other occupation. 

School-based apprenticeships combine hands-on industry experience and the opportunity to work towards a vocational qualification while completing the senior school certificate. 

The Chief Executive Officer of Group Training Australia (GTA), Jim Barron said a school-based apprenticeship can be an ideal way of combining senior school study with practical trade training. 

“It gives students a taste of what it may ultimately be like to pursue an apprenticeship or a trade career, and is a real choice for those who are not necessarily focused on university,” Mr Barron said. 

School-based apprenticeships are offered at many secondary schools across a range of subjects. 

Group training organisations around Australia employ about 14 per cent of all school-based apprentices. 

One of the advantages of starting through group training is that it provides much needed support at a time when school-based apprentices are juggling the simultaneous demands of the school curriculum, the training course and the workplace. 

This support is invaluable in assisting the apprentice to complete their senior secondary certificate and make a more seamless transition to a full time apprenticeship after leaving school. 

“It’s important that students commencing their senior years at school are made aware of the range of choices that are available to start down the path of a rewarding apprenticeship or vocational career,” Mr Barron said. 

“Increasingly, the choice of an apprenticeship is being seen as equivalent to a university education, where a priority on technical and trade skills is paramount. 

“A school-based apprenticeship helps to get students thinking about career and life choices and can help them stay engaged with school. 

“It’s a way of getting a head start in a career, commencing training and earning a wage, while completing the secondary school certificate. 

“I would strongly encourage students entering Year 11 or 12 to talk to their local group training organisation or school VET co-ordinator about the possibility of a school-based apprenticeship,” Mr Barron said.