This site uses cookies. By using this site, you agree to our: Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

So let’s paint the picture.

You’ve been doing your apprenticeship or traineeship for a while now and what seemed like a good idea at first, has started heading in the other direction. In short, you don’t like your apprenticeship.

So what do you do when you’ve started an apprenticeship or traineeship (school-based or not) and it’s not working out?

Working out what you don’t like about your apprenticeship or traineeship

Reflect back on your experiences so far; what’s making the experience difficult?

Here’s some common things that might be affecting your enjoyment:

  • Workload
  • Finances
  • The expectations you had vs what it’s actually like
  • The course itself and the content
  • Relationships with colleagues
  • Things not working out with your boss
  • Difficulties with apprenticeship coordination/labour-hire
  • Bored with the day-to-day grind

Maybe it’s one major thing, or a combination of things.

Grab a pen and paper and think back through the last week or couple of weeks. Write down as much about what happened on each day, and if you’d call that day good or bad. Was there something particularly bad that happened on the bad days? If each day just felt a bit ‘meh’, there may be something more consistent that you don’t enjoy that’s unlikely to change.

Now let’s take a look back at those common issues that may have ended up on your list, and what you can do to make your life easier.

Working on the things that you don’t like about your apprenticeship or traineeship

  1. Workload
    Speak to your school or the coordinator for your apprenticeship and let them know that you are eager to do a good job, but you may need a little extra help as you continue to develop.
  2. Finances
    Take a look at the financial support for apprenticeships and traineeships available; there’s even free apprenticeships available for those under 25 if you’re thinking of switching!
  3. Relationships with colleagues
    Struggling to mesh with the people you work with? See if you can find a common ground. If you feel like you’re being bullied or unfairly treated, then you should speak to your school or the coordinator to let them know what’s happening.
  4. The course itself and the content
    Try to push through because you’ll be rewarded with recognition for your training which you can take to another job. If you’re finding that you’re not actually suited to the course or have the skills for it, give yourself some time to learn and ask for genuine feedback from your boss/trainer and then explore other options. You can always put the experience down to experience and self discovery.
  5. Expectations vs Reality
    Remember, your apprenticeship is with one employer out of hundreds/thousands more, so consider what other employment opportunities might be available.
  6. Things not working with your boss
    There are processes to support you to take the training you have so far to another employer.
  7. Difficulties with apprenticeship coordination/labour hire
    Try forming an apprenticeship direct with an employer, just be aware that you may not get the same level of support.
  8. Bored with the day-to-day grind
    Starting a job, apprenticeship or traineeship is not a 'get out of school' card, it's a hard slog. You have obligations, responsibilities and deadlines, just like at school. Stay motivated coz it's part of adulting!

If you’re still feeling lost be sure to speak to someone you trust for advice. Here’s some strategies and options to help you work through your next steps:

  • Reassess your goals and consider what you are wanting to achieve: You may find that your goals apply to a number of different career paths. For example, a goal to ‘come up with new technologies that improve lives’ could apply to a range of different fields.
  • Try a different apprenticeship/traineeship: To change your apprenticeship or traineeship you’ll need to make changes to your training contract that your employer needs to approve.
  • Consider other VET options: If you found that you weren’t enjoying the learning setting, remember, there’s other options! Accredited training courses are provided by registered training organisations (RTOs), such as TAFE, private training providers and some universities. Training is available in a number of different delivery modes, including in the classroom, your workplace or online.
  • Consider other study options: You can try vocational certificate courses at your school (check with your school to see if these are offered) VET pathways (attending TAFE or another registered training organisation) and ATAR pathways (for entering university).
  • Consider employment options: If other study options don’t appeal to you, you may want to consider employment opportunities. Just remember that employment isn’t an escape from putting in effort; it’s hard work!
  • Volunteering: It’s like a taste test before you commit to the full thing. If there’s a other career options that interest you, see if there’s opportunities to volunteer; it’ll give you a first hand look at what you can expect, and it looks great on your resume!

Need a helping hand?

Try speaking with your parents or another trusted person about how you’re feeling, they may be able to provide you with some solid advice. Alternatively, you can speak with your apprenticeship/traineeship coordinator, or if you’d prefer, you can call Queensland Apprenticeships Info on 1800 210 210 or email There’s also a bunch of ways the Department of Employment, Small Business and Training can assist. if you’re still at school, your school guidance officer, year level coordinator, or teachers to get their thoughts and support.

If you feel lost and don't know where to start go to