Starting an apprenticeship can be a daunting prospect – whether you’re doing a mature age apprenticeship, completing one of many school based apprenticeships, or trying to get a head start for higher education purposes.
Regardless of why you’re doing an apprenticeship, a pre apprenticeship course could help!
What is a Pre-Apprenticeship?
A pre apprenticeship is a course that you complete before you do your apprenticeship that aims to prepare you for the working environment.
It will give you work experience in a variety of ways. Of course, the most obvious way is if you’re a school leaver, you’ll obtain experience in a situation where you’re expected to work in a professional environment. It’s also helpful as it provides you with more specific experience in a trade environment, which is particularly beneficial for those who are undertaking an apprenticeship to fulfil a true career change.
For example, if you’ve always worked in information technology and you are doing an apprenticeship in cabinet marking, a pre-apprenticeship course will mean that you’ll go into your apprenticeship already knowing what the work culture is like and what to expect. It also means that you’ve effectively already completed the first part of your apprenticeship and can potentially shave time off your actual actual apprenticeship study, which is helpful for a number of reasons, not least of which is financial!
‘A way of completing some of the training that you’ll do during an apprenticeship without committing to a full apprenticeship’
Where Can I Do a Pre-Apprenticeship Course?
A pre-apprenticeship can be completed as a part of your Certificate II in your relevant course (i.e. a Certificate II in Plumbing) at a TAFE or other registered training organisation. You can also potentially complete a pre apprenticeship while in VCE or VCAL if you’re studying in Victoria. While most are not available as entirely online, some online courses may have the option of completing a pre apprenticeship via distance learning. Some may also have the option of being completed part time, check with individual education institutions to find out what their options are.
Will a Pre-Apprenticeship Give Me a Nationally Recognised Qualification?
The short answer is no, because many pre apprenticeships are undertaken as a part of a larger study, like a Certificate II in Electrotechnology. The Certificate II is your qualification, and the pre apprenticeship is a part of either that course or your secondary studies. You can also complete a straight pre apprenticeship course at a variety of training providers. However, that doesn’t mean that they’re not still recognised by a variety of industries, including building trades and automotive servicing technology companies. It also means that you’re more likely to receive offers of a complete apprenticeship, which obviously provides you with a high level of professional recognition.
Will a Pre-Apprenticeship Make Me More Employable?
Absolutely! Having done a pre apprenticeship proves that you’re ready for the sometimes challenging process that is Australian apprenticeships. It means that those looking for apprentices can see that you already have existing skills in the area you’re interested in, like air conditioning, community services or furniture making. When you complete your apprenticeship, it also puts you ahead of other jobseekers and makes your career start easier.
Are Pre-Apprenticeships Only Suitable For Manual Workers?
Not at all. There are a wide range of industries that value pre apprenticeships and are happy to consider taking on a pre apprentice. It’s not only for people looking to work outside in manual labour, and you’d be amazed at the companies and industries who are interested – think of
Industries that use apprentices:
Regardless of whether you want to study a pre apprenticeship because it’s a fantastic career pathway option, a way to complete your studies such as electrotechnology studies, or if you’re trying to complete your high school studies with an immediately usable skillset, a pre apprenticeship can help to get you there. There are vet student loans available, and some free TAFE courses in Victoria are available that may incorporate apprenticeships or benefit from a pre apprenticeship.
By doing a pre apprenticeship, you make yourself more employable to a multitude of employers, and give yourself the gift of certainty in your future career.