What is the difference between an apprentice and a trainee?

Apprentices are trained in a skilled trade (e.g. electrical, plumbing, cabinet-making, automotive) and, upon successful completion, become a qualified tradesperson. Apprenticeships generally take up to 4 years to complete.

Trainees are trained in vocational areas (e.g. business administration, information technology, tourism) and, upon successful completion, receive a qualification in their chosen vocational area. Traineeships generally take between 12 months and 3 years to complete.

Quick facts about apprenticeships and traineeships

  • Apprenticeships and traineeships combine work with structured training.
  • Apprenticeships and traineeships can be full-time, part-time, or school-based – where some training is undertaken while the apprentice or trainee is in high school. However, apprenticeships and traineeships cannot be undertaken if the employment is irregular, occasional or intermittent (e.g. casual).
  • Existing employees may undertake an apprenticeship or traineeship.
  • Apprenticeships and traineeships require employers to enter into a training contract with the apprentice or trainee, agreeing to work and train together for a length of time (length of the training contract).
  • Employers work with the training organisation and the apprentice or trainee to negotiate a training plan.
  • Employers of apprentices and trainees

    Find further information specific to you and your role as an employer of apprentices and trainees on the Business Queensland website

Who’s who in the apprenticeship and traineeship system?

User Choice

The User Choice program is funded by the Queensland State Government and is designed to contribute towards the costs associated with the training for eligible apprentices and trainees across Queensland.

The program aims to provide funding to the current vocational identified skills needs priority groups across a variety of industries.  The percentage of funding available is dependent on the qualification and skill need priority groups established by the Department of Employment, Small Business and Training and not all apprenticeships and traineeships are eligible under this Government funding program. Other co-
contributions by industry, employers, apprentices and trainees will generally be required.

The User Choice 2021-2022 program provides the flexibility for apprentices, trainees and their employers to choose a preferred Supervising Registered Training Organisation (SRTO) such as Oceania College of Technology (SRTO 40995) or choose from a list of Skills Assure Suppliers. The User Choice subsidy funding is paid directly to Oceania College of Technology on behalf of the apprentice or trainee once training is delivered.

The co contribution fees are paid by the student or employer – $1.60 per nominal hour. This fee can be paid upon receipt of a Tax Invoice from Oceania College of Technology or can be paid by regular payment plans by direct debit authority.

Oceania College of Technology aims to keep costs to a minimum, however other costs may be incurred during the delivery of the training.  These cost will be identified to the apprentice or trainee at the beginning of their enrolment.  School-based apprentices and trainees are not required to pay a co-contribution fee while they are still at school, however the co-contribution fees may be required once their national training contract has been converted to full time or part time on completion of their schooling.


Like other organizations, Oceania has its own journey of maturing into a successful institution. Here’s a brief journey of how we have evolved over the years!

  • 2013

    On 10 April 2013

    Oceania was incorporated.

  • 2014

    On 5 August 2014

    Oceania became registered as a registered training organisation Australia (RTO) to deliver government funded training programs and courses and holds RTO code 40995.

  • 2015

    On 19 May 2015

    Oceania became registered on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS) and holds CRICOS code 03413K.

  • 2019

    On January 2019

    open Sydney campus and workshop

  • 2020

    On February 2020

    opened Gold Coast Campus and workshop

Got a question? We’re here to help

  • The student support system and hands on training helped me secure a job in BMW (in Australia)

    Jude Sachin Fernando (student from Sri Lanka)

    Diploma of Automotive Management. Batch: 2

  • Oceania College is a well recognized brand across Australia and is known for offering offbeat and latest professional programmes. It provides best training in the Automotive space with top Industry trainers and well-equipped workshops.

    Joe Hogan
  • I just wanted to send you a short email to express my appreciation for what you have done in this short time. All of the recent changes have massively improved my experience and many others. I’m sure I’m not just speaking for myself in saying that we feel a great boost in moral and excitement attending college to further training in our trade.