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A quick guide to school-based traineeships

If you prefer hands-on learning and don't want to wait until you finish school to get started in your chosen career, a school-based traineeship could be your best next step.

Sitting in a classroom all day isn't for everyone. Some people learn better hands on and don't want to wait until they finish school to get started in their chosen career. If this sounds like you, a school-based traineeship could be just what you're looking for. 

What is a school-based traineeship?

A school-based traineeship allows you to start working in your chosen industry and begin training towards a recognised vocational education and training (VET) qualification while you complete your high school studies. You'll get a head start on your career with a school-based traineeship, often leading to full-time employment once you finish your studies. And the best part is you'll be able to earn and learn, getting paid while you get the skills you need to launch your career. 

School-based traineeships are offered in a wide variety of industries.

You could kick start your career in:

  • aged care
  • agriculture and horticulture
  • allied health
  • beauty therapy
  • hairdressing
  • business
  • community services
  • early childhood education and care
  • hospitality and cookery
  • information technology
  • retail
  • tourism and events
  • or warehousing operations. 

There are also a select range of trade areas that are available to study via a traineeship including:

  • civil construction
  • automotive
  • engineering
  • and furniture making. 

How do I start a school-based traineeship?

The first step in starting a school-based traineeship is checking to see if your area of interest is offered through a traineeship. You can quickly and easily search all traineeship and apprenticeship courses available at TAFE Queensland on our website.

Once you've chosen your course, the next step it to find an employer you can complete your traineeship through. To find an employer you can contact businesses directly, use internet job search engines such as Seek, or go through a Group Training Organisation (GTO). A GTO will help you arrange your training and place you with a number of different host employers (instead of just one) where you will gain your on-the-job skills.

Finally, you'll need to gain approval from your school. They will work with your employer (or GTO) and training organisation to create your training schedule. In order to fit your traineeship around your school studies, some of your paid employment and/or training will become part of your school timetable.

How much do I get paid for a school-based traineeship?

As a trainee your employer covers the cost of your wages while also paying for your education and training, and this is reflected in your pay. How much you'll get paid as a trainee varies depending on the award you're employed under. You must be paid at least the minimum wage for your award for any time spent working for your employer. 

To check exactly how much you'll be paid under your specific award you can use the Fair Work Ombudsman's Pay and Conditions Tool.

What happens when I finish school?

If you haven't completed your traineeship by the time you finish school, your school-based traineeship will automatically be converted into a full-time traineeship. You will continue working with your existing employer, training with TAFE Queensland, and completing your qualification. If you complete your traineeship when you finish school, your employer may offer you a position to continue working with the organisation. Alternatively, you may decide to continue your studies at TAFE Queensland or use your new skills and qualifications to fund a gap year, or search for a full time job.

School-based traineeships give you the best of both worlds, allowing you to train towards a qualification and get a paid career head-start while you complete your high school studies. Learn more about your traineeship options using out traineeship course search tool.