Smart and Skilled apprenticeship and traineeship qualifications


Apprenticeships and traineeships combine work-based training with an employer and formal training from a training provider. They are established under training contracts between the employer and the apprentice or trainee and are regulated by government. They're a great way to be paid for work, learn and earn a qualification.

All NSW apprentices and most new-entrant trainees are eligible for a government subsidy under Smart and Skilled for the qualification that supports their apprenticeship or traineeship.

Apprentices, eligible new-entrant trainees and their employers can choose an approved Smart and Skilled training provider that best meets their needs. Their choice of training provider does not affect the fee that is paid. The fee they pay is the same regardless of which approved Smart and Skilled training provider they choose.

Rather than paying yearly or by semester, apprentices and trainees under Smart and Skilled pay a fee for the qualification. They may still pay in instalments over a number of years, but the fee is an amount for the qualification, fixed at the time the apprentice or trainee commences.


If you're starting an apprenticeship, you are eligible to a government subsidy for your apprenticeship qualification, even if you already have a Certificate IV or higher qualification.

Under the NSW Government fee-free apprenticeship initiative, NSW apprentices that commence their training on or after 1 July 2018 may be eligible for fee free training. For more information, go to For eligible apprentices there will be no requirement to pay the fee.

If you are eligible for the Fee Free Apprenticeship Strategy, you or your employer will not be required to pay the fee for your apprenticeship qualification, depending on the relevant industrial award. Ask your employer if they are responsible for paying your student fees.


The NSW Skills List identifies which traineeship qualifications receive a government subsidy. The subsidy is available to trainees who are new entrants, but not those who are existing workers. Your employer can confirm your trainee category.

As a new-entrant trainee, you are eligible to a government subsidy for your traineeship qualification, even if you already have a Certificate IV or higher qualification.

If you did a traineeship at school, this will not affect your eligibility for Smart and Skilled subsidised training after you leave school.

You can search for apprenticeship and traineeship qualifications that are subsidised under Smart and Skilled in the Course Finder.

Pre-apprenticeships and pre-traineeships

If you're not ready for a full apprenticeship or traineeship, why not consider a pre-apprenticeship or pre-traineeship?

To read more about these courses, see Pre-apprenticeships/traineeships.

More information

Go here to find the full list of apprenticeships and traineeships in NSW.

Find out more about apprenticeships and traineeships.

Page last updated: 26 September 2018