Put simply, a pre-apprenticeship course is a stepping-stone to get into the industry of your choice. In most cases, people undergo a pre-apprenticeship before an apprenticeship to prepare them for the working environment in their selected industry. As well as this, pre-apprenticeships can help to improve your existing skills and pave the way for your learning as a part of your further studies.
Pre-apprenticeship courses may be undertaken part time as part of your VCE or VCAL studies while you are still at school, or after you have completed school. Many however debate their necessity as a stepping stone to undergoing an apprenticeship. There are many questions as to the advantages of completing a pre-apprenticeship and whether they are a vital component of getting industry placement further down the line.
One major advantage of conducting a pre-apprenticeship is that you are effectively completing the first stage of apprenticeship study. Not only will this shave time off your secondary study, but it will also give you a head start on the industry, granting you a competitive edge when it comes to finding employment. When applying for apprenticeships, employers also like the fact that they do not have to pay your wages to study what you have already learned. This will mean less time in the classroom and more time for them to give you practical tasks that will actually contribute to the business operations.
Another advantage is that employers will know you have experienced the industry culture prior to taking on the commitment of an apprenticeship. Not only does this cement your loyalty to the field you are undertaking, but it also proves your ability to handle yourself on site and passion towards completing your apprenticeship to become accredited in your trade.
Your pre-apprenticeship will also give you a thorough introduction to how the industry works, workplace safety practices, and how to perform common calculations and use relevant hand and tools and machinery. This will allow you to experience these practices under safe and supervised conditions, rather than within a workplace environment that may exist during an apprenticeship.
As well as this confidence in industry machinery, you will also develop personal confidence in your abilities as a professional. By the time your apprenticeship rolls around, you will have gained ample skills in communication and teamwork, helping assist you during real work scenarios.
One final advantage to completing a pre-apprenticeship is the fact that majority of education institutions will help you to find an employer willing to give you some exposure to the trade via work experience.
Work experience is an important part of working within a trade for several reasons: you are in a hands-on role in your chosen field gaining real experience with qualified tradesmen. It helps you to be sure you’ve made a great choice by getting a genuine taste of what the trade is like. At the very least, you’ll leave after your stay with some industry experience and maybe a reference for your resume.
If you are considering a pre-apprenticeship and are still in school, it’s a good idea to talk to your school's VET Coordinator or careers advisor about your options. There are numerous benefits to this pathway and these professionals can provide advice and guidance as to your individual circumstance.
You can also contact your local TAFE or private training provider directly to see what courses they are running and what might be the best individual approach for you.
Additional information can also be found on your state or territory government website about local pre-apprenticeships and pathway options.