Still at school?

Start your career right now

Start your career while you are still at school

and be paid for your work.

If you want to get a head start on everyone else, you can start your career while you are still at school.

That means you can be paid for your work, gain valuable workplace experience, gain a vocational qualification that is recognised right around Australia and still finish your secondary schooling. You will be streets ahead of everyone else.

If feel like you’d like to go to uni afterwards, that’s still OK. But then you will have an even greater advantage over everyone else. You can gain recognition for prior learning; and that cuts down the time you have to spend at uni. And of course, it also reduces your HECs debt. Plus, you have real workplace experience. Not just academic notes!

So you can have it all.

Australian School-based Apprenticeships (AS-bAs) are work-based training programs for students (typically Year 10–12 depending on state requirements), that combine paid part-time work and formal industry-based training whilst you complete your Senior Secondary Certificate.

Certain age requirements apply:

  • if you are under 18 years of age a parent or legal guardian is required to also sign the Training Contract with you and
  • if you are less than 15 years of age some states of Australia require a Child Employment Permit.

Who employs you?

Your school careers adviser will discuss with you the type of careers available to you and will help you find an employer who would like to employ you as an Australian School-based Apprentice.

The employer will pay you for the time you work for them because this is a real job with a real future.


As an Australian School-based Apprentice, you are paid for the time you work. How much you earn depends on the industry you are in, the job you are doing and which industrial arrangement you come under:

  • an Industry Award
  • an Individual Transitional Employment Agreement
  • a Certified Agreement
  • a State or Territory approved contract of employment.

Contact the Fair Work infoline (Fair Work Ombudsman) on 13 13 94 for up-to-date information on workplace rights, rules and pay.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission has put together a webinar and video on helping organise finances for getting a car and moving out of home.

Check out


Your training provider for the vocational training may have tuition fees.

These are often paid by the employer and the government has a number of financial initiatives in place that may help you if you are eligible.

You will need to speak with the training provider about the tuition fees so talk to your school careers adviser about what arrangements are being set up for you and call MEGT about whether you are eligible for financial assistance.

What you need to do

[CHECK BOX ]Decide what you are good at and what interests you.

[CHECK BOX ]Talk to your school careers adviser, parents and friends about the careers that you could do in the area that interests you.

[CHECK BOX ]Look at recruitment ads to see what skills are needed for different jobs.

[CHECK BOX ]Talk to us and your school careers adviser about the training needed for that career.

[CHECK BOX ]Your school careers adviser will help find an employer who would like to employ you as an Australian School-based Apprentice.

How long it takes

State-specific Australian School-based Apprenticeships minimum time commitments for vocational training and working with employer are:


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