In Australia, as in many other countries, initiatives are constantly being developed which aim to assist school students' transition into work. One such initiative, which was introduced towards the end of the 1990s, was the introduction of school-based apprenticeships and traineeships, often referred to by the umbrella term 'school-based new apprenticeships' (SBNAs). Students taking part in these programs, normally in the final two years of schooling (Years 11 and 12), combine part-time work, study towards a vocational education and training (VET) qualification, and normal attendance at school. This paper reports on the first large-scale research study of school-based apprentices and trainees, which was carried out in late 2001 through a survey of students involved in the programs. The survey was carried out in the three Australian States with the highest numbers of school-based apprentices and trainees, Queensland, Victoria and South Australia. The paper commences with a description of the nature of school-based apprenticeships and a description of their introduction and rapid growth. It then gives an overview of the young people's jobs, their learning and training, and concludes by discussing four problematic areas.