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Careers begin with TAFE school-based traineeships

For many secondary students, it is hard to imagine what path they will take as they finish school, or where they should begin as they get started on a career.  TAFE New England is helping students across the region make this transition easier, with school-based traineeships and apprenticeships (SBAT).  SBATs are a great opportunity for a school student to achieve a nationally recognised qualification whilst receiving on the job exposure and paid employment while they are still at school! 

“A school-based apprenticeship or traineeship (SBAT) is a fantastic way to kick start a student’s career in their chosen field” TAFE New England SBAT Coordinator, Justine Kavanagh explained.   “It consists of a combination of part time paid work and part time study, resulting in a nationally recognised Certificate II, III or IV level of qualification.”

A school-based apprentice or trainee may commence as early as year 10 and up to the beginning of year 11, with many of the qualifications available counting towards an ATAR for the HSC.  All three components of a school-based traineeship (school, work and TAFE) provide credit (units) towards the HSC and allow the apprentice or trainee to earn while they learn.

“For employers, your school-based trainee or apprentice would generally work with you one day per week and around fifty per cent of the school holiday period.  There is usually a minimum of 100 days on the job for most qualifications to be completed by the end of December in the student’s final year of secondary school.” added Justine. 

Employers are not expected to pay the student whilst at TAFE, as they would with a mainstream apprentice, and it is a great way for employers to gauge the work ethic of a potential employee and could determine the decision to employ a student full time, after the school-based component is completed. A student undertaking a school-based apprenticeship generally completes Stage One of the trade qualification at school and progresses to Stage Two of the qualification, after the HSC. 

School-based traineeships and apprenticeships are available in most trade and industry areas.  For a comprehensive list of school based traineeships and apprenticeships available visit Or, please call the TAFE New England School Based Apprenticeship & Traineeship Coordinator, Justine Kavanagh on 6773 7760 or 0407 598 696 or email