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Giving students a Head Start: Apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship support role today

The department is building build a team that enables students to begin their apprenticeship or traineeship during secondary schooling.

The Head Start program helps government school students consider an apprenticeship or traineeship to help them achieve their career aspirations by taking up training and employment while completing their VCE, the VCE Vocational Major or the Victorian Pathways Certificate.

School-based Head Start staff:

  • provide wrap-around support services to students whilst they undertake their apprenticeship or traineeship
  • build relationships between students, schools and employers in their region
  • use skills in a variety of roles including management, coordination and administration.

Register your application

Applications for Head Start roles will be open from 6 September. Register your interest for a Head Start role through Recruitment OnlineExternal Link . This will allow the department to assess if your credentials and experience meet the program’s recruitment needs.

  • Go to the portal and click on ‘Add your resume to Recruitment Online Job Opportunities’
  • Register as a new user
  • Complete the guided step-by-step process, and make sure you select the Head Start role/s you intend to apply for.

For more information about the registration process, see the FAQs Head Start recruitment onlineExternal Link or email for assistance in applying for the Head Start program.

The department will access your application to make their selection. To help with the selection process, provide as much information as possible at each of the steps.

You will need to upload your:

  • Cover letter that includes a specific Head Start program focus area or area of expertise you would like to work in. For example, general student population/schools, students with a disability or particular industry, and
  • Resume

A response to the key selection criteria (KSC) outlined in the relevant position description is welcome on submitting your application. If you are unable to submit your response to the selection criteria on submission, the Head Start team may request this at a later time.

Eligibility to apply

Head Start roles are open to anyone with training, industry or education experience.

Head Start will be delivered from 12 Head Start Hubs located across Victoria. Each Hub will have up to ten roles that you can apply for.

You are eligible for a Head Start Education Support role if you have a current:

  • valid employee Working with Children Check
  • Drivers Licence (dependant on role).

You are eligible for a Head Start Teaching Class role if you have a current:

  • provisional or full registration or permission to teach approved by the Victorian Institute of Teaching
  • Drivers Licence.

If you currently hold a Head Start role, you should liaise with the employing school principal.

For more information about Head Start, see Head Start programExternal Link

  • Head Start host schools will receive funding through the Student Resource Package and Schools Targeted Funding Portal to cover costs associated with staffing and delivering Head Start across the Hub.

    Engagement in government schools

    Head Start will be accessible through 12 Head Start Hubs located across the state: Barwon South West, Bayside Peninsula, Eastern Metro Melbourne, Gippsland, Goulburn Ovens Murray, Hume Whittlesea, Loddon Mallee, Melbourne North West, North East Melbourne, Southern Melbourne, Western Melbourne & Wimmera Central Highlands.

    Each Hub will deliver the Head Start program to up to 47 schools (dependant on geographical location). Successful applicants will be based at up to nine government school sites located within the Hub, and expected to travel from their base school to government school sites located within their Hub.

    Over 100 Head Start school-based roles will open for expressions of interest over coming months. Prospective applicants may register their interest in one or more of these roles.

    Information on salaries for these positions can be found on the department’s Salary RatesExternal Link page.

    Government Head Start host schools select and recruit Head Start teams to work in their schools using their regular recruitment processes.

    To express interest in a Head Start role, register via the Recruitment Online PortalExternal Link

  • Head Start is currently only available to students attending government schools.

    The Victorian Government is implementing the recommendations made under the Review into Vocational and Applied Learning Pathways in Secondary Schooling (the Firth Review) to lift the quality of school-based apprenticeships and traineeships (SBATs) for all students and employers.

    SBATs offered to students across all education sectors will be enhanced by the implementation of these reforms. This includes:

    • introduction of minimum standards and best practice guidance to drive consistent quality and continuous improvement
    • provision of improved information, guidance and tools for schools, students and employers
    • a pathway planning process to support genuine school engagement and endorsement prior to students entering training contracts
    • implementation of a policy requiring a minimum total number of paid employment hours to ensure students develop and demonstrate intended ‘on the job’ competencies and experience.

How schools deliver the Head Start program

Head Start teams are based in schools and match students with employers in a range of industries, including building, construction, community services and health, business, technology, and primary industries. They provide mentoring and support to the student while they undertake the apprenticeship or traineeship. They also provide a coordination role to schools, employers and training organisations throughout the arrangement.

Since 2019, the program has seen school-based apprentices and trainees thrive, enabling students to develop the skills and experience that employers value. Schools have reported strong retention rates and genuine employment outcomes for students post placement.

Watch our Head Start apprenticeships and traineeships video

For further information on Head Start, email or read the Frequently asked questionsExternal Link

Reviewed 24 January 2023

Head Start state-wide expansion

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