How Do I Become an Electrical Apprentice in Victoria?
In Australia, there is a huge demand for electrical workers, making it one of the best paid trades currently. If you see a future for yourself in this domain, the first step is to become an electrical apprentice to acquire the skills that you need to work independently.
To be an electrician, you must demonstrate the technical skills necessary to install and maintain electrical systems in residential and commercial buildings. These skills can be acquired through a 4-year UEE30820 Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician Course (Apprenticeship). Upon completion, learners also gain the ERAC requirements to apply for an electrician’s licence.
What is an Electrical Apprenticeship Program?
Apprenticeship training is necessary to become a professional electrician. This is a paid vocational program where the apprentice is hired by a company on a full-time or part-time basis. The advantage of an apprenticeship program is that you get to learn on the job and develop the necessary technical and soft skills to work according to industry standards.
These programs do not require prior experience and are ideal for someone who is starting their career. It is also a suitable option for those looking to change careers. The duration of the electrical apprenticeship program is for four years. The work hours and the training hours of the apprenticeship may vary depending upon the type of apprenticeship that you have chosen. These details are mentioned in a training contract with the chosen Registered Training Organisation (RTO), which is mandatory for any apprenticeship program. This is an agreement between the employer, the apprentice and the training provider, listing details of the course, the training and assessment methods and the potential outcomes of the program.
Things To Consider Before Starting an Apprenticeship Program
Before moving onto the actual apprenticeship program, you must be sure of what you wish to achieve at the end of your four-year training. Here are some important things to consider before you start:
- The type of electrical licence you want
There are specific areas that you can develop your skills in. There are four primary areas of specialisation for electricians- industrial, construction, instrumentation and maintenance. Depending on which one interests you, choose the right employer. For instance, if you wish to become a commercial electrician, find an employer who works with offices, hospitals or other commercial buildings. Industrial electricians can choose employers who work with chemical plants or manufacturing factories.
- The right apprenticeship program
The apprenticeship program must not only suit your professional goals, but also the time available and the work environment that you are looking for. There are many apprenticeship programs listed online by government websites, trade unions and different electrician employers.
- Understand the requirements of the program
There are some requirements specific to employers that you should be aware of. For example, some may require you to bring your own uniforms, tools, safety equipment etc. There are also some documents that have to be submitted for the training contract. Ensure that you confirm this before applying for electrical apprenticeship.
- Prepare a good resume
Your CV or resume must stand out among several other applications. Some tips to ensure that are:
- Add a personal brief
- The CV should be engaging, well-written and error-free
- Include your work or school experience. For entry level apprentices, school projects, awards and additional courses may be included.
- List all your qualifications, including any short courses or online courses that you may have completed.
- Showcase your soft skills.
7 Steps to Become an Electrical Apprentice
Once you have found the suitable apprenticeship program and employer, you have to complete 7 steps to get started:
- Select your qualification
For electrical apprentices, the qualification required is UEE30820 Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician. The training provider must be an RTO. Make sure that the trainers are industry experts to get the best outcome of the program.
- Contact an Apprenticeship Network Provider
The employer and the apprenticeship require an Apprenticeship Network Provider to prepare the training contract with the RTO. Apprentices may have to submit documents like 100-point IDs, employment contract etc.
- Preparing the Training Plan Proposal
The Training Plan Proposal is part of the Training Contract. It lists all the important details such as training hours, the training and assessment plan and the units delivered.
- Lodge the Training Contract
Once the Training Plan Proposal and Training Contract is prepared, it is lodged with the corresponding State Training Authority for approval. In Victoria, the VRQA or the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority regulates all apprenticeship training contracts.
- Contract Approval
The employer will receive a confirmation letter with an Epsilon number, which is a unique ID provided once the training contract is approved and registered. This usually takes up to 4 weeks.
- Completion of Training Plan
Within 12 weeks of approval, a complete Training Plan is developed by the RTO after consulting the employer.
- Registration is complete
After the probation period (usually between 1-3 months since the commencement of employment), the apprentice is registered.
Once the apprenticeship starts, make sure to get copies of the following documents:
- Approval Letter
- Training Contract
- Training Plan
- Training Contract ID
Starting an apprenticeship program is a fairly simple process. The role of an apprentice also includes carrying out tasks as required by the employer during the working hours. This helps them gain hands-on experience of the industry. Once the apprenticeship program is completed, the individual is ready to start applying for a formal licence which will allow them to become a professional electrician.
Frontier provides Electrical Apprenticeship Programs with several advantages. Eligible students can also get Skills First Funding for subsidies on the training fees. We also have a large professional network that connects electrical employers with apprentices and vice versa. You get to train under industry-experienced trainers and will also receive complete support for your licence application after completing your apprenticeship. Our industry-current workshops help you develop skills that are vital to becoming job ready. We maintain small groups of learners to provide individual attention and for better learning.
At Frontier, we ensure that your four years with us is hassle-free with a successful outcome.
- How much does a first year apprentice electrician earn in Victoria?
First Year Apprentice Electricians can earn depends on factors such as the age of the individual when applying for the apprenticeship, level of schooling, trade experience etc. There are online pay calculators that will help you get a more accurate figure based on these factors.
- Who pays for apprenticeship training Victoria?
Employers are required to reimburse the wages of apprentices for working hours and training hours. This covers the training costs. Additionally, eligible learners may also apply for government subsidies, bringing down the overall training costs.
- How many hours is a full-time apprenticeship in Victoria?
Full time electrical apprentices must complete 38 hours per week which includes their working hours and training hours.
- Do employers get paid for hiring apprentices?
Employers receive two financial benefits when they hire apprentices:
- Employers gain wage subsidies and hiring incentives as per the Australian Apprenticeships Incentive Scheme. There is additional support for remote and regional employers and for businesses that employ apprentices with disability.
- Payroll tax exemptions
For more details on the benefits for employers hiring apprentices, click here.