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‘Apprentice’ or ‘Trainee’ – Whats the difference?

By December 3, 2019 2 Comments

apprentice high level dtc

The South Australian Government is investing heavily in supporting employers to take on apprentices and trainees. Both apprenticeships and traineeships involve an employer entering into a contract of training with the apprentice or trainee, but employers often ask, ‘What is the difference between an Apprenticeship or Traineeship’?

In short, Apprenticeships usually:

• apply to traditional trades, such as: Light and Heavy Metal Fabrication Trades; Fitters and Machinists;
Electricians; Electronics and Communications Tradespersons; and Instrumentation and Control Tradespersons
• take between 3 – 4 years of combined full-time employment and training to complete; and
• apply to qualifications at Certificate III level or higher.

Common Apprenticeship-based qualifications for the Defence Industry include:

• Certificate III in Engineering – Fabrication Trade (MEM30305)
• Certificate III in Engineering – Mechanical Trade (MEM30205)
• Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician (UEE30811)
• Certificate III in Electronics and Communications (UEE30911)
• Certificate III in Instrumentation and Control (UEE31211)
• Diploma of Engineering – Advanced Trade (MEM50105)

In comparison, Traineeships usually:

• apply to non-trade areas such as financial services, business administration, Information technology
(networking and programming), cyber security, and engineering technical (incl. drafting) areas
• take between 1 – 3 years of full-time employment and training to complete
• commence qualifications at Certificate II or III level but can also utilise higher level qualifications if desired

Relevant qualifications for Trainees in the Defence Industry are:

• Certificate II in Engineering Pathways (MEM20413)
• Certificate III in Engineering – Technical (MEM30505) (includes Drafting and Engineering skills)
• Certificate IV in Cyber Security (22334VIC)
• Certificate IV in Information Technology Networking (ICT40415)
• Diploma of Information Technology Networking (ICT50415)
• Advanced Diploma of Network Security (ICT60215)
• Diploma of Engineering – Technical (MEM50212) (including for 3D CAD design skills development)
• Diploma of Applied Technologies ((22460VIC) (for Industry 4.0 skills development for existing workers)
• Certificate III in Business Administration (BSB30415)

Who should Defence industry employers contact for more information?

Employers should contact Australian Apprenticeship Support Network (AASN) Providers:
www.australianapprenticeships.gov.au/search-aasn who are tasked by the Commonwealth with supporting
employers to find and sign up apprentices and trainees.
Interested employers should contact the designated South Australian AASNs:
• Apprenticeship Support Australia
• MAS National
• MEGT (Australia) Ltd

Are there incentives for employers?

Employer incentives may apply depending upon a range of factors. These include, age of apprentice or trainee;
alignment with national skills needs lists; and whether apprentices are new or existing workers.

South Australian incentives are summarised here. www.apprenticeshipsupport.com.au/ApprenticeshipSupport/

Check with the AASN to obtain the latest information before you sign up.

What is Group Training and who are Group Training Organisations (GTOs)?

Group Training organisations employ apprentices and can place them in small to medium enterprises where those companies do not wish to employ the apprentice directly. The South Australian government provides a list of GTOs based on industry sector in South Australia at www.skills.sa.gov.au/business/hiring-an-apprentice/grouptraining-organisations.

SO much more than a diploma

SADILP participants come away from the 8-month program as better and more confident leaders with a clearer and more focused career perspective. Small and medium enterprise in the defence industry needs leaders with an understanding of where their organisation fits within the industry and the community. The industry needs leaders who are able to inspire their team to come along for the ride. SADILP nurtures this type of leader.


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