About apprenticeships and traineeships

Apprenticeships and traineeships combine on-the-job and formal training for qualifications in a wide range of industries. More than 74,000 people are in an apprenticeship or traineeship in Victoria.

For information about becoming or employing an apprentice or trainee, see:

Brochure for employers

Brochure for apprentices and trainees

What’s the difference?

Generally, an apprenticeship provides training in a skilled trade, while a traineeship provides training in a vocational area.

The approved training scheme for each qualification lists whether it is available as an apprenticeship or a traineeship. For more information, see:

Other than the qualifications available, the differences between an apprenticeship and a traineeship relate to how cancellations or suspensions are handled.


  • To cancel the training contract, the apprentice and employer must both agree.
  • If the apprentice or employer wishes to cancel the training contract, and the other does not, they can ask us to make a binding decision to resolve the dispute.
  • If the employer cannot afford to keep an apprentice, they can ask us to suspend or cancel the training contract.
  • If the employer’s business is sold, the new owner must continue the apprenticeship.


  • The trainee or employer can cancel the training contract without the other’s agreement.
  • We cannot make a binding decision to resolve a dispute about the cancellation of a traineeship training contract.
  • If the employer cannot afford to keep a trainee, they can suspend or cancel the training contract.
  • If the employer’s business is sold, the new owner does not need to continue the traineeship.

These arrangements relate to the training contract, not the employment contract. For information about apprenticeship and traineeship employment conditions, see:

For more information about dealing with issues and problems, see:

What is a training contract?

At the beginning of an apprenticeship or traineeship, the employer and an apprentice or trainee enter into a training contract, which outlines each party's responsibilities.

For more information about responsibilities and entitlements under a training contract, see:

After employing an apprentice or trainee, the employer has 14 days to contact an Apprenticeship Network provider to initiate the signing and registration of the training contract. The Apprenticeship Network provider will contact us to register the training contract.

Government initiatives and agencies

Apprenticeship Network providers are funded by the Australian Government. They give advice and support services to employers, apprentices and trainees throughout the apprenticeship lifecycle, from pre-commencement to completion.

To contact an Apprenticeship Network provider, see:

For information about the Victorian Department of Education's role in vocational education and training, see:

To learn about the Victorian Government's approach to the state's training and TAFE system, see: