School Based Apprenticeships and Traineeships
School-based apprenticeships and traineeships (SATs) are one of the senior schooling pathways available for students in Years 10, 11 or 12 at faith Lutheran.

What is a SAT?

  • SATs allow students – typically in Years 11 and 12 – to study for their Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE), work for an employer and earn a wage, and train towards a recognised vocational qualification, while completing high school. Students in Year 10 may also do a SAT.
  • SATs are available in hundreds of fields ranging from rural to retail, business to building, hospitality to hairdressing, and automotive to arts.
  • Depending on the qualification and when the SAT is started, many students can complete a school-based traineeship while at school.
  • A school-based apprenticeship provides a head start into a full-time or part-time apprenticeship and career. It is possible to complete up to a third of an apprenticeship while at school. After school this can be converted to a full-time arrangement.

Why do a SAT?

  • A SAT can support a student’s transition from school to work. The Queensland Government’s Next Step Report 2008 shows that young people who undertake a SAT were more likely to be working full-time or undertaking further education or training than young people who do not undertake a SAT.
  • A comparison of students with an Overall Position (OP) and students with a SAT shows that although the post school pathway is different, both cohorts of students are likely to be in full-time work or study after completing Year 12.
  • Students can do a SAT and an OP at the same time, and many young people do. Almost one in eight young people who participated in a SAT went on to university.

SATs and the QCE

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Achievement in a SAT can contribute credit towards the QCE.

School-based traineeships

  • School-based traineeships are generally Certificate II or III qualifications that include on-the-job training.
  • Completed traineeships contribute four (4) credits for Certificate II and up to eight (8) credits for Certificate III qualifications.
  • Partly completed certificates undertaken as part of a traineeship may contribute credit towards the QCE. The same provisions apply as for other VET certificates.
  • Note: The on-the-job training component of a school-based traineeship does not contribute any credit towards the QCE.

School-based apprenticeships

  • School-based apprenticeships are generally Certificate III qualifications.
  • Students can complete up to 30 per cent of competencies while enrolled at school.
  • Completion of 30 per cent of competencies can contribute up to two (2) credits towards the QCE, but are not counted towards completed core courses of study.
  • In addition, the on-the-job component of 96 days over a two-year period may contribute four (4) credits towards core courses of study for a QCE.
  • An incomplete on-the-job component can contribute one (1) credit per 20 days of participation.

SATs and university entrance 

  • Results from vocational education and training undertaken as part of a SAT can be used by students who are OP-ineligible to gain a selection rank for university entrance.
  • Selection ranks for OP-ineligible students are calculated from schedules developed by the Queensland Studies Authority (QSA) and the Queensland Tertiary Admissions Centre (QTAC) in consultation with tertiary institutions. The schedules provide selection ranks that are based on the best possible information about how well a student did against all other OP and OP-ineligible students.

How do SATs work?

  • A SAT is a legally binding contract of training and employment. The student is considered an employee in the workplace and is paid a wage in accordance with the payment set for the industry.  
  • SATs are essentially the same as mainstream apprenticeships and traineeships. The key difference is that SATs integrate school studies with training and paid work. A flexible school program allows a student to effectively combine a SAT with study for a QCE and/or an OP.
  • The student may attend the workplace for a period of time, usually between eight to 15 hours per week. This may represent one day a week, with or without weekend work, some evening and weekend work or some work during the school term, with longer periods during school vacations. The student may drop a school subject to accommodate this arrangement.

The vocational training aspect of the program may be done on-the-job or may require the student to attend training separately. The choice of the training provider rests with the employer but may be a TAFE or a private training provider. The student is not paid for attendance at training.

Organising a SAT

  • It is the policy of this school that students wishing to take up a school-based apprenticeship or traineeship:
  • speak to the Guidance Officer and VET coordinator
  • have an updated Senior Studies Agreement that reflects the desire to pursue a SAT
  • undertake work experience prior to signing up into the SAT.


  • A school-based apprenticeship or traineeship:
  • counts towards the Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE)
  • can count towards a selection rank for university
  • can lead to recognised vocational qualifications and skills
  • provides hands-on workplace experience
  • is paid for the on-the-job component
  • helps to develop confidence and contacts to move from school to work or further education or training.

Free brochures on SATs for students, parents or guardians and employers are available on or by phoning 1800 210 210.