​​​​​​​​​​Information for students, parents and schools

Steps to get started

The Apprentices section has steps to get started. However, there are some requirements that relate specifically to SATs. It is important that parties are aware of the requirements.

Periods of employment must never fall below the minimum number of hours per 12 months. School-based apprentices and trainees require a minimum of 375 hours (50 days) of paid employment. For training contracts in electrotechnology, a minimum of 600 hours (80 days) of paid employment must be provided.

The school must give approval for the SAT. Negotiations need to be carried out between the student, parent/guardian, employer and school to ensure the SAT forms an appropriate component of an overall school program. The signing of the training contract must not be done without the school’s consent.

The SAT must impact on the school’s timetable, meaning that some of the training and/or work must take place during school hours. The student, parent/guardian, employer, school and training organisation will negotiate a schedule showing the work and training aspects of the SAT.

Off-the-job training limits may apply to school-based apprentices (not trainees) while still at school (based on the nominal term of a full-time apprenticeship).

For more information on these requirements, visit:

Responsibilities and tips for p​​arents

School-based apprentices and trainees have responsibilities just like other parties to the training contract. As school-based apprentices and trainees are generally under the age of 18, their parent or guardian, who must provide signed consent (if appropriate*), will also have some responsibilities in relation to the SAT.

*A parent or guardian’s consent is not required, for example, if the student is living independently.

Before your child commences a SAT, discuss the following first:

  • ​Talk to your child about their career goals and the apprenticeship or traineeship which will best suit their goals. Apprentice and trainees may only access a maximum of two government-funded contributions, therefore it is important that students (and their parents or guardians) consider if the SAT is appropriate and relates to the student’s future chosen career.
  • Seek support through your child’s school to discuss how the SAT may assist with QCE points and underpin tertiary study.
  • Develop strategies to balance the additional workload of school, work and training.
  • Consider and discuss transportation – how will your child get to his or her workplace?
  • ​Discuss responsibilities involved in being a paid member of the workforce.​

Finishing s​chool

Some students complete their traineeships while at school. However, many school-based apprentices and some school-based trainees will still be in the middle of their training when they finish school. All incomplete SATs are required to be converted to full-time or part-time arrangements when the student finishes school, to allow them to complete the qualification.

Conversion at the completion of year 12 to full-time arrangements is an automatic process carried out by the department. Those who wish to convert to part-time will be given the opportunity to advise the department before the conversion is complete.

Once a student converts to full-time or part-time arrangements, they will be required to pay student contribution fees to their nominated training organisation. Students should contact their training organisation as soon as possible to determine the costs of fees. Normal award wages and conditions apply and students should seek further assistance from the Fair Work Ombudsman on 13 13 94.

Queensland Certificate of Ed​​ucation ​​​(QCE)

The QCE is Queensland’s senior schooling qualification and is awarded to students who successfully meet the requirements by the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority (QCAA).

A completed or partially completed apprenticeship or traineeship undertaken by a student enrolled in school are ‘contributing studies to a QCE and results of assessment are recorded in the student’s learning account. For further details on how a SAT affects the QCE, talk to the school or visit the QCAA website.

Role o​​f s​​chools

SATs provide young people with more flexibility and variety in their senior schooling, giving considerable benefits to those who thrive on hands-on learning approach. Schools that support SATs provide students with an effective platform for making the transition to work by:

  • considering if a SAT forms an appropriate component of overall school program, and if so, giving approval for the school-based arrangement
  • assisting students to get started in their SAT
  • ensuring the minimum paid work requirements, off-the-job training limits, and all other eligibility
  • working with the student, parent or guardi​an​ (if applicable and appropriate), employer and training organisation to negotiate a schedule of school studies, work and training to ensure the impact on the school timetable
  • helping eligible students with travel and accommodation support funding
  • ongoing monitoring and support to help students meet their school and training commitment.

Further information

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Last updated
02 March 2018