School Based Apprenticeship or Traineeship (SBAT)

A School Based Apprenticeship or Traineeship is the same as a full-time apprenticeship / traineeship except it is undertaken on a part-time basis in conjunction with Year 11 and 12 studies. The TAFE component is identical to a full-time apprenticeship / traineeship with students completing a full year of training each year as expected of all apprentices / trainees. The work component is part-time; therefore, the actual apprenticeship / traineeship is of longer duration.

atEAST SBAT Program structure

The SBAT Program structure is made up of three equally important components:

  1. Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) – which requires students to attend their secondary school two days per week, generally on a Monday and Tuesday.
  2. Off the job training – one day per week, or full week block release usually at a TAFE. Most SBATs complete their training at Certificate III level and complete their industry based Occupational Health and Safety module at the beginning of their off the job training.
  3. Employment – paid on the job training two or three days per week.

Selection Criteria

  • Demonstrated interest in the chosen field.
  • Successful completion of two weeks of work experience in the chosen field, including [email protected] training.
  • Criteria prescribed by atEAST, including: successful interview and attendance at arranged meetings.
  • Commitment to all three components of the program.
  • Satisfactory completion of the Orientation Program and pre-employment activities.

Payment of a $350.00 program fee and signing of a Program Agreement must also be completed prior to commencing the atEAST SBAT Program.


New SBATs undertake an orientation program (plus White Card training if required in their chosen industry) at the end of Year 10 which covers such issues as occupational health and safety, interview skills, resume writing, specific industry overview, testing and requirements, rights and responsibilities.

Benefits of the atEAST SBAT Program

  • Personal and professional support in the school, TAFE and employment components of the program.
  • Students can complete their VCAL studies which further supports valuable learning skills in communication, numeracy, literacy, work readiness and personal development.
  • Complete Year 11 and 12 studies while undertaking an apprenticeship / traineeship.
  • Employment whilst undertaking industry specific training.
  • Enhanced job security and career prospects.
  • Apprentice incentives are identical to that of a full-time apprentice.

Applying for a School Based Apprenticeship / Traineeship

Complete an “Expression of Interest” form, that is available from the careers teacher at schools in our consortium or contact the atEAST office directly on 03 8658 4034.

Securing employment

Finding suitable employment is done in partnership between the student and the atEAST team.

Students must first complete a minimum of two weeks work experience in their chosen field, including [email protected] training. Students are then required to provide a list of potential employers that are local to them and they are interested in working for. This helps to minimise transportation related obstacles, and offers students an opportunity to research what potential employers might be able to offer in terms of specialisations etc.

The atEAST team will contact potential employers, explain the program benefits and incentives, and attempt to arrange a work trial for the student. On completion of the students’ agreed work trial period, the atEAST team will contact the employer and collect feedback on the student’s performance, as well as determine the outcome of the trial.

Although every effort is made to secure employment in the student’s chosen industry, we cannot make any guarantees. Students who work collaboratively with the atEAST team and follow protocols have a better than 95% chance of obtaining employment in their chosen industry.


School Based Apprentice wages vary according to the industry and range from $11.55 to $15.86 per hour as of 01/07/21. Apprentices receive pro-rata annual leave and sick leave.

School Based Trainee wages are $14.28 per hour for the first year, and $15.74 per hour thereafter. Trainees are paid only for hours worked, and rates are inclusive of annual leave and sick leave.

Refer to Fair Work Australia for wage information for the industry Award.

Balancing the three components of the Program

The atEAST team monitor students’ progress at work, school and at TAFE. Students are met with on the job once a term, and atEAST maintains regular contact with both schools and TAFE. If difficulties arise, we solve them together, to ensure the best possible outcomes for all concerned.