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Free apprenticeships for under 21s

Free apprenticeships for under 21s

What is the Free apprenticeships for under 21s initiative?

The Queensland Government will cover the cost of training for apprentices and trainees under the age of 21, who commence or are undertaking a priority apprenticeship or traineeship qualification from 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2023.

  • An extension of the successful Fee-free training for Year 12 graduates initiative with a focus on apprenticeships and traineeships.
  • From July this year young people, up to 21 years of age, will be able to undertake one of 139 fee-free apprenticeships and/or traineeships.
  • Fee-free training will also be available to young people who commenced in a high priority apprenticeship or traineeship in previous years, where they are under 21 years on 1 July 2019 and are still in training.

For further information please refer to the fact sheet here.

What can I study with ACCCO fee-free?

CHC30113 Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care

CHC50113 Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for the Free apprenticeships under 21s program, you must be employed as an apprentice or trainee under a training contract in one of the 2 priority apprenticeship or traineeship qualifications above on or after 1 July 2019.

Prospective students must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Be an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident and New Zealand citizens who have entered Australia on a valid passport, have unrestricted rights to employment in Australia.
  • Find an Employer who is willing to take you on as an Apprentice or Trainee.
  • Be between 15yrs and under the age of 21 years, and no longer at school. (If the Apprentice or trainee is under 18 years of age at the date of signing the training contract, the signed consent of a parent or guardian is required.)
  • To be registered as a Queensland apprentice or trainee, your workplace address must be in Queensland (An apprentice or trainee can have an interstate residential and/or postal address and still be registered with the department as long as the physical workplace address is in Queensland and the apprentice or trainee works at that address.)
  • Available for New or Existing workers. Existing employees entering in an apprenticeship or traineeship may be subject to the Existing Workers Policy (PDF, 330 KB) which may affect funding for training.

Please Note: Casual or daily hire employees are not eligible to undertake apprenticeships or traineeships, as there is no guaranteed pattern of work (which is a requirement of a training contract).

Who will the initiative assist?

Free apprenticeships will also be available to all apprentices and trainees under 21 years that are still in training in these high priority qualifications when the initiative commences, with fee-free training available for all units or modules commenced after 1 July 2019.

Apprentices and trainees already eligible for Fee-free training under the Fee-free training for Year 12 graduates initiative will continue to be eligible.

The government will contribute the training fees for all eligible young people until they complete their apprenticeship or traineeship, including those that complete after the age of 21 years.

Benefits for employers

For employers, Australian Apprentices can bring new and valuable resources and skills into a business.They allow you to develop qualified loyal staff that are familiar with your company, your work environment, your standards, your equipment and your customers. There are plenty of benefits to employers that include the following:

  • A saving of up to $3,000 over the life of the apprenticeship.
  • Qualified employees trained your way for your business
  • Government funding assistance for the training of eligible apprentices and trainees
  • Financial benefits for you including Commonwealth Government incentives
  • Greater customer satisfaction through well trained staff

How to Apply

Step 1.
Find an employer willing to take you on as a Trainee or Apprentice.

This can be done through a Job Services Australia, job sites on the internet, advertising in the newspaper, or contacting your local Apprenticeship Network Provider.

Step 2.
Trainee commences employment with employer.

Step 3.
Choose an Apprenticeship Network Provider that will complete a training contract, assist in the selection of an appropriate qualification for the business and nominate a RTO to deliver the training. The training contract may commence on the same day that employment commences or may commence at a later date.

Step 4.
Negotiate and sign a training plan with the approved RTO selected to provide the training for the Australian Apprentice.

Step 5.
Organise and continuously take part in the workplace component of the structured training for the Australian Apprentice through to completion of the qualification. This ensures assessment and validation of competence in the workplace.

Any Questions?

Further information about the Free apprenticeships for under 21s program, including the list of the priority qualifications, is available from the QLD Government website at

The information regarding available incentives from the Queensland Government to employers, apprentices and trainees please find on the DESBT website:

If you have any further queries, please contact ACCCO enrolment team on 1300 139 406. Alternatively you can contact the Department of Employment, Small Business and Training Customer Centre on 1300 369 935.


Ready to take the next step? Start your online enrolment or contact us today to begin your application!

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