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Version 5
December 2021
Determining the impact on the school timetable (PDF, 162KB)

Information to get started

This information on school-based apprenticeships and traineeships (SATs) is provided to assist schools and other stakeholders to plan and implement education, training and work arrangements which are appropriate to SATs.

Information provided is a guide only, and intended to demonstrate how work and training in a SAT must impact on the student's school timetable.

In developing a schedule for a student, it is important that paid employment is regular and meaningful. It is also important to adhere to any applicable minimum and maximum limits to training arrangements, as set out in the Guide to school-based apprenticeships and traineeships (PDF, 330 KB).

What level of impact is appropriate?

The level of impact on a student's school timetable is not mandated. The student's school is best placed to decide whether proposed arrangements impact sufficiently so that the apprenticeship or traineeship forms part of the student's school program and can be undertaken under school-based arrangements.

Possible ways that a SAT may impact on a student's school timetable may include:

  • paid employment undertaken during normal school hours, and/or
  • training undertaken during normal school hours, and/or
  • reducing the number of subjects studied to allow the student to work and/or train.

For example, the school-based apprentice or trainee may attend work on Wednesday afternoons instead of sport; a foreign language subject may be dropped to undertake the SAT. The amended timetable must reflect the changes made to accommodate the SAT.

There is no requirement to document the student's full school, training and work schedule (other than the school timetable) in a particular way, however the parties must be able to show, at audit, a schedule has been developed and the parties have agreed to it.

Parties may find a written schedule may assist in ensuring all parties are aware of their details of their agreement. The ATF-023 Education, Training and Employment Schedule (ETES) for school-based apprenticeships and traineeships form may be used by any of the schooling sectors.

Impact for school-based apprentices

The impact of a school-based apprenticeship on a student's school timetable is usually fairly clear.

School-based apprentices attend a regular pattern of structured off-the-job training (often scheduled blocks of training) and undertake regular paid employment during school hours, often spilling over to weekends and holiday periods.

Impact for school-based trainees

A traineeship arrangement may stipulate training delivered by a training organisation, online study, completion of workbooks and/or other autonomous delivery methods. The parties may agree that training will be delivered at the training organisation's or employer's location, or at school. The school will need to consider the balance between school studies and the traineeship activity.

School-based trainees must have a regular pattern of paid employment and training in a qualification, which forms part of their school program. Some work and training may happen outside of school hours, on weekends and during school holidays.

The support of the student's school is required before the training contract can be registered. Before supporting a school-based arrangement, the school (and other stakeholders) must decide whether there is sufficient impact on the student's school timetable for it to be regarded as school-based. Due consideration as to the appropriateness of the arrangement would need to be given if, for example, the only impact would be that the traineeship would be slotted into a student's previously spare/study time or following on from a shortened school day which was already timetabled - in such cases, appropriate impact is doubtful.

Examples of impact

In summary the impact on the timetable is flexible and needs to be considered on a case-by-case basis. It is also imperative for the school to be supportive of the arrangements.

In some cases there may not be an easily identified impact on the timetable, however the student is undertaking a traineeship that aligns to the student's studies and complements the existing learning program. Ultimately the school is best placed to ensure the best interest of the student is considered.

Example 1

The student is attending work and/or structured training during school hours. This is an obvious impact on the school timetable and, provided all parties agree on the timing, this is the optimum example of an impact on the timetable.

Example 2

The student is working on a weeknight(s), Saturday or Sunday and it is agreed between all parties that there is a need to drop a subject to cater for this additional work/study. This is an obvious impact. Dropping a subject allows the student to use that time to undertake traineeship activities without become overburdened.

Example 3

The student:

  • is employed to work on a weeknight(s), Saturday or Sunday
  • is provided online training, workbooks or is otherwise self-directed in their studies
  • has a full existing timetable including some free/study time
  • does not drop a subject and essentially maintains the same timetable they had prior to undertaking the SAT
  • uses some of the existing free/study time to undertake the self-paced training but this impacts on the amount of study they already had to do.

In most cases this would appear to have no genuine impact on the school timetable and it may be worth considering a part-time training contract rather than a school-based training contract.

However, there may be other considerations. The student may be undertaking a SAT which is closely aligned to the existing studies and complements the student's career direction and therefore the existing free/study time can be genuinely used to work on the training relating to the SAT without having a negative impact on the study already being done.

Example 4

A boarding school student only works during the school holidays when they return home. All the off-the-job training is done during normal school hours. This is an acceptable impact as the training is being undertaken during normal school hours as part of the student's timetable.

This arrangement is acceptable due to the particular nature of attendance for full boarding school students. However, it should not be used for students who board at the school only during the week and return home on weekends, or attend school as a day student. The general requirement for these students is that there must be a pattern of regular training and paid employment, not just on school holidays.

Minimum paid work requirements

The employer is expected to be able to provide 375 hours (50 days) of paid employment over each 12 month period from the date of commencement of the training contract. These hours are to be negotiated with the school and the school-based apprentice or trainee prior to the commencement of the training contract.

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

For completion of a school-based traineeship, the trainee must have completed a minimum of 50 days of paid employment for each year of the equivalent full-time nominal term of the traineeship.

School-based trainees who are nearing the end of Year 12 and have finished their training with their training organisation, however are unlikely to meet the minimum paid work requirement due to circumstances beyond their control, can put a business case to the Queensland Training Ombudsman for independent consideration of their case for completion.

Examples of school-based contract details:

Child Care Worker Traineeship (Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care)

Full-time nominal term: 24 months
School-based nominal term: 48 months
Minimum paid employment days required: 100 days.

Sport and Recreation Officer (Certificate III in Sport and Recreation)

Full-time nominal term: 18 months
School-based nominal term: 36 months
Minimum paid employment days required: 75 days.

Visit the Queensland Training Information Service (QTIS) website for apprenticeship and traineeship nominal durations.

Schools must contact the department if they have any concerns relating to the amount or level of work being provided to the student, inadequate support or if it appears the amount of actual work and/or training being undertaken by a student falls considerably short of what was agreed.

If a school has any concerns about the arrangements being made for the school-based apprentice or trainee, they need to contact the department, via Apprenticeships Info on 1800 210 210, and work together with regional officers to resolve the issue.

Last updated 8 December 2021

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