School Based Apprenticeships and Traineeships

A school-based apprenticeship is a great way to get started on your journey to a career in the automotive industry while still studying at school!

School-based apprenticeships and traineeships (SATs) allow high school students (normally Years 10,11, and 12) to commence employment in the automotive industry on a part-time basis while concurrently completing schooling.

Through a school-based apprenticeship, you can:

Automotive Qualifications Available

Ready to take the next step? Check out the full list of automotive qualifications available to school-based apprentices and trainees in Queensland on the Queensland Training Information Service (QTIS) website.

Student Frequently Asked Questions

SAT – School Based Apprenticeship and Traineeships

RTO – Registered Training Organisation

VET – Vocational Training and Education

A regular apprenticeship generally takes 4 years (48 months) to complete. However, because a school-based apprentice is only able to work a limited number of hours per week, a school-based apprenticeship will take approximately twice as long. This means you cannot complete the apprenticeship while still at school. But you can start one, and the training you have completed at school means you can convert to a full-time or part-time apprenticeship with your employer and complete the final 2-3 years of the apprenticeship, putting you up to two years ahead of apprentices who only commence after school.

A school-based traineeship will take approximately 2-4 years to complete. If you do not complete your traineeship while at school, you may elect to transition to a part-time or full-time traineeship with your employer.

As a school-based apprentice or trainee, you must work a minimum 7.5 hours per week, averaged over every 3 months.

This means if you have to take time off if you become unwell, are studying for exams, or go on holiday, you can catch up by working more hours in other weeks.

You can also request to work more than the minimum required number of hours per week by negotiating with your employer, school, and training organisation, but remember, working hours do not include the time spent undertaking training with your training organisation.

The minimum hourly rate for a school-based apprentice can be found in the Vehicle Repair, Services and Retail Award 2020 (the Industrial Award for most employers in the automotive industry) can be found HERE.

The hourly rate for a school-based trainee, according to the Vehicle Repair, Services and Retail Award 2020 can be found HERE.

Once you have signed-up for your school-based apprenticeship or traineeship and been assigned a trainer, you will develop a training plan which covers what, when, and how you will do your training and assessment.

Depending on your individual circumstances, you may elect to complete your training with your training organisation:

  • Online during scheduled school time
  • In the workplace with your trainer
  • Online out of school and work time

The cost to an individual undertaking a school-based apprenticeship will vary depending on the Registered Training Organisation (RTO) you sign-up with. Some RTOs will receive government funding to subsidise part of the cost to deliver training in a priority qualifications.

Costs incurred during an apprenticeship may relate to:

  • tuition course fees
  • uniforms and equipment
  • textbooks, printing and other study materials
  • transport costs


To get started on a school-based apprenticeship, you will need permission from your school. 

The school, your parents, your employer, and your training provider will then work together with you to develop a training plan that allows you to work, train and complete school without becoming too overwhelmed.

Your training can also count towards credit points for your Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE). Click HERE to learn more.

To commence a school-based apprenticeship, you will have to engage with:

  • your parents
  • your school (career/guidance officer)
  • employer
  • RTO
  • Australian Apprenticeship Support Network provider