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3 reasons why the “pre-app” is the prominent pathway to becoming an electrician

3 reasons why the “pre-app” is the prominent pathway to becoming an electrician

The opportunity for a school-based pre-apprentice (or  ‘pre-app’) to be able to use their time in years 11 and 12 to begin their electrotechnology journey, has proven to be of great value to industry  – and the student. 

Mandatory work experience, conducted under the requirements of a training licence adds a level of integrity to the training. Whereas the institutional delivery of Certificate II qualifications is suitable for  the business or nontrade pathways, without mandatory work experience, a number of negatives present themselves. We take a look at some areas where a genuine pre-apprenticeship is of major benefit to an apprentice’s pathway.


Safety in our industry is of the highest importance, and mandatory training licences required for work  experience ensure that the pre-apprentice is aware of the dangers before they venture into the  workplace. 

Building  and  Energy’s apprentice  safety  assessment guidelines test and report regime requires the pre-apprentice to complete a safety assessment before they can be issued their training licence. The assessment includes ‘supervision’ and ‘not working live’ elements. This assessment must be completed under the invigilation of a fully licensed electrician.

Job Ready

Potential employers considering an apprentice are now relying on the pre-apprenticeship pathway as an  introduction to job-ready apprentices. Reason being, they have been exposed to the realities of tradie life. The school environment, with relatively late starts, long breaks and early finishes, isn’t a practical preparation for the life of an electrician.

The pre-apprenticeship is like a month-long interview, with the student having to front up to site on time, in PPE and with a ‘can do’ attitude.   Additionally, the pre-apprentice now has to be self-motivated – always at job-ready quality. The trade teacher isn’t going to push the student the way their high school teacher would. The learning habits from school change and lifelong learning habits need to be developed, especially if the pre-app gains an apprenticeship. It might be all exciting on day one, but their attitude by day twenty (especially as they aren’t getting paid), is the real test of their metal.

College Ready

School isn’t the same as Trade College, as the learning shifts from curriculum to competency-based.

The pre-apprenticeship allows the future sparkie to get their hands on the gear, to strip and terminate cables, solder components and learn how to use a drill correctly. With safety training intrinsic to each unit undertaken, the pre-app is developing skills and valuable knowledge that transfer into the apprenticeship.

In summary,  the  pre-apprenticeship is  now  the  prominent  pathway  into  the Cert  III  Electrotechnology Electrician qualification. Knowing the difference between a Cert II and a Cert II Pre-Apprentice, can be all the difference between employing a ‘job-ready’ apprentice or not.

If you’re a student looking to kick-start a career as an electrician, learn more about becoming an electrician here.

If you’re an electrician looking to employ a ‘job-ready’ apprentice, visit our partner organisation Electrical Group Training for more information about employing an apprentice.

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