Students test driving industry through pre-apprenticeship and pre-traineeship courses

The Apprenticeship and traineeship head start initiative is steaming ahead as we enter the last term of 2022. With over 700 places allocated for Term 4 and more to come in 2023, we check in with initiative lead Sue Kennedy to find out what’s on offer for our students.

Image: Students at Chifley College Senior Campus participating in the Taste of Multiple Industries course

Gaining first-hand experience in a real work environment is crucial for young people who are considering their future careers. That’s where the apprenticeship and traineeship head start initiative steps in. With the help of Group Training Organisations (GTOs), students can complete pre-apprenticeship and pre-traineeship courses, giving them the chance to try out a vocational pathway before committing to an School Based Apprenticeship or Traineeship (SBAT), apprenticeship or traineeship after school. And with 705 places allocated for courses in Term 4, it is safe to say there is huge interest in this initiative.

Since the expansion of the Educational Pathways Program, initiative lead Sue Kennedy has been busily working in the background with schools and GTOs to ensure a successful launch in Term 4 this year.

“We have on-boarded an additional 7 GTOs since the expansion to deliver the initiative in Term 4 and that number is expected to rise when we commence our Expression of Interest (EOI) phase for courses across 2023,” says Sue.

While Sue was on-boarding GTOs and schools during the expansion, the pilot schools continued to participate in the initiative. Of the 24 pilot schools participating in the pilot phase of the Educational Pathways Program, the initiative saw 132 commencements,107 completions and 7 transitions into a traineeship.

Yalagan Group Training (YGT) is one of the GTOs who delivered courses during the pilot, filling all 21 of their allocated places across the two pilot regions. At the heart of YGT’s vision is the commitment to providing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with training and employment opportunities.

As a GTO partner of the Educational Pathways Program, YGT extends that commitment to the wider community and has developed a tailored course for our program schools named “Taste of Multiple Industries”. With a focus on the construction, transport and logistics industries, the course aims to give students workforce guidance and assistance by providing the basic knowledge and skills needed in these industries.

YGT is expected to enrol over 100 students in the “Taste of Multiple Industries” course in Term 4 this year with students in Blacktown recently completing a course that was all about operating a Scissor Lift - from safety to the basic operation of the machine.

“We believe these programs are not only beneficial to the students by building their skillsets but also an important step that will assist industries and organisations in recruitment and retention of their future staff,” says Eddy Hazem, NSW People Manager for Yalagan Group Training.

What is a pre-apprenticeship or pre-traineeship course?

Pre-apprenticeship or pre-traineeship courses can run anywhere from 1 week to 3 months, something that is determined by the GTO, partner training provider and in consultation with the school and Head Teacher Careers.

When students complete one of the courses, they gain what are known as Units of Competency (UoC). These UoCs can be credited towards further qualification-based training.

Courses are available in a wide range of industries including construction, automotive, business services and hospitality, just to name a few. New in Term 4 for students in the Blacktown North and West, Liverpool and Parramatta South groups of schools are courses in Timber Industry Frame and Truss Manufacturing through one of the new GTO’s TABMA, who supply apprentices and trainees to the forestry, timber, construction, furniture, and manufacturing industries.

“We love being able to offer new and different opportunities to the students so they can get a taste for what is on offer in their region,” says Sue.

It’s so important that our GTOs are working closely with industry to understand where the future skilled employees are going to be needed,” she added.

By taking part in this initiative students gain insight and skills in a particular field, valuable industry experience and form connections with local employers. To top it all off, the courses are fee-free, even down to any protective equipment that is required in the workplace.

It’s a win-win for the GTOs too. With employers crying out for skilled workforces, GTOs are building pools of potential employees through these courses.

Looking forward to 2023 and Sue hopes to increase the number of GTOs involved in the initiative with a full year contract on offer.

“More GTOs who participate in the initiative means more vocational options, more courses, more dates available for training and essentially more opportunities for our students to explore their desired career pathway,” says Sue.

EOIs will be sent to all registered GTOs in the coming month.

Pre-apprenticeship or pre-traineeship courses in Term 4, 2022

GTOs who have partnered with the Educational Pathways Program’s Apprenticeship and traineeship head start initiative to offer courses in Term 4 include:

GTO Vocation Group of schools

Central Coast Group Training


Central Coast North, Central Coast South

Novaskill Aged Care Central Coast North, Central Coast South


Lake Macquarie, Newcastle Central, Newcastle North

Hospitality Training Network (HTN)


Blacktown East, Blacktown North, Blacktown West, Central Coast North, Illawarra Central, Newcastle Central, Newcastle North, Upper Hunter

Hunternet Group Training Limited


Lake Macquarie, Upper Hunter


Newcastle Central

HVTC Pty Ltd


Campbelltown, Cowpasture, Illawarra South, Tamworth

Electrical and Mechanical

Central Coast North, Central Coast South, Lake Macquarie



Introduction to the Trades - Electrical & Mechanical

Upper Hunter

NextGen Jobs Ltd


Liverpool, Parramatta South

Apprenticeship Careers Australia


Blacktown West, Parramatta South

TABMA Apprentices and Trainees

Timber Industry Frame and Truss Manufacturers

Blacktown North, Liverpool, Parramatta South

Transformational Group Training

Community services support worker

Lake Macquarie, Newcastle Central, Newcastle North, Upper Hunter

WPC Group Ltd

Heavy Vehicle

Blacktown East, Blacktown North, Blacktown West, Liverpool, Parramatta South

Yalagan Group Training

Construction/Transport and logistics/IT

Blacktown East, Blacktown North, Blacktown West, Campbelltown, Illawarra Central, Illawarra North Liverpool, Parramatta South, Shoalhaven, Southern Highlands


Cowpasture, Illawarra South, Parramatta North



Blacktown West

Construction/Transport and logistics/IT





Parramatta North


Parramatta South

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