Apprenticeships | NECA


Pathways to an Apprenticeship


Career Opportunities

Career opportunities for people in the electrical industry are many and varied. An electrical apprenticeship is one of the best ways to build a career in that industry. An electrical trade is highly regarded; it's highly portable, well paid and many electricians go on to start their own businesses. There are also a large number of related trades under the broad heading of Electrotechnology such as in air-conditioning and refrigeration, instrumentation, security and communications.

For further information about being an electrician, visit the Skills and Employment website here.


Electrical Apprenticeships

An electrical apprenticeship generally takes four years and includes three years of trade school studies (generally one day per week).

In some cases the trade school studies or off-the-job training is conducted by "block release". Block release is where the job training is conducted periodically throughout the year in a block form of one or more consecutive weeks.

For persons undertaking an electrical apprenticeship the formal course undertaken at trade school is UEE30811 Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician.


Getting Started

There are a number of different ways to get started:

  • Work experience – to see what’s actually involved in being an electrician.
  • School-based apprenticeship – which can be started in Year 11.
  • Pre-apprenticeship course – a stepping stone to the apprenticeship program.
  • Readiness Assessment – a literacy and numeracy test available to potential apprentices that, if successful, can increase their chances of gaining an apprenticeship.


Work Experience

Work experience is becoming a less common option these days due to the insurance required to take on a work experience student. If you are still at school, the insurance will most likely be provided by your school; however, if you are no longer at school you may be required to obtain insurance yourself.


School-based Apprenticeships

School-based apprenticeships offer school students a taste of what it would be like to be an Apprentice. School-based apprenticeships are available through a range of providers and generally require the student to be at trade school one day a week for two years. In addition, the student must organise work placement for 320 hours over the two years. On completion, the student will receive a Certificate II in Electrotechnology. 


Pre-apprenticeship Program

A pre-apprenticeship program is a twelve week course that includes work experience placement in the industry. Pre-Apprenticeship programs offers students the chance to "try a trade" before committing to a Contract of Training. It is a great pathway to an apprenticeship. On completion, the student will receive a Certificate II in Electrotechnology. 


Readiness Assessment

Those who are interested in entering into the electrical industry can sit a Readiness Assessment, made available by Energy Space. The Readiness Assessment (RA) is a national electrical industry specific aptitude test designed to assess the potential of aspiring electrical apprentices, covering 15 areas of numeracy and literacy required to be successful in an electrical apprenticeship. Readiness Assessments are only available through participating industry providers who are registered to host RA’s. 

In SA, our Group Training Organisation, NECA Careers & Apprenticeships uses the RA program to test potential candidates on their literacy and numeracy skills. 

To find out more about the Readiness Assessment, or to undertake the practice tests, visit or contact NCA on (08) 8272 0799.


Finding an Apprenticeship

NECA SA/NT strongly suggests that individuals should be proactive in seeking an apprenticeship. Rather than wait for a prospective employer to call you it is in your interests to contact prospective employers and apply for an apprenticeship.

Check the employment sections of the state and local newspapers. It is also suggested that you look under "Electrical Contractors" in your Yellow Pages to develop a list of prospective employers and apply for an apprenticeship. Employers generally react positively when job seekers are proactive and display initiative in seeking a job.


Group Training

Group Training Organisations are another excellent employment option for persons seeking an apprenticeship. Group Training Organisations employ the apprentice directly but place them with "host" employers to undertake the practical on-the-job training. In this way apprentices are rotated through a number of different employers and gain exposure and experience in a range of environments.

NECA SA/NT has established their own Group Training Organisation, NECA Careers & Apprenticeships, who are dedicated to the electrotechnology industry. To find out more, visit the NCA website or contact (08) 8272 0799.

Further information about Group Training Organisations can also be found on the website of National Apprentice Employment Network (NAEN): .


Registered Training Organisation

NECA SA/NT is affiliated with the state's major training provider, TAFE SA, who provides training for new apprentices in a range of industries in South Australia.

TAFE SA also provide upskill training for qualified tradespersons who are required to maintain their licences and competencies under various laws and regulations, as well as other business development or industry training.

For further information, please contact TAFE SA on 1800 882 661 or visit their website:



Further Information

For additional information about apprenticeships visit the Australian Apprenticeships website at or call 13 38 73. 

Should you require any additional information or clarification on apprenticeships please contact NECA Careers and Apprenticeships on (08) 8272 0799 or email .