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School Based Apprenticeships and Traineeships

Home >Courses >School Based Apprenticeships and Traineeships

So what is an SBAT?

School Based Apprenticeships and Traineeships (SBATs) offer the ability to combine a senior secondary program with:

  • part-time employment,
  • training towards a nationally accredited qualification,
  • continuing your school education.

Advantages of undertaking an SBAT

By undertaking an SBAT while completing a senior secondary program, you may:

Incorporate training and work into your learning

Get a jumpstart on your career and earn money

Gain valuable hands-on skills in your chosen field

Follow a rewarding pathway

What are you passionate about? When deciding on the career pathway that’s right for you, make sure you pick something that matches your interests, ambitions, and abilities. GOTAFE offers a number of School Based Apprenticeships and Traineeships, across all our study areas.

"My time at GOTAFE has greatly improved my knowledge of the career I wish to pursue. I worked on our family farm for my school based apprenticeship during years 11-12 which is also where I grew up and my love for animals and farming started. I was still able to attend school and work while studying. The course delivery was very thorough and well presented. I cannot recommend GOTAFE enough to those wanting to have a future in Agriculture."

- Erin Mumford, School Based Apprentice in Certificate III Agriculture (AHC30116)

Erin Mumford School Based Apprentice holding lamb on farm

The difference between a School Based Apprenticeship and Traineeship


  • Full-time apprenticeships take between 3-4 years depending on the qualification. Your SBAT will be part-time, once you leave school you can vary your SBAT to a full-time apprenticeship to continue within your trade to complete the qualification.
  • A school based apprentice works with their employer and school to decide the best day during the school week to attend the workplace. This will be at least 1 day a week.
  • Learning occurs on-the-job with the employer as well as off-the-job when apprentices attend timetabled blocks of training at GOTAFE. This may be for a full week or during school holidays.
  • Apprenticeships are available in trade areas such as building and construction, commercial cookery and baking, automotive, engineering, hairdressing, and more.
  • Qualification levels for school based apprenticeships are most commonly at a Certificate III and above level.


  • Traineeships generally take between 1-2 years to complete depending on the qualification.
  • School based trainees work with their employer and school to decide the best day during the school week to attend the workplace. This will be at least 1 day a week.
  • Learning occurs in the workplace with the employer. GOTAFE trainers will schedule regular visits to the workplace to work with trainees.
  • Traineeships are available in service areas such as business, community, health, childcare, education support, hair and beauty, hospitality, and more.
  • Qualification levels for school based traineeships are most commonly at a Certificate II, III, and above level.

How to start your SBAT journey

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Find an employer

Find an employer or Group Training Organisation (GTO) that will agree to take you on as a school based apprentice or trainee.

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Arrange the contract

Your employer will then make contact with an Australian Apprentice Support Network provider (AASN) who will arrange the contract between yourself and your employer. This will then be forwarded on to the State Training Authority the VRQA (Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority) for approval and to make it official.

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Join up with an RTO

When the contract is approved information is forwarded on to a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) which is what GOTAFE is! From there we will welcome you to GOTAFE to continue your journey.

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Continue attending school and training

Don’t forget school attendance is still required so you need to be organised and go to work as well as school as per your timetable (an SBAT requires a commitment of at least one day a week of employment and/or structured VET training).

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Go forth and conquer!

Fulfill your work, training, and study requirements and receive a nationally recognised qualification.

Additional support for apprentices

Additional support when you become an apprentice is available through the Victorian Government's Apprenticeship Support Officer program.

Apprenticeship Support Officers (ASOs) help registered apprentices and their employers get the most out of the apprenticeship system. They’re part of a Victorian Government initiative to keep more apprentices in jobs and help more people complete their training. You can read more about how an ASO can support you throughout your apprenticeship here

More information on SBATs

When undertaking a school based apprenticeship or traineeship you are training in a nationally accredited course, meaning it meets a number of quality assurance requirements and you’ll come away with a recognised qualification at the end of your training.

Here are some helpful links to visit for more information:

Learn more about SBATs at GOTAFE
Horticulture School Based Apprenticeships and Traineeships