Home >News > Pre-apprenticeship, traineeship and apprenticeship, what’s the difference?


Pre-apprenticeship, traineeship and apprenticeship, what’s the difference?


Are you considering an apprenticeship, traineeship or pre-apprenticeship courses? These courses are available across a range of trade and industry areas including hospitality, cyber security, hairdressing, building and construction and many more. While completing an apprenticeship or traineeships you combine working with an employer and learning at a TAFE provider.

The main difference between an apprenticeship and a traineeship is the duration of training. Traineeships can last from 12 weeks up to one year whereas, apprenticeships usually last around 3 - 4 years as they cover skilled trades. Pre-apprenticeships last up to 6 months and are a stepping-stone to an apprenticeship.


If you’re looking for an introduction to an industry, a pre-apprenticeship is a great way to get a taste of a future career. Pre-apprenticeships can be taken as part of your VCE or VCAL studies and are recognised as Certificate II qualifications.

Pre-apprenticeships allow you to experience what it’s like to work within an industry before you commit to an apprenticeship. Undertaking a pre-apprenticeship equips you with the skills and knowledge required to start an apprenticeship.

Completing a pre-apprenticeship may allow you to receive credit for recognition of prior study, which shortens the time it takes to complete a full apprenticeship. Pre-apprenticeship students are appealing to future employers as they will already have the basic skills required for the job.


Enjoy the best of both worlds when you learn and earn on the job as a trainee. Traineeships focus mostly on the non-traditional trade qualifications. As with apprenticeships, you learn on the job and you must be employed full time or part time.

Most traineeships run for one year however, in some cases this could extend to three years. The industry and the qualification will determine whether it is classed as an apprenticeship or a traineeship and the length of time needed to complete the training.


Apprenticeships offer a combination of practical, hands on learning while you are employed and earning an income. Training is a mix of workplace-based training and offsite practical and theoretical learning at TAFE.

You can take on an apprenticeship at any working age. Whether you are an adult worker going back to study or still at school finishing Years 11 and 12. At the end of your apprenticeship, you will hold an accredited qualification.

If you’re interested in becoming an apprentice, trainee or taking on a pre-apprenticeship, Box Hill Institute is a great choice because you’ll get all the practical skills and knowledge you need for your career.