Formal academic qualifications aren’t required, but a Year 10 Certificate is generally considered to be a minimum. A vehicle license and reliable transport is a must as most construction trade apprentices will move to different sites throughout their apprenticeship.
A Cert I or II in General Construction is highly regarded but not compulsory.
Yes, an apprenticeship has two components – on-the-job (through which you learn practical skills) and off-the-job at a Trade School (through which you gain underlying knowledge). You will need to enrol in a Trade School to get your Certificate III Trade Apprenticeship. Apprentices go to Trade School either once a week or in blocks subject to the Trade School’s structure.
The amount you earn depends on the trade that you have chosen and award classification for that trade. The award lists the amount to be paid on an hourly basis and usually includes tool and special allowances. Apprentices can also claim a travel allowance.
Your pay rate will increase as you progress through your apprenticeship. When your apprenticeship ends, your wages will change in line with the appropriate rate for qualified workers in your trade.
Most apprentices learn their trade by accruing on-the-job experience. Your employer will sit down with you and the Trade School and together agree on a training plan for you. The training plan will outline, among other things, the basic modules to be undertaken, the time it takes to complete them and the specific skills to be assessed.
On completion of your apprenticeship you have some important options – such as continuing to work for your current employer, or changing jobs to work for someone new. Most apprentices become trade contractors.
As an HIA Apprentice HIA helps prepare you for running your own business throughout your apprenticeship. There are numerous courses available that will give you the skills to be a successful subcontractor.
The building and construction industry uses both manual and mental skills, so how you progress with your career after you finish your apprenticeship is limited only by your desire.
Competency-based completion means an apprentice can finish their apprenticeship once the requirements of their qualification have been completed successfully and they are deemed competent by a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) and the apprentice's employer.
Competency-based completion requires an apprentice to be assessed to ensure they have all the skills they need to be a skilled tradesperson prior to completing their apprenticeship.
Training packages are made up of units of competency endorsed by industry. Apprentices are assessed against these units of competency by an RTO.
Previously, apprentices and employers entered into an apprenticeship agreement for a nominal amount of time (three to four years) before an apprentice could achieve his or her trade papers. As a result of the new policy established by the Council of Australian Government (COAG), an apprentice can now complete their apprenticeship once the competencies from the qualification have been successfully completed and confirmed by the employer.
Apprentices can demonstrate competency by successfully doing a task, exercise or activity. That way, apprentices can complete a training program at their own rate and based on their own abilities.
The HIA Apprentices Scheme is available in every state and territory, except Tasmania and the Northern Territory.
It helps if you already have some work experience, such as having worked with family or friends on a construction project. This will have given you hands-on experience and some idea as to whether you like the work. It will also be a valuable addition to your resume.
If you are unable to do that you could enrol in a pre-apprenticeship course through your local trade school.
Yes, you can change your host if you're with a Group Training Organisation (GTO) like HIA Apprentices. HIA will find you a replacement host employer in such circumstances, giving you the chance to find a better work relationship and a better opportunity to gain experience.
If you are directly indentured you would need to discuss the change with your employer. Remember that an apprenticeship is a training contract, so changing employers would have to be by agreement and then of course you would have to try to find a new employer.
On successful completion of an apprenticeship you are eligible to receive a Trade Certificate III qualification. You will also have gained valuable on-the-job skills. You then have the option of pursuing a pathway to get your trade contractor’s licence, a diploma, advanced diploma or professional qualification at university if you wish.
There are a number of pathways you can consider once you’ve completed your apprenticeship. You may want to continue working for your employer if they agree to take you on as an employee. You may want to become a trade contractor and start your own business. Some people choose to go on to further education to complete courses from Certificate IV to bachelor level.
HIA apprentices are supported whichever path they choose. We will even provide you with complimentary HIA membership for one year so you continue to receive help, information and advice.
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