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School-based traineeships (Skilling SA)

'Skilling South Australia' is a state government initiative helping young people develop skills and build meaningful pathways to meet the workforce needs of industry.

As part of this, the Department for Education will create paid school-based traineeship places for senior high school students.

Read the Skilling SA school-based traineeships flyer (PDF 93KB)


This is an 18 to 24 month program open to year 11 students.

Year 12 students may also be eligible. They will be considered on a case-by-case basis in conjunction with their school.

To be eligible for a traineeship position, students must:

  • currently be enrolled in a public government high school
  • have successfully completed year 10 including the Personal Learning Plan (PLP) subject
  • be an Australian Citizen or Permanent Resident
  • intend on completing their SACE and the Certificate III qualification as part of senior secondary schooling
  • be prepared to attend work 1 day per week including school holidays
  • commit to undertaking a Certificate III VET qualification, which is a compulsory part of the traineeship
  • obtain a Working with Children Check (WWCC) after submitting an expression of interest.

Course fees

Students and families are not required to pay for any course fees. The department will cover all course fees and the trainee’s wages.

Course commitments

Skilling SA traineeships involve working 1 day per week (7.5 hours) at a nearby school, as a paid employee of the department.

To help students distinguish between their schooling and their place of employment, schools will avoid hosting their own students. However, in regional and remote communities, this may be unavoidable and these arrangements will be supported.

Students will work on the same day each week, which will be decided by the host school. Traineeships start in July 2021 and will finish by late 2022.

School-based trainees must also undertake off-the-job Vocational Education Training (VET) studies. This may include face-to-face and online classes with a qualified instructor.

Traineeships available

A Skilling SA school-based traineeship can be counted towards the student’s SACE and will help build their employable skills.

Students will be trained on the job and work towards a nationally recognised Certificate III qualification. Students can choose up to 2 traineeship roles in the expression of interest form.

Classroom Support School Services Officer (SSO)

Trainees will complete a Certificate III in Education Support and work with teachers to support students achieve their learning goals.

Trainee tasks may include:

  • working with classroom teachers to support individual or small groups of students
  • helping implement education programs
  • supporting day to day classroom activities.

Find out more about the Certificate III in Education Support (myskills website).

Business Administration SSO

Trainees will complete a Certificate III in Business and work with the host site administration team. Some trainees may have the opportunity to work in supporting the VET team in schools.

Trainee tasks may include:

  • a range of admin activities, including preparing letters, business correspondence and recording data
  • answering front of house phone calls and direct to appropriate staff.

Find out more about the Certificate III in Business (myskills website).

Information Technology SSO

Trainees will complete a Certificate III in Information Technology and work to support the operation of the site’s information and communication technology network.

Trainee tasks may include:

  • supporting students and staff work through technical issues
  • investigating and recording hardware and software problems
  • installing and updating computer software and hardware.

Find out more about the Certificate III in Information Technology (myskills website).

Aboriginal Education Worker or Aboriginal Community Education Officer (ACEO)

Aboriginal Community Education Officer traineeships are only available for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students may also apply for any other traineeships of interest.

Trainees will complete a Certificate III in Community Services and contribute to the development and implementation of programs to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.

Trainee tasks may include:

  • supporting the school to deliver quality education and care service for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students
  • helping develop and implement programs to support Aboriginal children’s identity, culture and language
  • working with small groups of students to support their learning.

Find out more about the Certificate III in Community Services (myskills website).

How to apply

Complete the online expression of interest form to apply for a traineeship. This becomes your application and will be used to match potential trainees with appropriate host schools. Students can ask teachers at their school for support in completing the form.

Expressions of interest forms are due by 6.00pm on Thursday 13 May (week 3, term 2).

Allow plenty of time to fill out the expression of interest and have the following information ready:

  • contact details for your parent, guardian or caregiver
  • contact details for a referee who is a teacher at your school
  • response to how you would use your communication skills in the workplace to provide an effective service to students, staff and the school community
  • response to how you work effectively as a member of a team
  • response to how the traineeship will support your study and career goals.

Selecting a referee

For your referee, select a teacher who knows you well and can answer questions about your suitability for the traineeship. It is important that you ask your teacher if they are prepared to be your referee. You will need to include their full name and email address in your expression of interest.

Next steps

After submitting the expression of interest, students should apply for a Working with Children Check. Students can apply independently or ask for support from their school.

The department will work to match students with appropriate host sites. The department aims to place as many students as possible, however cannot guarantee a position.

SACE recognition

Completing a Skilling SA school-based traineeship with the department can be counted towards the student's SACE.

If the traineeship application is successful, students should meet with their school VET or Pathways leader to discuss changing their timetable to support completion of the traineeship. Depending on the circumstances, students may be able to change the number of subjects required to achieve their SACE.

When trainees complete their traineeship, the department will lodge an application to have the training contract completed by the end of the 2022 school year. This will allow students to use the qualification for recognition towards their SACE.

Information for host sites

Department for Education schools can learn more about hosting trainees (staff login required).


Education Support Professional Learning

Phone: 8463 7611
Emaileducation.espl [at] sa.gov.au