Who can be an apprentice or trainee?

Types of apprentices

When hiring and signing up an apprentice or trainee, your first thought is probably to look 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.


So, who can be an apprentice or trainee? Just about anyone!

  • School-based apprentices and trainees

    An Australian School-based Apprenticeship (AS-bA) provides students with the opportunity to commence vocational learning and part-time paid employment while still at secondary school (generally while in years 10-12).

    They can either finish their training while they’re at school or continue their apprenticeship/traineeship with you once they’ve completed secondary school. 

    By giving a young person both experience and skills training while they are still at school, you may be eligible to receive Government financial incentives.

  • Apprentices and trainees

    Generally, apprentices or trainees are school-leavers or those entering the workforce for the first time, up to the age of 24. They'll usually work full-time, combining on-the-job training with formal study through a Registered Training Organisation. It’s a great way for workers to gain a nationally accredited qualification and earn a real wage - all while helping your business grow!

    As with school-based apprentices and trainees, you may be eligible for Government financial incentives when you sign up an apprentice or trainee.

  • Adult apprentices and trainees

    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.).

    Adult apprentices who are undertaking a Certificate III or IV level qualification that leads to an occupation on the National Skills Needs List (NSNL) may be eligible to attract the Support for Adult Australian Apprentices (SAAA) incentive which is paid to their employer - i.e. you! Find out what that means here.

  • Mature-aged apprentices and trainees

    Aged 45 and over, mature-aged workers are generally wanting to formalise the skills they've gained throughout their working life. A mature-aged apprentice or trainee can add value to your business through low absenteeism, business knowledge from their previous life and work experience PLUS a strong work ethic.

    By assisting a mature-aged worker in re-entering the workforce, transferring industries and training for a new vocation through an Australian Apprenticeship, employers may be eligible for Government financial incentives. We explain that in more detail here.