Training contacts

Telephone 1300 369 935
Contact Training

Apprenticeships Info
Telephone 1800 210 210
Contact Apprenticeships Info

Queensland Training Ombudsman
Telephone 1800 773 048
Contact the Training Ombudsman

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Version 17
June 2018
School-based apprenticeships and traineeships (PDF, 175 KB)

Information to get started

School-based apprentices and trainees, typically in Years 10, 11 and 12, are trained in the workplace and with a training organisation, in their chosen apprenticeship or traineeship while continuing to study towards their Queensland Certificate of Education (Senior Certificate or equivalent).

To commence a school-based apprenticeship or traineeship (SAT), a student must have the support of the employer, the school, supervising registered training organisation (referred to as training organisation), and their parent or guardian.

The employer, student and parent or guardian (if applicable and appropriate) will be required to sign a training contract (with the assistance of an Australian Apprenticeship Support Network [AASN] provider) agreeing to work together for the length of the apprenticeship or traineeship.

It is anticipated that, prior to lodging the training contract for registration, the AASN provider will ensure that the parties to the contract work together, and with the parent or guardian and the school, to negotiate a schedule of education, training and employment (ETES). There must be some impact on the student's school timetable for the program to be considered school-based and this schedule will show that impact. The ATF-023 Education, Training and Employment Schedule form is optional and available to assist the parties to record the agreed arrangements.

Paid employment requirements

All school-based apprentices and trainees are paid for time spent working with their employer. However, the employer should contact the Fair Work Ombudsman to discuss the industrial relations provisions applicable to the employer and determine the following matters:

  • whether or not the apprentice or trainee will be paid for time spent undertaking training delivered by the training organisation
  • leave entitlements (e.g. sick leave, recreation leave etc) or a loaded rate of pay compensating for no leave accruals.

It is expected that the employer will provide 7.5 hours per week of paid employment, which may be averaged over a three-month period. The employer may provide the equivalent of a 'day' employment as part days across the week. Periods of paid employment must never fall below the minimum of 375 hours (50 days) per 12 month period from the commencement of the school-based contract.

For training contracts in electrotechnology, a minimum of 600 hours (80 days) of paid employment must be provided every 12 months.

School-based trainees must not complete in less than 12 months unless they have completed the minimum paid employment requirement. The Department of Employment, Small Business and Training may randomly audit completing school-based traineeships and request evidence to confirm the minimum paid employment was worked.

Where scheduled work time is missed and an employer and the student are not able to make up the missed days within the 12 month period due to matters outside their control, they should seek further advice from the department.

Government contributions to training costs

Apprentices and trainees (including school-based) may only access a maximum of two government contributions (under the department's User Choice program).

The government contribution to a school-based apprentice or trainee's training is aligned to the priority level of the qualification being undertaken:

  • priority 1 qualifications are 100% subsidised
  • priority 2 qualifications are 87.5% subsidised
  • priority 3 qualifications are 75% subsidised.

The training organisation must provide students (and their parent or guardian) with adequate information to allow an informed decision about which qualification they will undertake as the decision may affect their access to further funding.

Under the User Choice program, school-based apprentices and trainees are exempt from paying student contribution fees to the training organisation whilst they are at school.

Leaving school

If a SAT has not completed prior to the student leaving school, it must be converted to full-time or part-time arrangements.

The department will convert school-based apprentices and trainees to full-time arrangements the day after their Year 12 school year ends. However, for school-based apprentices and trainees who leave school before the end of Year 12, the employer, apprentice or trainee and parent or guardian must submit the ATF-035 Amendment of a registered training contract form to convert the training contract to full-time or part-time. Once converted, appropriate award wages and conditions apply - contract the Fair Work Ombudsman for assistance.

Once a student's training contract has been converted from school-based, they may be required to pay the student contribution fees and charges to the training organisation. The student should contact the training organisation to discuss these fees.

Limit to off-the-job training which may be provided

There is a limit to the amount of off-the-job training that school-based apprentices may complete whilst at school, dependent on the nominal term (full-time equivalent) of the apprenticeship:

  • four year nominal term - a maximum of 33.3% of the competencies
  • three year nominal term - a maximum of 40% of the competencies
  • two year nominal term - a maximum of 50% of the competencies.

In exceptional circumstances, and only with the prior approval of the department, it may be possible to extend the above off-the-job training limits. Applications should be directed to the department. Please note the off-the-job training limit does not apply to traineeships.

Business cases for students outside Year 10, 11 and 12

Students enrolled and attending school in a year other than 10, 11 or 12 may be considered to undertake a SAT, provided a business case has been approved prior to commencing.

Note: Where a training contract commences after the end of the student's Year 9 school year and the student is enrolled to return to school to start Year 10 the next year, a business case is not required.

For details on the requirements of a business case, contact the department.

Specific information relating to electrotechnology apprenticeships

Entry into electrotechnology apprenticeships is limited to students in Years 11 and 12 only. Particular requirements apply to school-based apprenticeships in the electrotechnology industry, and these are listed against the electrotechnology qualifications on the Queensland Training Information Service (QTIS) website.

For further information


  • the school's career counsellor
  • an AASN provider on 13 38 73
  • Apprenticeships Info on 1800 210 210
  • Fair Work Ombudsman on 13 13 94, regarding wages, entitlements and industrial awards.

Related document:

Last updated 16 November 2018

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