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Advice for career advisors

An apprenticeship can provide the foundation for life-long employment in the building sector

It can offer school leavers and others looking to learn a trade the opportunity to learn skills and gain a qualification while working. As a nationally registered Group Training Organisation (GTO) specialising in the building industry, HIA Apprentices is well positioned to give apprentices the support and knowledge they need to forge a satisfying and rewarding career.


Benefits of a career in building and construction

The Australian building and construction industry is a large, diverse and exciting industry that provides endless opportunities to change and improve the world around us. It also offers a diverse range of employment and career opportunities.

The industry needs people who can combine creativity with a set of practical and technical skills. It’s the ideal path for people who like figuring out how things work, how to make things with their hands, and who enjoy working as a member of a team and taking charge of projects.

Tradespeople who work in the sector can expect to enjoy all of the following benefits:

  • The satisfaction of working as an important part of a team
  • A large variety of work
  • The opportunity to work abroad
  • Knowing they are contributing to building something that will last a lifetime
  • Freedom to start their own business
  • Opportunities to earn a range of respected professional qualifications
  • Putting their creative skills to the test
  • The chance to work with both their hands and head.


How apprenticeships work

Apprenticeships are formal training arrangements that combine work with study for a qualification. These arrangements have to be registered with an appropriate state or territory training authority. Timeframes for registering apprentices vary from state to state. The period before the registration date can also count towards the apprenticeship.

As well as working with and receiving on-the-job training from an employer, apprentices/trainees will have to attend a registered training organisation (RTO), such as a TAFE or Trade School. An apprentice is deemed qualified once all competencies within the training plan are completed.

There are currently two ways to become an apprentices or trainee in Australia:

  1. Direct indenture – An apprentice is directly employed by an employer. As such they are responsible for the day-to-day training, welfare, conditions, employment costs and entitlements of the apprentice
  2. Group Training Organisations (GTOs) – GTOs help an apprentice find employment with a host business for varying periods of time until the apprenticeship/traineeship has been completed.

HIA Apprentices operates as a GTO because it employs apprentices, then hires them out to host business with the HIA Apprentices remaining the legal employer.


GTOs: What are the benefits?

It’s the role of a GTO such as HIA Apprentices to understand what type of apprenticeship or traineeship the candidate is looking for. They are then matched with a host employer (or employers) who can provide them with suitable on-the-job training.

One of the key benefits offered by a GTO is it provides apprentices with the opportunity to access a wide variety of host businesses instead of applying for a single position. Apprentices/trainees can also gain extra skills and experience by transferring from one host business to another during their apprenticeship/traineeship.

It’s useful to remember that Group Training Organisations (GTO) like HIA Apprentices offer significant advantages to apprentices and trainees that other employers can’t provide. HIA Apprentices meets national standards for GTOs, which means they provide the following benefits to an apprentice or trainee starting their career in a trade:

  • Payment on time and correctly for the work they do
  • Superannuation, tax and long service leave
  • Annual leave, sick leave and RDOs
  • Reimbursement of Trade School fees
  • The security of knowing they’re employed by a national employer
  • We carefully match apprentices to a host trainer who is looking for an apprentice/trainee and meets stringent safety and training standards
  • Flexibility in working conditions and job rotation so apprentices can become multi-skilled
  • Provision of all required personal protective equipment including work boots
  • Support with mentoring and safety training
  • Regular on-site visits from HIA Apprentices staff
  • Provision of the support they need to be successful.


Why choose HIA Apprentices

HIA Apprentices does more than just manage an apprenticeship program. We actively work with our apprentices to unlock their full potential.

Smooth transition from schooling

Because we want to ensure our apprentices and trainees have the best start to their career we undertake a comprehensive induction before they start in the workplace.

Once they start with us we remain their legal employer for the duration of their apprenticeship/traineeship – we take care of their recruitment, administration, wages and entitlements, education, training and mentoring. If, for any reason, the work with the host business comes to an end, we take steps to relocate the apprentice/trainee to a new host.

Mentoring of apprentices

Mentors work as part of a specially trained team to help apprentices navigate their way through the everyday challenges of work and study. They are available to speak anytime an apprentice needs help and they assist with:

  • careers advice
  • financial concerns
  • communication skills
  • soft skill development
  • personal issues
  • motivational guidance
  • study plans
  • wage queries
  • anything else that impacts progress.

Pastoral care and support

We offer pastoral care and support to all our apprentices and trainees, including ongoing coaching and mentoring from a dedicated Apprentice Field Officer. Though they are not counsellors they are nevertheless highly skilled at identifying and providing practical support for social issues that can negatively affect apprentices and their family if not properly addressed. Legal problems, alcoholism, drug abuse and relationship issues can cause serious problems if left unchecked.

Every apprentice/trainee is visited quarterly by the Apprentice Field Officer who conducts performance coaching and delivers a performance review. This isn’t just a report card – it’s an opportunity to provide assistance and set goals to ensure every apprentice has the opportunity to reach their full potential.

Help after the apprenticeship is finished

Once our apprentices become trade qualified, HIA continues to assist these new tradespeople through their career journey as members of the association.


What skills are needed?

Apprenticeships have traditionally been the main pathway into the building and construction  industry. Because there have been skill shortages in certain areas, apprenticeships represent a real opportunity for candidates to secure a satisfying and rewarding career in the sector.

A wide variety of skills are needed in building and construction industry across professional, technical, trade, and semi-skilled areas. Here are some of the skills and qualifications needed to take on employment in the field:

Professional (degree qualifications usually required)

  • engineering – civil and structural, mechanical, electrical and materials engineers
  • construction management and support areas – quantity surveyors, accountants, human resources, occupational health and safety management, and safety and logistics personnel (diploma and certificate qualifications may apply to some support areas)
  • design – architects, surveyors and town planners

Technical (diploma and post-trade certificate training usually required)

  • draftspersons – including architectural, civil and electrical
  • estimators, contract administrators and schedulers
  • site supervisors and site managers
  • engineering technicians or associates
  • building designers

Trade (through an apprenticeship)

  • licensed trades such as electricians and plumbers
  • commercial trades – metal fabricators, glaziers, refrigeration and air-conditioning tradespeople, fire sprinkler system installers and painters
  • residential trades – carpenters, tilers, glaziers, painters, cabinet makers, plasterers bricklayers, concreters, and wall and ceiling fixers

Skilled job-specific (on the job certificate, and traineeship training options available)

  • mobile plant and earth moving equipment operators
  • scaffolders, doggers, riggers and trade assistants
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Become a HIA apprentice


Your future career starts with us.

Take the opportunity to gain real-life skills across various trades in the residential construction industry.

Find out where we can take you.

Enquire now

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