At Parafield Gardens High School as part of our Flexible Learning Initiatives we support a number of students who have signed a contract of training under the Australian School Based Apprenticeship (ASBA) scheme.

Students who are completing an ASBA are enrolled in SACE and are involved in part -time work. Essentially students are both full time students, part-time employees and are completing training which will enable them to gain an AQF (Australian Qualifications Framework) Certificate.

The Training Plan attached to the Contract of Training also requires the signature of the school principal as evidence that the traineeship/apprenticeship is school-based and an integral part of the school program.

It is possible for students to start an apprenticeship or traineeship before they leave school and to complete their South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE) at the same time. Alternatively, students can take up an apprenticeship after they finish school as it is a great way to get current employment with on-the-job training and to improve their qualifications and future career prospects.

Graduates of traineeships and apprenticeships will receive an AQF qualification enabling entry to a range of occupations. The training and skills students gain through a traineeship or apprenticeship can also be built upon by further education, allowing students to advance their career or change occupations.

Why is the school asked to endorse a School Based Apprenticeship?

The Commonwealth Government incentive of up to $2000 is available to employers who specifically contract an ASBA. School Principals (or their delegate) will be asked to acknowledge and endorse an ASBA by being a signatory to the Training Plan attached to the Contract of Training. This will signify the ASBA is an integral part of the school program which will require some or all of the following:

  • The student will use school time to attend work and/or training and the school supports the student with personal timetable adjustments
  • The student will exchange one or more SACE subject unit(s) for the nominal hours of VET competencies studied as part of the Contract of Training
  • The school submits student VET results related to the Contract of Training that will contribute to their SACE completion (preferably by November each year)
  • The school develops specific SACE units to assist in further VET or work placement hours recognition
  • The school supports the student through counseling, mentoring, and support.
  • The school ensures the ASBA is built into each student’s Learning Pathways Plan and supported through high quality career information and case management.

Student counsellors/VET coordinators or nominated teachers will assist the student in planning for an ASBA by helping them to select the most appropriate subjects that meet their planned career pathways and SACE pattern requirements.

Who are the signatories to a Contract of Training and Training Plan?

An Australian Apprenticeship Centre (AAC) will assist with the completion and signing of the Contract of Training and attached Training Plan. The employer, student and parent/guardian are all signatories to the contract. The chosen Registered Training Organization and the AAC are also nominated on the contract.

For primary ‘Duty of Care’ purposes, schools should complete the ‘ASBA Endorsement Checklist’ prior to the Principal endorsing the special section of the Training Plan. Schools should become involved in negotiating and agreeing on the school, work and training components and should also record the total number of ASBAs in their school for attendance auditing purposes.

What is the length of an Australian School Based Apprenticeship?

The length of an ASBA depends on the declared vocation and how many training hours the student will commit to per week, but a minimum of eight hours at the place of employment per week is required. Generally, around 15 hours per week of work and training plus some time in holidays is required to complete the contract by the end of year 12.

What is year 12 completion in relation to ongoing employment?

A Retention Incentive is available to employers who retain ASBAs in the months following year 12 completion. For the purpose of this incentive, AACs will seek validation from schools on a separate form which confirms the student was enrolled and attended their school for the whole of year 12. This incentive does not require successful completion of year 12 and/or the SACE as a criterion for approval, only enrolment and attendance.

Does the Contract of Training end when year 12 is completed?

The Contract of Training does not naturally expire when general education is completed. It expires only when the gazetted hours for the qualification have been completed for both on and off the job. However, options could include:

  • an early sign-off for competency achievement
  • completion using similar part-time hours
  • a variation of the Contract of Training up to the minimum 15hrs (if not already) for part-time or to a fulltime employment arrangement.

What if a student changes schools while contracted in an ASBA?

Both schools, the employer and the student/ASBA would need to negotiate any change to release days etc.

What if a student leaves the state and enrolls in another school?

The terms and conditions of contracts of training are different in each state/territory. Therefore, the contract would need to be cancelled in South Australia and a new contract negotiated in the state/territory to which the trainee or apprentice moves. Credit of time served should be given on the new contract and National VET Competencies achieved in one state should be transferable to any other state/territory. It is suggested that the following documents be obtained prior to leaving South Australia:

  • a statement of attainment obtained from the registered training organisation
  • an extract confirming the period of time served on the South Australian contract obtained from Traineeship and Apprenticeship Management.

Contact your Futures Connect Transition Broker or your schooling sector VET/ASBA Manager:

DECS Schools – Keith Darwin, Futures Connect State Team – ph 8226 4336. –

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