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Become an apprentice or trainee

Learn hands on with the same equipment and tools used in industry, combining working for an employer and studying at TAFE Queensland, and graduate with a nationally-recognised qualification. Develop the skills to take on the world and make something of yourself.

The difference between apprenticeships and traineeships

Apprenticeships and traineeships are similar in that they both combine on-the-job training with practical training in the classroom. However, there are some important differences.


Apprentices are trained in skilled areas such as building and construction, plumbing, cookery, hairdressing, and more. An apprenticeship typically takes about 3 to 4 years to complete. On completion you will be trade qualified, with a nationally-recognised certificate.


Traineeships are usually available in other vocational areas such as business, information technology, tourism, child care, and more. Trainees typically take about 1 to 2 years to complete their course. On completion you will have important skills for your occupation and a nationally-recognised qualification.

Become an apprentice or trainee

Four steps to becoming an apprentice or a trainee



Because both apprenticeships and traineeships involve training from both an employer and a training provider, the first step in starting an apprenticeship is to find an employer who’s willing to take you on.

Check out our Find an Employer service


Next you’ll need to complete a training contract to make the arrangement official. This is a legally binding document that sets out the agreement between you and your employer to work and train together for the length of the apprenticeship or traineeship.



As part of the training contract, make sure you select TAFE Queensland as your Supervising Registered Training Organisation (SRTO). This means you’ll be able to access industry-experienced teachers and purpose-built facilities and equipment.

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Once the paperwork is out of the way, you’ll officially start your apprenticeship or traineeship, completing your qualification through TAFE Queensland while you work in industry putting your new skills into practice.

Finding an employer

You will need an employer in your chosen area willing to employ you as an apprentice or trainee. If you don’t have an employer in mind, or you’re just starting to look consider the following options.

Find an Employer service

If you’re keen to start an apprenticeship or traineeship but need help finding an employer, TAFE Queensland can help.

We can connect you with an employer who’s looking to take on an apprentice or trainee in your chosen industry.

Australian Apprenticeship Support Network

Try contacting an Australian Apprenticeship Support Network (AASN) provider or Group Training Organisation (GTO).

AASN providers work with employers and apprentices to complete the training contract. AASNs often have jobs boards and extensive networks, which means they often know who is looking for an apprentice. 

A GTO employs apprentices and trainees and places them with different businesses, host employers, and organises training.  Contact the Apprentice Employment Network on 1800 819 747 for local GTOs.

Job sites

You can use internet job search engines to help find an employer. We suggest you enter a job title of 'apprentice' as well as your chosen industry in the search field. Other sites include Australian Government's Workforce Australia page, Smartjobs for Queensland Government apprenticeships and traineeships or the Queensland local council job vacancies.

The direct approach 

Sometimes making an approach to an employer is one of the best ways to get noticed. Make sure you have your resume, and contact the business you are interested in working in. Taking that first step can show a prospective employer that you’re not only interested in becoming an apprentice but working for their business.  

Payment and funding options

There are a range of subsidies, concessions and scholarships you may be eligible for to assist you with the cost of your training.

Free apprenticeships for under 25s

The Queensland Government is supporting young Queenslanders up to the age of 25 by providing access to fully subsidised training across a range of priority apprenticeship and traineeship qualifications.

User choice

The User Choice program provides a public funding contribution towards the cost of training and assessment services for eligible Queensland apprentices and trainees. The program aims to provide funding aligned to industry skills needs and shortages.

Certificate 3 Guarantee

The Certificate 3 Guarantee (C3G) helps support eligible students to complete their first post-school certificate III level qualification. You may be eligible to receive a subsidy towards one certificate III qualification from a list of subsidised courses.

Payment options

If you're not eligible for other subsidies or concessions but don't want to pay your course fees upfront then you may be eligible for a TAFE Queensland payment plan. Our payment plans allow you to gradually pay off your course fees while you study.

Women in trades

At TAFE Queensland we're passionate about encouraging and empowering more girls and women to consider pursuing a trade pathway.

Whether you’re finishing school, re-entering the workforce or looking for a career change, you can earn while you learn with an apprenticeship and gain the hands-on skills and experience you need to carve out a future as a tradesperson.

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