Vocational (VET)

We’ve Found An Apprenticeship That Ticks All The Boxes

words by Year13 | photo by @benlaver_

It can be hard figuring out what you want for dinner, let alone what you want to do for a living. Maybe all your friends have gone to uni or are off travelling the world but you just don’t have the time (or money) for that. You want to start working and earning dosh straight away, but even though that’ll leave you absolutely sweet for now, you’re worried you’ll get left behind as everyone else get qualifications and move up the pay grades.

An apprenticeship is the solution you’re after; that way, you can work and earn a wage while still studying for a nationally recognised trade qualification at the same time. You’ll be trained on the job and learning real skills, not bogged down in theories and concepts that are only important in the classroom. There’s a National Skills Shortage that outlines the high demand in Australia for a lot of these trades too, which means that while university graduates struggle through a tough job market, apprentices enjoy employer incentives, personal benefits, and employability. In fact, 92% of graduates in a trade occupation course were employed after training.

Most people looking for somewhere to do an apprenticeship lean on their personal network to find an employer because it’s an easy in when your uncle or mate knows a guy. While it might be the quick way to find a job, these experiences can vary as sometimes a company just doesn’t have the resources to adequately train an apprentice and could run out of work or money for you mid-training.

What people don’t realise is that there are also apprenticeships available in the public sector – where work is protected by enforced employment agreements and awards to make sure you’re not overworked or underpaid. Sydney Trains are currently accepting applications for their 2019 Apprenticeships Program, and while it might not be the apprenticeship you were expecting to do, it comes with all the perks you would expect from a government job.

1. Your training is secure

One of the risks of doing an apprenticeship is your employer can simply run out of work for you to do. Luckily, if you land an apprenticeship with Sydney Trains you won’t have this problem and your training is secure. Thanks to Sydney Trains being a part of the public sector, you won’t be dropped just because the boss doesn’t have enough work and you’ll be able to see your qualification the whole way through.

2. The pay is primo

Sydney Trains are also very transparent about their starting pay rates and it’s definitely something to brag about. A first-year apprentice’s wage will start at $572.65 per week (or $870.45 per week if you’re over 21) and this only goes up every year of your training- better than your average apprenticeship.

3. There’s plenty of variety

The gig involves the opportunity to work at various locations across the network such as Wollongong, Gosford and, of course, the Sydney metro area. Plus, there’s a lot of variety in the roles you can perform as well- apprenticeships are available in the areas of telecommunications, electrical and mechanical trades.

Not sure what you’d be doing in each of these areas? Apprentices in telecommunications will be working in operational technology, which means they’re responsible for the systems that send data and information across the network and train control services. In electrical, apprentices can work as signal electricians, substation distribution electricians, high voltage cable jointers, or automotive electricians. They install and repair the electrical components of various machines, equipment, and systems across the whole network. Mechanical apprentices can work as signal fitters or rail maintainers, responsible for the mechanical components of the trains and rail network.

In this apprenticeship, you’ll be working for an important public service that thousands of people rely on every day. Apprenticeships run for four years (or three for telecommunications) and this time is well spent with a great wage and studying for a qualification. You’ll meet other apprentices just like you and work for an employer that is willing to invest in you.

If you’re keen, head here for more info about the NSW Apprenticeship Program and get your application in today.