Cadet, Apprentice and Trainee Program

Council’s Cadet, Apprentice and Trainee Program aims to develop the future leaders by providing employment opportunity and professional development experiences that support and complement a related course of external tertiary study. As a Cadet, apprentice or trainee you will receive ongoing training, guidance and support from workplace mentors.

Apprenticeship, traineeship and cadetship opportunities are advertised on our jobs page as they become available.

Read more about our Cadet, Apprentice and Traineeship opportunities below- 



The Cadetship Program is an opportunity for university students to gain practical workplace experience whilst completing their on-going studies. Council is committed to the development of its people and this structured learning program gives students the opportunity to work across key business areas supported by a mentor.

Council’s Cadetship program provides cadets with on the job training to gain practical experience work in varied and specialist teams. Cadets are employed as temporary full-time employees for up to four years while completing their University studies part time (two subjects per semester).

Cadetships are currently offered in:

  • Civil Engineering 
  • City Planning 

Cadetships have also previously been offered in:

  • Communications and Media
  • Environment

Benefits to Cadets:

  • Financial support for University costs
  • Flexible work hours to help balance their work and study commitments.
  • Ongoing training and career development opportunities
  • On the job mentoring and support from their Supervisor/Manager

For more information view our Cadet, Apprenticeship and Trainee Program.


Shellharbour City Council’s Apprenticeship program provides Apprentices with the skills, training and experience to graduate as a qualified tradesperson. Not only with specific trade competencies, but as well-rounded employees capable of succeeding in their chosen industry.

An Apprenticeship is a structured training arrangement usually of three and a half or four years duration. The training combines practical experience here at Council with complementary off-the-job training with a Registered Training Organisation (RTO).

Apprenticeships are currently offered in:

  • Automotive
  • Gardening & Horticulture 
  • Sports Turf Management 

Apprenticeships have also previously been offered in:

  •  Carpentry & Construction

Benefits to Apprentices:

  •  Competitive salaries including penalty rates (where applicable)
  •  9 Day Fortnights
  • Uniforms and PPE supplied
  • Training costs paid for by Council
  • Ongoing training and career development opportunities
  • Apprentice mentor and support opportunities

For more information view our Cadet, Apprenticeship and Trainee Program.


Shellharbour City Council offers a range of different Traineeships that provide opportunities for those in the local community to develop their skills working in a hands-on environment whilst gaining national recognised qualifications and valuable industry experiences.

Council’s Traineeship program provides Trainees with nationally recognised qualifications that then give opportunities to apply for roles within Council and other organisations. Traineeships offered range from 12 months to 2 years depending on contracted qualification.

Traineeships are currently offered in:

  • Events 
  • Business Administration
  • Library and Information Services 
  • Arboriculture

Traineeships have also previously been offered in:

  • Building Surveying
  • Horticulture

Benefits to trainees:

  • Competitive salaries
  • 100% of training costs paid for by Council
  • Ongoing training and career development opportunities
  • Dedicated trainee support and opportunity to engage with a mentor

For more information view our Cadet, Apprenticeship and Trainee Program.

Approved Course of Study

Approved Course of Study

It is a condition of employment that employees participating in the Councils CAT Program are continuously enrolled in an approved course of study at an Australian University, TAFE or registered training organisation. Approved courses will typically be at Bachelor level for Cadets, and Certificate or Diploma level for Apprentices and Trainees.

Your course of study will be approved upon employment. Any changes in an approved course of study, institution, study pattern, deferment, withdrawal orleave of absence are to be approved by the Learning and Development Team.

University/TAFE Attendance Study

Dedication to tertiary studies as well as to employment is an essential combination in meeting the objectives of Council’s CAT Program.

University/TAFE results are to be provided to Learning and Development following the completion of each semester of study. Excellent academic performance is encouraged and will be celebrated.

Poor academic performance (including course/subject failure) may lead to CATs not meeting the requirements of Councils CAT Program.

Study Leave

To enable CATS to undertake their approved course of study, Council will provide leave during the teaching semester to attend face to face studies. Cadets attend one day of university per week, Apprentices attend block placements as outlined by their RTO and Trainees complete their studies via TAFE Online.

CAT Peer Group

A CAT Peer Group provides CATs with the opportunity for professional and social interaction with fellow Cadets, Apprentices and Trainees. The CAT Peer Group is ‘self-managed’ and supported by Management. CAT Peer Group meetings provide a regular forum for Cadets, apprentices and trainees to meet together and exchange experiences. Team building and professional development activities and presentations will also be organised by the Council throughout the year.

Peer to Peer Support & Mentoring 

A peer support team member is available for CATs through onboarding, this is a Council team member who has been through the same CAT program as you and understands the challenges you may face when starting out. We want our CATs to have a positive early experience, maintain a confident attitude, and feel comfortable in their role. Your peer support team member will help to guide you through the first few weeks or months on the job. Further down the track the opportunity exists for you to participate in professional mentorship with Senior managers, and members of the Senior Leadership Team. This opportunity is invaluable, few corporate initiatives reach as many areas of employee growth and fulfillment as mentoring.

A mentor will help you grow personally and professionally in ways that can be exceedingly difficult without such guidance.

For more information view our Cadet, Apprenticeship and Trainee Program.

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Cadet to Career

View some inspiring stories from some of our previous Cadets and their journey into professional careers.
Last updated : Mon 6 May 2024