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Apprenticeship Training

Tradesmen and tradeswomen are the backbone of the construction industry and have the skills, knowledge and experience to build the structures that give us shelter, warmth, security and convenience.

A career as a tradesperson in the construction industry begins with an apprenticeship.

An apprenticeship or traineeship is a combination of employment and training which, when successfully completed, results in a nationally recognised qualification and the issue of a trade certificate.

You can find a complete list of construction apprenticeships and traineeships here.

How do I get started?

  • A construction VET qualification in your WACE, like the Certificate II Building and Construction Trades Pathway is one way to really get a great start. Not only will you receive accredited training towards an apprenticeship, you'll also complete valuable work experience on-site.
  • A Pre-Apprenticeship in a construction trade. A pre-app is a full-time, Certificate II level course and can take up to six months to complete. You receive accredited training as well as on-site work experience. If you successfully complete a pre-app in a recognised construction trade you may be eligible to apply for a scholarship of $250 from the Construction Training Fund. You can find out about pre-apprenticeship enrolments from the Career Centre.

You can download an application form for your Pre-Apprenticeship Scholarship here.

As apprenticeships/traineeships are employment based, anyone seeking an apprenticeship must find an employer to train them. And, just like anyone else who is applying for a job, you should make your best efforts to be competitive and show yourself in the best possible way.

What can I do to be a front runner for employment as an apprentice?

  • Know the trade you want to follow - You wouldn't become a florist if you were allergic to flowers, so get to know your chosen trade and the materials and tools you'll be working with. Find out about the conditions you could be expected to work in - outdoors, inside, at heights, in confined spaces..... Each trade is quite different
  • Be prepared - Construction trades can be physically demanding so you need to know that the work can be hard and tiring. An eight hour day can be pretty exhausting!
  • Experience - Completion of a WACE based construction VET qualification or a recognised pre-apprenticeship is a great way to gain practical experience on a construction site and learn key skills
  • Have an alarm clock - Yes, an alarm clock. A Western Australian summer's day can get pretty hot, so construction trades like to start work early in the morning to avoid the heat of the day
  • Show commitment - A potential employer will be more interested in your attitude than the number of A and B grades you have on your school report. You need to show that you are willing to learn, keen to participate and can be relied upon

And then?

With all of the above sorted out, go looking for an employer!

Who are they?

There are two types of employers when it comes to apprenticeships and traineeships.

  • Group Training Organisations (GTO) - A GTO is a business that employs a large number of apprentices, often in a range of trade qualifications. As the employer, the GTO meets all conditions under which the apprentice is employed but places them with different host employers over the course of the apprenticeship. The GTO charges the host employer a fee for the apprentice's services whilst ensuring the host employer provides essential on-the-job experience.
  • Direct indenture - Whereas an apprentice employed by a GTO may have several "host employers" over the course of the apprenticeship, an apprentice with a direct indenture employer will remain with the one employer for the full term of the apprenticeship. Dierct indenture employers of  construction apprentices are most often tradespeople who run a small business. 

Where can I find them?

You can find a list of GTOs that employ construction apprentices/trainees here. GTOs advertise vacancies in newspapers and in online employment sites. The Apprenticentre Jobs Board is also a handy place to find vacancies advertised by GTOs and some direct indenture employers.

Direct indenture employers may also advertise vacancies in newspapers and online, but it can also be to your advantage to be proactive. Explore your networks - You may have a tradesperson in your own family as a friend of the family. Talk to them about their interest in employing an apprentice. If they're not in the market themselves, they will know other tradespeople or builders who might be looking for an apprentice.  

There's more information about apprenticeships and traineeships here.

Career Progression

A construction trade is an initial qualification that can lay the foundations for a rewarding and satisfying career. The industry has an established culture of supporting training and encourages its workers to improve their skills.

The career paths available post-trade are varied and exciting. Opportunities can increase for individuals with experience and additional training. Supervision, management, design, communications, finance, administration and training are some of the many rich layers of the  construction industry and all are possible career paths that can be achieved with an apprenticeship as the fundamental qualification.

There are real people in the industry who can demonstrate just how building and construction can provide lifelong learning and offer fantastic career potential.

Not a school leaver?

A pre-apprenticeship qualification is a great way to enter the industry. Information about construction pre-apprenticeships and enrolments can be obtained from the Career Centre

There are no age limits placed on entry into apprenticeship training and in 2011, over 300 mature-age people commenced training in a construction trade qualification.

A mature-age apprentice may complete an apprenticeship in less time than the nominal term attached to the trade, based on previous experience and skill levels.