For anyone with their sights set on a career in building and construction, an apprenticeship is most tradies first step. But next comes the inevitable question, “How do I become an apprentice?”. And with so many budding apprentices learning the ropes every year, how do you go about standing out from the crowd? While it might seem daunting, the truth is that with the right attitude and training under your belt—like a Certificate III in Carpentry —standing out isn’t so hard.
Below, we look at the different ways you can secure your dream apprenticeship, and ensure you make the most out of the experience to lay the foundations for a successful career. If you continue to study building and construction courses throughout your career, like a Certificate III in Carpentry, you’ll be sure to remain at the top of your game.
Land the Right Apprenticeship
Step one is putting your hand up and landing your ideal apprenticeship. If you’re not sure which trade you want to pursue, or how to get an apprenticeship, try chatting to friends, and friends of friends, who know someone in the industry.
These connections will be able to paint a realistic picture of what a day in life is like in different trades, what an apprenticeship is really like, and they might even have a connection to someone who is ready and waiting to hire an apprentice. If this isn’t an option for you, or you’re unable to make the connections you need, get in contact with your local Australian Apprenticeship Support Network (AASN) to discuss potential opportunities and pathways. AASN work closely with you to find a suitable apprenticeship or traineeship, one that matches your skill level, strengths and career ambitions, while making sure to remove any options that simply aren’t right for you.
Become an All-Rounder
Once you’ve landed yourself an apprenticeship, you need to find a way to stand out. The best way to do this is to go above and beyond at every opportunity, prove to your employer that you are dedicated and willing to learn. If given the chance to complete a task outside your trade, whether that be laying bricks or cutting wood, put your hand up and take on that responsibility. There will be a network of support around you to help you out, and not only will you learn new skills you’ll gain yourself a good reputation from the get-go.
Every day is a chance to gain a new skill. And if you feel like you’re not being offered a chance, then ask. Perhaps you have questions about what you could earn, how you could start your own business, or even if further building and construction courses are right for you. Your boss has been in your shoes and is hopefully willing to share some life and career experience.
Take on Further Study
Rather than just talking about how you want to learn, prove it to your mentors by using your initiative and enrolling to study. Take a look at CWBTS for real-world training and highly-regarded building and construction courses.
As you gain more on-the-job experience, you’ll meet the pre-requisites for a higher certificate, like a Certificate IV in Building and Construction, and then, in turn, be more qualified for higher-level roles. Education is a surefire way to progress your career further, more quickly than the traditional slow climb through job after job. Plus, studying building and construction courses is the perfect opportunity to connect with peers who will become your future coworkers. Studying in your chosen field really is a win-win.
Embrace the Challenges
Jumping into an apprenticeship can be hard work, as you’re expected to work long hours from day one and you really hit the ground running. You might find yourself wondering if an apprenticeship is for you. It’s important to remember that your apprenticeship is not forever, and that one of the biggest advantages of a career in the building industry is the flexibility it offers. So do what you can to face the challenges an apprenticeship may bring, and over time your hard-work and good attitude will reward you with a long, successful career.
If you find yourself struggling and want some advice, your employer and your trainer are there to support you when you need it most.
Take the Cue from Coworkers
Take every opportunity for proactive learning from your boss/mentor, as well as everyone else you get to work alongside. After all, their job is to take you under their wing and teach you the tricks of the trade. It’s a two-way street. It’s also a good idea to take on board the way things are done—how do others in the business go about asking for time off, for example? Is there an open discussion about wages? Are you expected to work overtime? Take the hint from those around you before diving in with your boss.
Successful apprentices and employers alike know that building and construction courses like a Certificate III in Carpentry are the gateway to a bright career. If you want to show that you’ve got what it takes to make a career in your chosen trade, then start by doing your research about how study can give you a competitive edge.