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School-based apprenticeships and traineeships (SBA/Ts) are more than just part-time jobs. They are a great way for students to set themselves up for the career they want while completing their HSC. Opportunities are available across a wide range of occupations. 

The NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) has responsibility for developing/endorsing curriculum to provide for apprenticeship and traineeship pathways within the HSC. 

Students undertaking an HSC VET course as part of a school-based apprenticeship or traineeship (SBA/T) have the opportunity to achieve a nationally-recognised VET qualification as well as their HSC, and gain valuable work skills and experience through paid employment.

The NSW apprenticeship and traineeship system is administered by Training Services NSW within the NSW Department of Industry.

The School Based Apprenticeships and Traineeships in NSW website provide access to a range of information regarding SBA/Ts for students and parents and registered training organisations (RTOs) and employers. This includes guidelines, checklists, roles and responsibilities, resources and contacts.

HSC VET courses for SBA/Ts

SBA/Ts must study the relevant HSC VET course (formal learning/off-the-job training) which will contribute HSC unit credit towards the 22 units required for the HSC. 

For a SBA/T to commence there must be an HSC Board Developed (Industry Curriculum Framework) or VET Board Endorsed course (VET BEC) available.

A training plan for a SBA/T must meet HSC VET course requirements to provide unit credit towards the HSC. During the development of a training plan, RTOs and schools/colleges must check the training plan against the appropriate Framework syllabus or VET BEC course description.

If the SBA/T qualification pathway is not available through an existing course, an Application for a NEW Stage 6 VET Board Endorsed course for school-based apprentices/trainees will need to be submitted by the school/college through the school system/sector to NESA for consideration for endorsement.

SBA/Ts may also elect to undertake the Industry-based Learning course for additional HSC credit for the learning undertaken during their paid employment (on-the-job training). 

Adding units of competency to HSC VET courses for SBA/Ts

Where units of competency planned for inclusion in the training plan for a SBA/T are not listed in the relevant HSC VET course, a request for units of competency to be considered for inclusion can be made to NESA through the school system/sector. This should occur while the training plan is being drafted and prior to signing.

Any questions about HSC VET courses for SBA/Ts contact the VET team at NESA on (02) 9367 8310.

VET course mapping tool for SBA/T

The mapping tool can be used by schools/colleges and RTOs to:

  • map the school-based training component of a student’s training plan into an HSC VET course(s)
  • help principals certify that the training plan can be packaged into appropriate HSC VET course(s).

The VET course mapping tool is a blank template that can be used for any qualification being undertaken by a SBA/T through a VET Framework or Board Endorsed course.

Industry-based Learning

This Board Endorsed course is only available to students with an approved SBA/T training contract, and who are also entered for the appropriate HSC VET course for the formal learning/off-the-job training component of their SBA/T.

The course enables students to demonstrate the additional knowledge, understandings, skills, values and attitudes they develop from the on-the-job training component of their SBA/T.

A support document and templates were developed to assist initial implementation of this course:

Commencing a SBA/T in Year 10 (Stage 5)

The minimum year level to commence a SBA/T is Year 10. A student commencing their SBA/T in Year 10 must meet NESA requirements for Year 10 while concurrently starting their HSC.

For a student to commence an SBA/T in Year 10 they must first seek approval from the relevant school system/sector and school/principal. This is to ensure NESA requirements are considered in the planning stages of the SBA/T.

Schools/colleges, RTOs and employers must take into account a range of factors when initiating a Year 10 SBA/T commencement. Refer to the School Based Apprenticeship and Traineeship in NSW Guidelines and Guidelines for access to VET courses by students in Years 9 and 10.