Australian Apprenticeships: an important learning pathway for young people
What are Australian Apprenticeships?
Australian Apprenticeships (often referred to as apprenticeships and traineeships) are a great career option. They combine practical work with structured training to give you a nationally recognised qualification and the experience you need to get the job you want.
Training is flexible and can be on the job, off the job or a combination of both. Australian Apprenticeships are available at a variety of qualification levels in most occupations, including traditional trades and a wide range of emerging industry sectors.
You don’t have to wait until you leave school to get started. Australian School-based Apprenticeships are now offered by many schools, giving students the option of starting their training while still at school.
What are pre-apprenticeships?
A pre-apprenticeship is a pathway into an Australian Apprenticeship that can kick-start your career in your chosen industry. They give you the opportunity to experience a working environment, gain practical experience and develop your skills. Completing a pre-apprenticeship means you can see if you enjoy working in a particular industry, which can help you to make career and training decisions.
A pre-apprenticeship combines on-campus or school study with practical on-the-job training. You can study a pre-apprenticeship while you are still at school. A pre-apprenticeship is usually shorter and at a lower qualification level than an apprenticeship. They can give you credit towards an Australian Apprenticeship, and gives you a competitive advantage when looking for employers to take you on as an apprentice.
A career in top gear
Sevag Parseghian is a Workshop Controller at Mercedes Benz Melbourne, fulfilling a career dream he’s held from childhood.
“I recall as a kid always being fascinated with motor vehicles and motor sports — anything that had an engine and went fast,” Sevag said.
Sevag completed his Australian Apprenticeship in Automotive Mechanical Technology (Light Vehicle) with WPC Group, Mercedes Benz Melbourne and Kangan Institute of TAFE.
The enthusiasm he showed during his training led to him to be selected as the only apprentice in the pit crew for Mercedes Benz’s AMG Drive Experience Programme.
“I never thought my apprenticeship would lead to driving a Mercedes around the Albert Park and Philip Island raceways, but it did. It’s amazing the experiences I have had,” he said.
Sevag has been awarded the 2010 WPC Group Apprentice of the Year and the 2011 Snap-on Tools Apprentice of the Year. In 2012, he was named runner-up to the Australian Apprentice of the Year Award at the Australian Training Awards.
Also having completed a Diploma of Automotive Mechanical Technology, Sevag now has a useful combination of skills to further his career and eventually manage a workshop at Mercedes Benz or his own business.
Sevag has offered this advice for people thinking about starting this career pathway.
“Follow your heart and your dreams. If you do what you enjoy you'll succeed and do really well. Completing my Australian Apprenticeship as a mechanic was the best decision I ever made,” he said.
To find out more about Australian Apprenticeships, visit www.australianapprenticeships.gov.au or phone 13 38 73.