School Based Apprenticeships and Traineeships (SBATs) were introduced in 1998 as a distinct pathway within Vocational Education and Training in Schools (VET). They are available to secondary school students over 15 years old and enrolled in the Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL). A SBAT offers students the option of combining part-time employment, school and training. The program is undertaken under a training contract with an employer, has a Training Plan signed by the school and formally registered with the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority (VRQA) and leads to a nationally recognised qualification.

A SBAT forms an integral part of the student’s school learning program and study timetable and a minimum of one day of the normal school week must be spent in employment and/or structured training as an apprentice or trainee. Credit for the training within the VCAL can be awarded to the student. Like other VET offerings, the vocational training components of SBATs also contribute credit towards a senior secondary certificate. Many school based apprentices and trainees move on to a full-time contract with their employer after leaving school, while others choose to continue their education and training at a Registered Training Organisation.