Women Trading Up Support Program: Preparing for your first TAFE block 1.1

First Year Apprentice/Trainee

A young Indian woman, who is wearing protective eyewear, smiles as she enjoys her engineering class with her peers - they are all wearing blue coveralls.

Module 01: Preparing for your first TAFE block

Your first day at your TAFE/registered training organisation (RTO) may be fast approaching and for some this can feel a little like the first day of school or work all over again.  

So, we have prepared some tips and tricks to prepare for TAFE to make the lead up a little less daunting.  

Your training plan is a copy of all the units you will undertake at your RTO and is sent to you and your employer roughly 6-8 weeks after signing your Training Contract. 

This is a helpful resource to get to know what units you’ll undertake at your RTO. Use this as a guide to your workplace learning to help build your confidence around different skills before starting TAFE.  

Sometimes apprentices let us know they are nervous that when they get to TAFE as they feel they won’t know as much as the other apprentices. Do not worry, it is normal for apprentices to have varying skills levels – that is what TAFE is for! 

But to help prepare for TAFE, we encourage you to ask your supervisor or tradespeople at work to show you different skills that may be relevant to your upcoming TAFE classes. Practicing new skills or theories before you attend TAFE helps ensure you can get the most out of your time at TAFE. 

Are there any other apprentices at work that have been to TAFE before or perhaps you have some friends at TAFE. Chat to them about their experiences and see what wisdom they can offer up. 

Most RTOs have a campus map available on their website. Get to know where your classes will be located, the best places to park or your public transport options. A weekend driveby is always a good idea! Most RTOs also have a Student Services team – check their website for contact numbers and reach out if you have any questions, they can even help set up things like a Concession SmartRider card. 

Did you know?

TAFE scheduling, semesters dates or class capacities may mean you don’t start TAFE until your six months or more in. This is OK you’re still considered to be working towards your apprenticeship. 

You get paid to attend TAFE, which means you are required to let your employer know if you can’t make it to TAFE. TAFE also notifies your employer when you don’t attend.  This also means you are likely to be required to wear your work uniform – check with your employer first. 

As you progress through your qualification you may find there may be gaps between what you learn at TAFE and the type of work your employer offers. This is OK and usually your TAFE is able to work with you and your employer to address those gaps. Don’t be afraid to ask your lecturer if you have this concern. 

You may be able to claim a travel/accommodation allowance if required to travel a long distance for TAFE check your eligibility here. 

a female air conditioning technician with her supervisor on a roof top of an office block . They are performing routine servicing of the air conditioning units , and are wearing safety equipment .

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