For schools, offering apprenticeships to students while they are in Years 10 to 12 can be a great way to help students build a strong career after their studies have finished. This opportunity is designed to be completed in coordination with a student’s workload while offering a range of skills which cannot be offered in a traditional classroom environment.
Undertaking a school-based apprenticeship or traineeship can be incredibly beneficial for your students. People who complete an apprenticeship earn roughly 20 per cent more than those who leave school without a qualification, according to the South Australian Department for Education and Child Development.
School-based apprenticeships also have higher completion rates than those undertaken later in life. This makes them a sensible option for students looking to enter a trade or similar profession.
So what do schools and school administrators need to know about the opportunities that exist for students looking to undertake an apprenticeship or traineeship?
The first thing to understand is what requirements are placed on potential apprentices. Minimum age restrictions and enrollment status will both affect a student’s ability to undertake this course of study.
At the same time, potential apprentices will need to be aware of the conditions they are committing to. Depending on the level of study, there will be a minimum set of hours which your students must complete. With these minimum times essential for completing a school-based line of study, your students will have to know exactly what they are getting into.
School-based apprenticeships continue throughout the calendar year, meaning they will also have to work through school holidays. This may create a greater administrative challenge and leave students in these programs requiring increased support.
Another aspect you will need to consider is how you can support students as they find a suitable position to complete the work placement portion of their apprenticeship. Services like Apprenticeship Central can help students find appropriate work experience which will also support their studies.
Through Apprenticeship Central’s database, potential employees can also search specifically for school-based work experience, with resources to help them get the right application for their chosen area. Students can also use this service to access resources like the Harrison Online Career assessment and the free CareerMe app. These tools will make it easier for students to find the right career for their interests and background.
Often an Australian Apprenticeship Centre like BUSY at Work will also be able to help coordinate this process, with advice based on the specific expectations of your state.
Offering a school-based apprenticeship doesn’t have to be difficult and it can help your school offer the best start for young students looking to get into a trade.