Who can be an apprentice or trainee?

Types of apprentices

When you think about apprenticeships and traineeships, you probably think they're for someone just out of school – but these days, apprenticeships and traineeships can also be undertaken by high school students, as well as adult and mature-aged workers. Let's check out your options!


I am...

  • Still in high school

    As an Australian School-based Apprentice (AS-bA), you'll get to kickstart your career while you're still at school.

    You'll undertake paid part-time work and formal training while completing your secondary schooling (generally while in years 10-12).

    You can either finish your training while you're at school or continue your apprenticeship/traineeship with your employer once you've completed secondary school. 

  • Under 24 and no longer at school

    If you're a school-leaver or entering the workforce for the first time, and you're up to the age of 24, you're an apprentice or trainee. Generally, you'll be working full-time, combining on-the-job training with formal study through a Registered Training Organisation. It’s a great way to gain a nationally accredited qualification and earn a real wage!

  • Between 25-44

    Adult Australian Apprentices are aged 25-44 and are usually looking to change their career path or re-enter the workforce after a period of absence (travel, starting a family, etc.).

    If you're an adult apprentice and you're undertaking a Certificate III or IV level qualification that leads to an occupation on the National Skills Needs List (NSNL) you may be eligible to attract the Support for Adult Australian Apprentices (SAAA) incentive. This is paid to your employer and is a great motivator for businesses to take on adult apprentices! Your potential employer can find out what that means here.

  • Aged 45 and over

    Aged 45 and over and wanting to formalise the skills you've gained throughout your working life? You're considered a mature-aged apprentice or trainee. As a mature-aged apprentice or trainee, we know you can add value to your workplace through low absenteeism, business knowledge from your previous life and work experience PLUS a strong work ethic.

    To encourage more employers to assist mature-aged workers in re-entering the workforce, transferring industries and training for a new vocation through an Australian Apprenticeship, potential Government financial incentives are available. We explain that in more detail here.