Frequently Asked Questions

What are they? Do they suit me? What level of education do I need? Do I get paid? Do I have to go to college? What does a boilermaker do? Does a carpenter lay carpet? Does an Automotive Technician need to be smart? How long does my apprenticeship take? Do I get paid when I go to college? Do I get paid for overtime?

All of the above questions have been asked by prospective apprentices and trainees, just like you, at some time in our company’s long history of placing apprentices and trainees in South East Queensland.

Below are the more Frequenly Asked Questions that we have answered.

If you do not get the answers you are looking for, please Contact Us and we will be happy to answer your questions.

What is an Apprenticeship and is it for me?

An apprenticeship is an entry level position into a trade. It is made up from a combination of on the job (worksite) and off the job training (Registered Training Organisation, College).  Once you have completed all the required modules for your apprenticeship or traineeship you will come away with a nationally recognised qualification.

The average apprenticeship has a duration of approximately 3-4 years depending on you. If you put the effort in and complete your training early and you have satisfied your employer that you are as competent on the worksite as you are at college, you may be signed off early.

A traineeship has a duration of somewhere between 1 and 3 years. The same rules apply to a traineeship as they do for an apprenticeship.

Do apprenticeships and traineeships suit me?
Just about anyone can undertake an apprenticeship or traineeship.   It comes down to what you want out of your career, and what you are most interested in.   Think of it like this, you may enjoy cooking at home and are good at it , but if you can’t see yourself cooking for hundreds of people a night and have a passion for it, becoming a chef is probably not for you.   In the past, it was generally thought that if you had good grades at school that you would go on to university to become a professional, and if your grades were not so good at school, you would become a trades person.  Today there is no truth to that statement whatsoever.   Most apprenticeships and traineeships today require good school results, as well as a passion for what you want to do.   At Smart Employment Solutions we understand that most applicants like you, don’t have a good understanding about different trades. Our Employment Officers are there to assist you to make an informed decision on which trade you may wish to make a career out of.

What is Group Training?

In 1978, the New South Wales Master Builder’s Association worked on a scheme, allowing apprentices and trainees to be shared between Association members. This enabled the apprentices and trainees to gain a variety of training, as well as giving the employers more flexibility.

1980 saw the ACTU Lend Lease Foundation backing the scheme and looking at ways of expanding the idea further. With the State and Federal Governments also becoming involved with subsidies and other support, group training was evolving as a significant employment opportunity.

The concept of Group Training is to encourage more businesses to participate in apprenticeship and traineeship training without having the responsibility of indenturing apprentices and trainees for the full duration of their training.

There are Group Training companies throughout Australia working in conjunction with 35,000 hosts employing some 40,000 apprentices and trainees. They are incorporated, not for profit organisations and some for profit, set up to offer a service to the community by providing employment opportunities through apprenticeships and traineeships.

Smart Employment Solutions was established in August 1986 with the aim of placing as many young people as possible in apprenticeships and traineeships in South East Queensland.

What level of education do I need to do an apprenticeship?

Most apprenticeships/ traineeships require a minimum level of year 10, but in today’s environment most employers are looking for year 12 graduates.   Some trades, like carpentry or anything in the construction area will also require you to have a reliable vehicle and current drivers licence along with a Construction Industry Occupational Health & Safety (White) Card. With the Engineering industry, this is most times not as important because you are travelling to the same job site everyday.   So the real answer to the question is: it varies depending on the apprenticeship/ traineeship and the employer.

Do I get paid?

The answer is simple, yes.  The amount that you will be paid will vary depending on the trade that you choose and the year level that you are at.  For example, a first year carpenter that completed Yr 12 will be paid slightly more than a first year carpenter that completed Yr 11, but when you are finished your apprenticeship/traineeship, you will be worth what the market calls for, or is paying.  The other questions; do I get paid to go to college? and; will I be paid overtime? Again, the answer is yes – to both.

Can I do an Apprenticeship/Traineeship?

To be registered as a Queensland apprentice or trainee, your workplace address must be in Queensland.

The ATIS-018 Interstate apprentices and trainees information sheet provides further details.

Non-residents of Australia

Australian citizens and New Zealand citizens who have entered Australia on a valid passport, have unrestricted rights to enter an apprenticeship or traineeship in Australia.

Any other person wanting to work in Australia must have a visa allowing employment. Visa holders may start an apprenticeship or traineeship provided their work rights allow this, based on advice provided by the Department of Home Affairs.