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Australian School-Based Apprenticeships

Australian School Based Apprenticeships (ASBA’s) as the name suggests are a combination of attending school and doing an Apprenticeship or Traineeship on a part time basis.

The school’s Apprenticeship Broker and VET coordinator work together with the relevant parties to set up/organise the ASBA, this is normally done prior to it commencing.

ASBA’s give students the chance to gain valuable work skills, accredited training and it counts towards their SACE, and they get paid whilst they do it.

The hours of work and training can be during school time, after school, on weekends and over school holidays. The amount of days/times is negotiated on a case by case basis.

The number of school subjects a student undertakes is normally decreased with the formal training they do as an ASBA replacing dropped subjects. Students are on a pathway to successfully complete their SACE.

Generally students commence an ASBA in year 10, 11 or 12, under special circumstances they can start as a year 9. ASBA’s can commence at any time during the year.

The Apprenticeship or Traineeship can be completed prior to finishing school or roll over to full time, this depends on what qualification the student is undertaking.

The time spent doing an ASBA comes off the full time Apprenticeship/Traineeship on a pro-rata basis when the student completes their secondary schooling.

The accredited training is usually done either at the employer’s premises, externally at a training provider such as TAFE, or sometimes a combination of both.

Most ASBA opportunities come about via work experience, existing casual/part time jobs, family businesses, eg tradespeople or farmers, or through word of mouth.

There’s a huge range of jobs ASBA’s can be done in eg; vehicle & transport, building, engineering, agriculture/horticulture, child care, aged care, hospitality, hairdressing, office/admin the list is endless.

Does an Australian School-Based Apprentice get paid?

Yes, students are paid for the time spent in the workplace. The relevant industry Award covers School Based Apprentices wages and conditions.

How long does an Australian School-Based Apprenticeship take to complete?

The length of Apprenticeships or Traineeships whether they are School Based or full time varies depending on the qualification being undertaken. ASBA's receive credit for their School Based Apprenticeship on a pro rata basis, which is dependent on how many hours they work each week. If the ASBA is not completed prior to the student completing year 12, their employer is required to offer them ongoing employment. Apprenticeships and Traineeships are competency-based, which means that if all the training is successfully completed and the employer believes the Apprentice or Trainee is competent in all areas, the Contract of Training can be ‘signed off’ earlier than the nominal completion date.

How much time does a School-Based Apprentice spend away from school?

The amount of time away from school is negotiated on a case by case basis with the employer, school and student. It can vary from missing no time at school to not requiring to be at school at all. School timetables usually allow more time to be spent away from school the higher the year level, ie a year 12 would normally be able to spend more time away from school than a year 10 student. ASBA's can work during school time, on weekends, during school holidays or blocks of time (eg a number of weeks in a row). Awards require students to be employed for a minimum of 7.5 hours per week.

Who are Apprenticeship Brokers?

Apprenticeship Brokers are employed by the Department for Education as part of the Trade Schools for the Future strategy. Their role is to facilitate School-Based Apprenticeships between students, parents/caregivers, employers, schools and Registered Training Organisations. Nuriootpa High School has one Apprenticeship Broker (Nicholas Mathew) who works closely with students, school staff and parents/caregivers to assist students interested Apprenticeships and Traineeships, and to set up School-Based Apprenticeships.

How can I meet with an Apprenticeship Broker?

Contact Nicholas Mathew on (08) 8562 1299 or 0439 859 0375 - email:

A great start to your career If you are interested, speak to the VET Coordinator or the Apprenticeship Broker who will be able to put you on the right track and can assist you in choosing the most suitable subjects or relevant people to contact.

Australian Apprenticeships Website
Trade Schools for the Future Website
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