Vocational pathways and flexible apprenticeship programs

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Vocational Pathways and Flexible Apprenticeships Program

What are School Based & Flexible Apprenticeships?
A School-based Apprenticeship is a great way to start your career while completing your SACE (South Australian Certificate of Education). ASBAs allow senior school students to combine paid work, training and school, while working towards their SACE and a nationally-recognised qualification. Students undertaking ASBAs commence a Contract of Training through a part-time Apprenticeship or Traineeship. They learn skills (competencies) on-the-job and through training with a Registered Training Organisation.

What are the benefits of undertaking a School-based Apprenticeship or Traineeship?
  • Earning money while going to school
  • Working towards or gaining a nationally-recognised qualification
  • Gaining hands-on experience in a career-orientated job
  • Earning SACE credits as part of your training, and completing your SACE
  • Having adult responsibility as a member of the workforce
  • Starting your career while you are still at school
Does an Australian School-based Apprentice get paid?
YES! The relevant industry Award covers most School-based Apprenticeships. Students are paid for the time spent in the workplace.

How long does an Australian School-based Apprenticeship take to complete?
If the ASBA is not completed prior to the completion of year 12, students can convert to either a part-time or full-time Apprenticeship until it is completed. Apprenticeships are now 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, their Contract of Training can be 'signed off'. Students commencing a Certificate III or IV (two years plus) generally work part-time while still attending school and continue full-time to complete the Apprenticeship when their schooling is finished (SACE is achieved). A Certificate III or IV level qualification may take three to four years full-time to complete and require further study and work with your employer after you complete Year 12.

How much time does a School-based Apprentice spend away from school?
At least eight hours per week on-the-job is required. However, School-based Apprenticeships can be organised in a number of ways. It can be by:

  • working one or more days a week
  • on weekends
  • during school holidays
  • blocks of time (eg a number of weeks in a row)
This is negotiated between the employer, the school and the student.

More information
For more information on School-based Apprenticeships, please download the brochures below and ensure you contact the VET Co-ordinator at your school for assistance:

ASbA Processes Table

Expression of Interest Form

Vocational pathways and flexible apprenticeship programs

What are Flexible SBATs
A Contract of Training must be signed by the student, parent, school and the employer. Students are paid for their work time and training under the school-based conditions of the appropriate award. When they finish school, their apprenticeship or traineeship can become full-time or continue part-time, depending on the choice of the student and employer.

Until now, the dominant approach to SBATs has placed a primary focus on schooling and the school timetable. Workplace attendance is often restricted by the requirement to fit around these timetable pressures. While this approach to SBATs remains an excellent way for young people to get a head start in the world of work while completing their schooling, it can present challenges for young people who are ready for the world of work on a more full-time basis and employers who would prefer students to spend more time in the workplace.

What are Flexible SBATs?
Flexible Apprenticeships, or Flexible SBATs, are an alternative approach that builds on the successful elements of SBATs to provide greater flexibility and benefits for young people, employers and schools. Under a Flexible SBAT, a student can maintain a pathway to completing their South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE) while undertaking a near full time apprenticeship or traineeship during their final year of school. A key difference between Flexible SBATs and the traditional approach is that students in their final year of schooling can spend most of their week in the workplace. The intention is for the student to be on a pathway to complete the first year of their Flexible SBAT by the time they complete their schooling.

At school, students' primary focus is on completing compulsory SACE requirements, acknowledging that completion of the SACE is an important platform for transition to full-time employment. Where possible, students will be supported to complete these requirements by the end of year 11 (Stage 1 SACE). If any compulsory requirements are still outstanding in their final year (Stage 2 SACE) these can be done outside of work hours or in negotiated blocks throughout the school year.

Under a Flexible SBAT, as with any Contract of Training, the level of pay an apprentice or trainee is entitled to, and the requirements around when they can progress to the next year of their apprenticeship or traineeship, are determined by the relevant award. For information about the progression and pay requirements of specific awards visit Fair Work Ombudsman Apprentice Entitlements.

By creating more flexibility within SACE and supporting earlier, stronger employer and industry engagement in the pathway from school to work, Flexible SBATs aim to improve both SACE and SBAT completion rates and support young people to transition successfully from school to full-time work.

Having VET tasters, available in secondary school generates student interest, knowledge and understanding of career pathway options. This may lead students to signal their interest in undertaking a SBAT in junior secondary as outlined above. Others may signal this interest in Year 11 and some may identify an interest in, or transition to, a Flexible SBAT in year 12.

Flexible Apprenticeships or Flexible SBATs are an alternative approach that builds on the successful elements of School Based apprenticeships to provide greater flexibility and benefits for young people, employers and schools. Under a Flexible SBAT, a student can maintain a pathway to completing their South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE) while undertaking a near full time apprenticeship or traineeship during their final year of school.

A key difference between Flexible SBATs and the traditional approach is that students in their final year of schooling can spend most of their week in the workplace. The intention is for the student to be on a pathway to complete their first year of their Flexible SBAT by the time they complete their schooling.

At school, student's primary focus is on completing compulsory SACE requirements acknowledging that completion of the SACE is an important platform for transition to full-time employment. Where possible, students will be supported to complete these requirements by the end of year 11 (Stage 1 SACE). If any compulsory requirements are still outstanding in their final year (Stage 2) these can be done outside of work hours or in negotiated blocks throughout the year with the school.

Under a Flexible SBAT, as with any Contract of Training, the level of pay an apprentice or trainee is entitled to and the requirements around when they can progress to the next year of their apprenticeship or traineeship are determined by the relevant award. For more information about the progression and pay requirements of specific awards visit: Fair Work Ombudsman Apprentice Entitlements.

Vocational Pathways to Employment - More Information.