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What is a traineeship?

A traineeship is a job that combines work and training - you earn as you learn. It is a work based training program, which combines on-the-job training and off-the-job study. Trainees are paid the National Training Wage, which is about 80% of the award wage. You may be eligible for a living away from home allowance.

How do you do the training?

Training is a combination of on-the-job (work) and off-the-job (study). On-the-job training is conducted by your employer in the workplace. Off-the-job training may be delivered by Racing NSW training company; NSW TRB training Ltd by highly qualified instructors and experts from the racing industry.

Otherwise, you can complete special training packages at home. These are then submitted for assessment. Traineeships are usually conducted over a period of 12 months.

Why is Racing NSW endorsing traineeships
  • Training of industry workers is essential for ongoing success of the racing industry both nationally and internationally. Government funded traineeships assist with the large costs involved in training and allow, through the nationally recognised Training Package, a viable means of ensuring an ongoing supply of track riders, apprentice jockeys and other industry workers.
  • Every industry in Australia is required to ensure that people who work in the industry have a nationally recognised qualification


Do you fit the bill?

You can be aged from 15 years. You need to be reasonably fit and healthy. The job is quite physically demanding. Many jobs with horses require early morning starts and often split shifts.

Where do you do the training?

Racing NSW has a Registered Training Organisation; NSW TRB Training Ltd. Presently training is conducted both on the job and off the job. Centres used for delivery are at Metropolitan race courses and; Hawkesbury, Newcastle, Tamworth, Grafton, Port Macquarie, Dubbo, Queanbeyan, Wagga and Orange racecourses by highly qualified instructors and experts from the racing industry.

What qualifications will you get?

On completion of the traineeship you will be awarded either a Certificate II in Thoroughbred Racing or Certificate III Track Rider, Certificate III Stablehand, Certificate IV Jockey or Certificate IV Trainer. These qualifications are nationally recognised.

What are the opportunities?

On completion of the traineeship, you will be able to work as a stablehand or track rider, or jockey. You will be able to handle and care for horses in commercial horse racing enterprises.

Talented track riders and jockeys are in great demand nationally and internationally. On completion, you may be eligible for some exemptions in further horse courses at TAFE or University.

What is the National Racing Industry Training Package?

The National Racing Industry Training Package was developed to ensure uniformity in racing training.The main aims of the Training Package include:

  • Training for qualifications that are nationally recognised
  • Defining the training stages or levels
  • Defining specific knowledge and skills (competencies) that are required by the racing industry
  • Setting standards for assessing those skills and knowledge


What do students learn in the track rider and jockey course?

  • Students have tuition with a range of industry recognised experts. Racing NSW have endorsed a number of respected jockeys and former jockeys to deliver training throughout the State
  • Off-the job training also consists of studies in health and safety, personal fitness and a balanced diet, and financial management
  • Students learn to work in a team environment and to accept responsibility
  • Much of the training is completed on-the-job with the horse trainer.


Training Certificates


Certificate I and II

The new entrant to the racing industry will be able to:

  • either enrol in an intensive introductory course or a 16 week course at TAFE
  • or enter a traineeship with a Racing NSW licensed Trainer


Only those with practical industry skills should consider this second option without first completing the introductory course.

The traineeship is usually for a period of 12 months, but could be less. Whichever method is chosen, either full or part time, on completion the qualification will be the same. It is a nationally recognised qualification called Certificate II in Thoroughbred Racing Stablehand.

Certificate II
  • is an introduction to the racing industry
  • has an 80% practical component
  • provides preparation for further training


Certificate III

It is possible to then progress to a higher level traineeship, with a Racing NSW licensed trainer, which will take 6-12 months. Trainees can now specialise and have two choices:

  • either Track Rider
  • or Stablehand

On completion, the qualification will be Certificate III in Track Riding or Certificate III Advanced Stablehand.

Certificate IV

Trainees who complete Certificate II or Certificate III Track Rider may progress into a Jockey apprenticeship (Certificate IV) with a Racing NSW licensed trainer. Please note that it is preferable for you to attend Academy style training if you wish to become a jockey.

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