The South Australian Skills Commission is expanding apprenticeships and traineeships to include a university / higher education qualification in some cases to ensure South Australia has the skilled workforce it needs now and in future.
Higher Education Apprenticeships and Traineeships are qualifications offered by higher education institutions that can be undertaken as an apprenticeship or traineeship.
Until now, apprenticeships and traineeships in South Australia have been associated with traditional trades and vocations rather than occupational pathways and courses undertaken at universities / higher education institutions.
Recent changes mean that qualifications offered by higher education institutions / universities can now be undertaken as an apprenticeship or traineeship.
As with traditional apprenticeships and traineeships, Higher Education Apprenticeships and Traineeships are a combination of paid employment and off-job training.
The key difference is that the off-job training is linked to a university course and is delivered by a higher education institution or university rather than a registered training organisation (RTO). As with traditional apprenticeships and traineeships, employers provide real on-job training by a qualified and experienced supervisor and, Higher Education Apprentices and Trainees put their learning into practice and develop skills in the workplace throughout their qualification.
The combination of on-job and off-job training fast-tracks skills acquisition and is a proven way for employers to develop and retain their workforce.
Higher Apprenticeships and Traineeships are critical to helping South Australian industries and businesses keep pace with the rate at which technology, and hence skill requirements, change.
The technical skills for some roles in, for example, engineering and the defence sector, may be greater than what has traditionally been considered for an apprenticeship pathway. Higher apprenticeships will deliver higher level qualifications to meet both the theoretical and technical skill requirements through on-job learning.
Only qualifications or courses regulated by the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TESQA), including self-accrediting providers, can be included in the declaration of a higher education trade or vocation.
We need to be responsive to industry to meet the challenge of developing skills critical to South Australia’s future success. We have heard from businesses how valuable they have found taking on an apprentice as a way of upskilling their team. Some of these businesses have expressed interest in the opportunity to take on higher level apprentices.
The changes to the South Australian Skills Act that came into effect this year have allowed us to re-imagine what an apprenticeship looks like to accommodate the greater technical component of some roles due, for example, to advances in technology.
Where there are roles that now require a higher skill level than those that have traditionally been part of an apprenticeship, this new pathway allows some trades and vocations to be coupled with a higher education qualification. The Commission has approved the mechanism to allow industry to apply for new trades and vocations to be declared as a higher education apprenticeship or traineeship pathway.
The competition for talent, globally, has never been stronger and the Higher Education Apprenticeships and Traineeships will help businesses develop the skills they need in order to thrive.
For employers, as the Higher Education Apprenticeship and Traineeships will be co-designed with industry and focus on employment outcomes, these qualifications will be valued by industry creating a greater collaboration between industry and universities. Additionally, as employers support the development of students before they graduate, a genuine partnership throughout the individual’s studies ensures they are learning both the theoretical knowledge technical skills and gaining important ‘on-job’ experience.
For individuals undertaking these qualifications, it provides the opportunity to undertake work in their chosen vocation or trade, gaining valuable real-life work experience and the ability to earn a wage in their industry while they learn.
For higher education providers, a higher apprenticeship offers a new pathway option for students to pursue a higher education qualification while offering higher education providers the opportunity to establish new valuable longer-term partnerships with industry.
All apprenticeships and traineeships must be declared as a trade or vocation by the South Australian Skills Commission. Information needed in the SA Higher Education Application form includes:
Applications developed by industry in partnership with the higher education providers accredited to deliver the qualification/course, that can demonstrate employer demand, would be viewed favourably.
To apply, please contact the South Australian Skills Commission.
All apprenticeships and traineeships must be declared as a trade or vocation by the South Australian Skills Commission. Download the Application of Trades and Vocations (Higher Education) here.