ON­GO­ING MIS­SION

Don’t let your job prospects go down the drain. Lau­ren Ah­wan re­ports

The Courier-Mail - Career One - - Front Page -

T HE end of an ap­pren­tice­ship is of­ten just the start of a tradie’s train­ing jour­ney, with ex­perts ad­vis­ing the most suc­cess­ful work­ers never stop learn­ing. East Coast Ap­pren­tice­ships chief ex­ec­u­tive Alan Sparks says many stu­dents near­ing the end of their ap­pren­tice­ship are now choos­ing to en­rol in a cer­tifi­cate IV pro­gram in a re­lated trade to broaden their em­ploy­ment prospects.

“An ap­pren­tice­ship is of­ten just the en­try point into their ca­reer,’’ Sparks says.

“A great ca­reer will in­volve fur­ther train­ing or study or some­thing be­yond (the ini­tial ap­pren­tice­ship).

“Many fourth-year apprentices, who are at the end of their ap­pren­tice­ship but not quite fin­ished yet, look to do a cer­tifi­cate IV in con­struc­tion, or some­thing like that, be­cause it will give them an­other qual­i­fi­ca­tion and bet­ter prospects.’’

A busi­ness de­gree at univer­sity is an­other study op­tion for those tradies keen to start their own busi­ness.

Sparks says rapidly chang­ing tech­nol­ogy means all trades­peo­ple, re­gard­less of their ca­reer goals, will need to un­der­take some kind of up­skilling dur­ing their work­ing life.

“Gone are the days when car­pen­ters used ham­mers – now they all have nail guns,’’ he says. “If you trained as a mo­tor me­chanic ... you can’t go into a garage th­ese days with­out find­ing a di­ag­nos­tic ma­chine.

“You never stop learn­ing, par­tic­u­larly in the trades, be­cause there’s so many tech­no­log­i­cal ad­vances, both in the ma­te­ri­als and the tools.’’

Work­skil Aus­tralia chief ex­ec­u­tive Ni­cole Dwyer says work­ers who con­tin­u­ously up­skill be­come “ir­re­place­able’’ to their em­ploy­ers and are first in line for fu­ture pro­mo­tion, more re­spon­si­bil­ity and higher pay.

“Young work­ers shouldn’t be afraid to take on some­thing new once they have fin­ished their ap­pren­tice­ship,’’ she says.

“Em­ploy­ers like work­ers who show proac­tiv­ity and the de­sire to be the best they can be.

“Con­tin­ual learn­ing helps work­ers have a long and suc­cess­ful ca­reer.’’

Zac Saun­ders, 23, is part­way through his plumb­ing ap­pren­tice­ship.

How­ever, Saun­ders al­ready has fur­ther train­ing in his sights to help him progress from qual­i­fied plumber to a su­per­vi­sor or project man­ager role.

“More train­ing will help me keep up-to-date with in­dus­try best prac­tice and with more ex­pe­ri­ence and skills, I could earn more money,’’ Saun­ders says.

Pic­ture: ROGER WYMAN

NEW SKILLS: Ap­pren­tice plumber Zac Saun­ders says he is just at the be­gin­ning of his ca­reer and will still have to up­skill reg­u­larly.

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