Fee Free Traineeships

Traineeships are a proven pathway to well-paid jobs in a diverse range of careers. In NSW, traineeships are also fee free.

Maddison Camilleri - 2019 NSW Trainee of the Year finalist - Certificate IV in Civil Construction Design

There’s never been a better time to start a traineeship in NSW. The NSW Government is paying the course cost for 70,000 new traineeships – meaning trainees undertaking a government funded traineeship course no longer face a student fee of up to $1000.

Traineeships are a great career pathway. They combine on-the-job training with formal study to give you the skills and experience employers are looking for. Traineeships generally take around 1-2 years to complete, and trainees earn a salary while they learn.

There are more than 390 traineeship courses funded in NSW, in a range of industries including early childhood, health and allied services, business, IT, hospitality and warehouse operations.

Am I eligible?

Fee free traineeships are available to NSW trainees – including school-based trainees whose training:

  • is funded under the NSW Government’s Smart and Skilled Program
  • commenced on or after 1 January 2020.

If you have previously commenced your Smart and Skilled traineeship training before 1 January 2020 and are returning to a traineeship after 1 January 2020, you will be eligible for fee free for the remainder of your training if your traineeship course or your employer has changed.

Each student is limited to a maximum of commencing three fee free traineeships under this initiative.

More fee free training:

Traineeship FAQs

With more than 390 different traineeship courses that are funded in NSW, there’s something to suit everyone. Think about your strengths and interests, and the kind of work and industry you might enjoy.

Search all available funded traineeship courses and talk to a trusted adult, career advisor and local employers for support and guidance. You can use the NSW Government’s Lifelauncher app to find the best traineeship pathways for you.

Once you know the industry and traineeship course you’re interested in, you’ll need to find an employer who will take you on as a new trainee. It’s like looking for a job – only with plenty of help and support available.

Polish up your CV and follow this 5-step process.

Step 1: Search traineeship courses. Find the one that most appeals.

Step 2: Secure a traineeship. Look for vacancies online, through group training organisations, apprenticeship network providers and community networks.

Step 3. Work with your employer to determine the traineeship course that best suits your work environment.

Step 4. Sign a training contract with your employer and apprenticeship network provider.

Step 5. Receive your training contract ID number and develop a full training plan. After completing a probationary period, your traineeship will be officially registered.

Smart and Skilled is a NSW Government program that offers subsidised training for courses on the NSW Skills List, which identifies industry areas that need more qualified workers.

To be eligible, you must be a NSW trainee or NSW school-based trainee, and have commenced your Smart and Skilled traineeship training after 1 January 2020.

If you have previously commenced your Smart and Skilled traineeship training before 1 January 2020 and are returning to a traineeship after 1 January 2020, you will be eligible for fee free for the remainder of your training if your traineeship course or your employer has changed.

If you've started training with your training provider after 1 January 2020, you do not have to pay a fee. If you started training before this date, the student fee must still be paid.

If you have previously commenced your Smart and Skilled traineeship training before 1 January 2020 and are returning to a traineeship after 1 January 2020 you will be eligible for fee free for the remainder of your training if your traineeship course or your employer has changed.

Only traineeship training commencing from 1 January 2020 is fee free. You are still required to pay any outstanding fee to your training provider.

If you are part way through your traineeship training and were required to re-commence your training after 1 January 2020 due to a change of employer, the remainder of your training will be fee free.

Yes, apprenticeship qualifications are fee free under the Fee Free Apprenticeships Initiative.

If you've started your course with your training provider before 1 January 2020 you are not eligible for a refund.

Smart and Skilled provides fee exemptions to students with a disability, which means you will not have to pay a fee.

You may also be entitled to financial support to help you complete a traineeship. There are employment agencies that specialise in providing assistance tailored to your individual circumstances.

Your employer may be eligible for financial help when they employ a person with disability. This can include assistance to modify or adjust your workplace through the Employment Assistance Fund.

Smart and Skilled provides fee exemptions to Aboriginal students which means you will not have to pay a fee.

You may also be able to receive support under various Aboriginal Initiatives programs.

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