Apprenticeships & Traineeships

We offer apprenticeships, traineeship, and pre-apprenticeship courses across a range of trade and industry areas. If you’re interested in becoming an apprentice or trainee, we can give you the practical skills and knowledge you need for your career. We’re skilling up apprentices and trainees across every major industry, every day.

South West TAFE is proud to have trained generations of remarkable tradespeople across the state and in South Australia. We deliver on-the-job training and have on-campus training facilities depending on the qualification that you are studying. Every apprenticeship and traineeship is a little different. You can undertake an Australian Apprenticeship as a school leaver, if you’re re-entering the workforce and if you are an adult simply looking at a career change. You can even begin while finishing secondary school under an Australian school-based apprenticeship arrangement.

An apprenticeship is an excellent pathway to an industry career – ready to start?

Follow these easy steps:                          

  • Begin by finding an apprenticeship that you are interested in. You can increase your chances of securing employment by completing a pre-apprenticeship course with us. You have to be employed permanently part-time or full-time to complete an apprenticeship due to the on-the-job learning aspect.
  • Your employer will then register you with an approved Australian Apprenticeship Support Network. An AASN representative will organise an employment contract between you and your employer.
  • The AASN will register your training contract on the apprenticeship database (called DELTA) – this step may take up to four weeks.
  • Once SWTAFE has received notification of your sign up with the employer, your SWTAFE apprenticeship coordinator will negotiate with you and your employer a training plan that suits the work that you do. Upon agreement by all parties your coordinator will arrange for you to sign the training plan with your employer and SWTAFE. Then you can start your training.


Want to see what it’s like to work in a trade?

If you are looking for a trade career, a pre-apprenticeship is a great way to get started. Pre-apprenticeships let you experience what it’s like to work in an industry prior to making the commitment to an apprenticeship. 

As part of your studies, you will also discover how to work and communicate effectively with others and maintain safe working conditions. For many employers, a pre-apprenticeship is the preferred prerequisite to entering the industry.

Apprentices who have completed a pre-vocational training program may receive credit for the study they have completed.  In some industries time credit is also given for completion of a pre-apprenticeship program.


If you have a passion for a trade and want to enter the workforce or change your career, an apprenticeship can be a great option.

They provide practical, hands-on, accredited training while you work – you earn while you learn.

You must be employed, either full-time or part-time, to start an apprenticeship. Training can be undertaken on-the-job, off-the-job, or a combination of both, depending on your employer’s needs.

The duration of an apprenticeship is between three and four years nominally. This may vary depending on your employer and your determination to complete all competencies and assessments required for the qualification.

To undertake an apprenticeship you must:

Find an employer or a group training company that agrees to employ you. Apprenticeships can start at any time.
Sign a training agreement with both the employer and an Australian Apprenticeship Centre
Contact us to discuss enrolment and study options.

You can enrol in an apprenticeship course if you are aged between 15 and 64 and a permanent resident of Australia.

You receive payment as a full-time employee while being trained by qualified industry and teaching professionals.

There are a number of Government benefits and assistance available to Australian apprentices. These benefits may change and you should refer to the Australian apprenticeships website for current details.

For more information visit the Australian apprenticeship website or phone 1300 648 911.

Australian apprentices with disability and their employers may be eligible to receive additional assistance under the Australian Apprenticeships Incentives Programme.

You can also visit the Department of Education website for detailed info about training types and industries, wages and financial assistance.


If you want to learn on the job but are not interested in a traditional trade, a traineeship might be for you.

As with apprenticeships, you learn on the job and you must be employed full-time or part-time. The main difference between an apprenticeship and a traineeship is the duration of the training.

Most traineeships run for one year, however in some cases this could extend to three years.

The industry and the qualification required will determine whether it is classed as an apprenticeship or a traineeship, and the length of time needed to complete the training.