How to get an apprenticeship or traineeship in NT

As an apprentice or trainee, you can study to get a qualification while doing paid work.

You must be at least 15 years old to apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship.

The type of work you want and the industry you want to work in will determine whether an apprenticeship or traineeship is better for you.

Apprenticeships and traineeships

Apprentices study a trade, such as carpentry, cooking or hairdressing. It takes about three to four years to complete an apprenticeship and earn a trade qualification.

Trainees study to work in a particular industry or occupation such as office work, childcare or information technology. It takes one to two years to complete a traineeship and earn a certificate qualification.

For more information, go to the Australian Apprenticeships website.

If you are still at school

You can be a part-time apprentice or a trainee while you are still studying for your Northern Territory Certificate of Education and Training at high school.

Talk to your school careers adviser or go to the Australian Apprenticeships website to read about school-based apprenticeships and traineeships.

How to get started

Follow these steps to become an apprentice or trainee.

Step 1: Search for an apprenticeship or traineeship

First you need to identify the type of job you want and find an employer who is offering the job with an apprenticeship or traineeship pathway.

Look and apply for apprenticeships and traineeships in the same way you would search for a job.

Go to the Australian Apprenticeships NT website to find out about your apprenticeship or traineeship options.

You can get help through their Gateway Services, which are for jobseekers looking to start an apprenticeship or traineeship pathway or seeking career advice on alternative pathways.

Step 2: Apply with an employer

You may need to sit a test with the employer and attend an interview to find out if you are suited to the job you have applied for.

Step 3: Sign a training contract

Your employer must contact the Australian Apprenticeship Support Network NT to set up a training contract, and register it with them.

Your training contract is a legal agreement between you and your employer.

It outlines all of the following:

  • the qualification you will receive
  • the probation period
  • how long it will take to finish
  • your obligations to each other
  • what to do if you have a problem.

If you are under 18 years old, your parent or guardian must sign the contract on your behalf.

Step 4: Find a training organisation

You and your employer must choose a registered training organisation (RTO) that you can attend to get your qualification.

All RTOs provide nationally recognised qualifications.

Search for 'Funded RTOs' on the NT Apprenticeships and Traineeships Database to view those that receive government funding to help you pay for your training.

The Australian Apprenticeship Support Network NT can also help you find a training organisation, and identify the training and support you will need during your apprenticeship or traineeship.

Step 5: Register a training plan

Your RTO must register your training plan with the Australian Apprenticeship Support Network NT.

The plan lists the study you need to complete to achieve your qualification.

Work wear and equipment funding

You may be able to get up to $1,000 from the workwear and workgear bonus scheme.

Tax and superannuation

You will need to pay tax as an apprentice or trainee, and your employer will need to contribute to a superannuation scheme on your behalf.

Read about paying tax and superannuation.

If your employer incorrectly classifies you as a contractor, you could be missing out on things like sick leave, holiday pay, superannuation and work cover.

Go to the Australian Taxation Office website to find out more.


Contact the Australian Apprenticeship Support Network NT for questions, complaints or concerns about your training contract, employer or training organisation.

Go to the Fair Work Ombudsman website to find out about wages and rights for apprentices and trainees.

Last updated: 10 July 2017

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