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About school-based apprenticeships

How does school-based apprenticeships and traineeship (SBAT) work?

SBATs are open to students who are:

  • at least 15 years of age
  • enrolled in either the VCE, and
  • Australian Citizens or Permanent Residents*

To be an apprentice or trainee, you must first find a business or Group Training Organisation to employ you. A training contract then needs to be signed by you and the employer and formally lodged with the Australian Apprenticeship Support Network (AASN).  The Secondary School will approve a training plan which will be part of your secondary school timetable.

Once employed, the apprenticeship or traineeship is undertaken with an employer, with a training contract in place. Regular school attendance is combined with a minimum of one day a week of employment and/or structured training, leading to a Nationally Recognised qualification.

What are the benefits?

By undertaking an SBAT while completing a senior secondary certificate, you may:

  • incorporate vocational training into your senior secondary schooling
  • gain credit towards your VCE certificate
  • gain valuable skills and on-the-job experience
  • complete VCE while following the career or study pathway of your choice
  • get a head-start on your career
  • earn money 

For an apprenticeship or traineeship to be registered as an SBAT it must:

  • be under a Training Contract with an employer
  • include paid work carried out part-time as an apprenticeship or traineeship
  • include work and training relevant to the qualification being undertaken by the student
  • lead to a nationally recognised qualification at Certificate III or IV level
  • be integrated into the student’s school-based studies, timetable and career plan.

Things to consider

  • Do you have an employer who can give you the required hours?
  • Is this the type of career you might like to pursue?
  • Would you be able to handle work, training and other study at this time in your secondary schooling?
  • Have you spoken to your teachers or careers advisor?
  • Do you have any formal training or experience that may give you credit towards the training component of your SBAT?
  • Have you undertaken any vocational training that might be eligible for credit?

Contribution to VCE

Like VET in Schools programs, the vocational training sections of SBATs can give you credit towards your VCE.

For VCE students

  • Typically students completing a qualification of 360 hours would receive 1–4 units towards their VCE. However the amount of credit is determined by the Victorian Curriculum Assessment Authority (VCAA).
  • Qualifications at a Certificate II level or above will give you one VCE unit credit for every 90 hours of completed Units of Competency (UOCs).
  • Unit of Competency are the nationally agreed statements of the skills and knowledge required for effective performance in a particular job or job function. They describe work outcomes as agreed by industry.
    • UOCs at AQF level II provide credit at VCE unit 1 and 2 level 
    • UOCs at AQF level III or above provide credit at VCE unit 3 and 4 level.


* In certain cases, non-citizens holding a Bridging Visa E, Temporary Protection Visa or Safe Haven Enterprise Visa may be eligible to undertake a Skills First Funded subsidised SBAT.

* To be eligible, the individual must (a) hold a valid Referral Form endorsed by the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC) or the Australian Red Cross Victims of Human Trafficking Program prior to enrolment, OR (b) hold an appropriate visa verified by the TAFE Institute or Learn Local RTO using the VEVO system.