Don’t let your job prospects go down the drain. Lauren Ahwan reports
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.
NEW SKILLS: Apprentice plumber Zac Saunders says he is just at the beginning of his career and will still have to upskill regularly.