The VET sector provides several major pathways for young people from education to work and one of them is the apprenticeship. Apprenticeships combine participation in work and formal learning in an extended education and training structure that contributes to skill formation for individuals and the wider skills base. This paper uses Longitudinal Surveys of Australian Youth data to examine patterns of participation in and completion of apprenticeships. Participation in apprenticeship is a predominantly male activity associated with family backgrounds in skilled trades, realistic vocational interests and below average school achievement. Vocational interests developed by middle secondary school are associated with higher participation levels in traditional apprenticeships. Apprenticeship is more common amongst those who have studied vocational subjects in secondary school or who do not complete Year 12. Overall completion rates are approximately 80% with variations across fields of training.
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