How do I apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship?

1. Find an employer

To start any apprenticeship or traineeship, you must find an employer who’s willing to take you on as an apprentice or trainee.

If you’re a school student, make sure you read our article called How do school-based apprenticeships and traineeships work and speak to the career counsellor at your school – they will be able to help you find apprenticeship and traineeship opportunities.

If you’re no longer attending school, you can also find apprenticeship and traineeship opportunities listed on job search websites such as Seek, Indeed, Busy At Work, Apprenticeship Central, or even on construction apprenticeship and traineeship groups on social media.

2. Prepare your application documents

Once you’ve found a potential employer, it’s time to apply. Make sure your resume is up to date with your education, skills, work experience, and any other certifications you have. Write a short letter about why you are interested in the apprenticeship and why you are a suitable candidate. Don’t stress if you don’t have any work experience; you can list general achievements, times you’ve shown leadership or initiative, or any volunteer work.

If you’re a school student, your school can guide you through creating a resume and help you with your application documents.

3. Submit your application

Send your application directly to the employers or training providers offering the apprenticeship or traineeship. Follow their preferred application method, whether it’s through an online portal, email, or post. Make sure you deliver all the documents are delivered by the given deadlines.

If you’re a school student, your school will help you submit your application documents.

4. Follow up

For most employers, finding an apprentice with a great attitude is more important than one with heaps of experience. A good way to show them how serious you are about the gig is by following up your application with a phone call. This can also let your personality shine through better than a resume – helpful if you have less work experience. To show your potential employer that you’re interested, offer to come and meet with them and talk about the apprenticeship or traineeship opportunity.

5. Ace your interview

To make a good first impression, it’s important to present well. Find a smart-casual outfit (or your school uniform if you’re a student) and arrive 5-10 minutes early. Use your interview as an opportunity to show that you’re dedicated to work and willing to learn. Practice some interview questions before you go (like why you applied for the apprenticeship or traineeship, and why you think you’d make a good apprentice or trainee) and write a few questions of your own (like what an average day on the job looks like, or can they describe the culture of the business). Asking questions about the apprenticeship and business shows your initiative and enthusiasm.

If you’re a student, your interview will be coordinated by your school and may be a school-facilitated interview or direct with the employer. Your career counsellor or vocational education coordinator will let you know what to expect.

6. Accept the offer and complete your paperwork

If you’re successful, you’ll have to complete your enrolment paperwork, guided by your employer or training provider. This includes filling out application forms, providing personal information, signing the Employment Contract, all submitted by the necessary dates.

If you’re a school student, your career counsellor or vocational education coordinator will help you with your paperwork.

7. Get an AASN

Once the apprenticeship or traineeship Employment Contract is signed, you or your employer will need to find an Australian Apprenticeship Support Network (AASN) provider. You cannot start an apprenticeship or traineeship in Australia without an AASN provider – they will help you with registering the apprenticeship, managing training plans, and apprenticeship incentives and payments. You can read more about the roles and responsibilities of an AASN provider here.