An apprenticeship is a great way to give yourself a good career, good pay, stability and security as a blue collar worker. It’s generally around July, August and September that companies advertise for apprentices and interview applicants for the following years intake. If you’re over the age of 21 you will be enrolled as an adult apprentice, your reward for already having some work experience and not being so ‘green’ is a higher pay rate. Sadly, because of this higher pay rate your odds of landing an adult apprenticeship with some companies can be reduced significantly. Fortunately there are companies, programs and organisations that reward you for your experience.
Get all your ducks in a row
This section is extremely important when you’re applying for an apprenticeship. You have to ‘catch the eye’ of the recruiter or there’s a good chance you’ll miss out completely.
- Follow instructions – If the employer wants a Cover Letter and a CV, provide both.
- Cover Letter – Address the key attributes that specific employer is looking for, this means doing some research on the company.
- CV or Resume – Include academic records (The position you are going for may require you to have high mental aptitude), any leadership qualities, quality references, relevant work experience, knowledge and skills.
NOTE: Since writing this post we now have a helpful post covering all the aspects of a good cover letter and resume: How to structure your Resume
Work towards your goal
It’s simple, if you want an electrical apprenticeship don’t take a job driving trucks. Look into the role that you are after and find out a way to work beside the tradespeople, you might go for positions like labourer, utility worker or trade assistant. Whilst you’re gaining experience, hopefully impressing your fellow workers, you are also building a network of contacts which can come in handy as references or even to vouch for you if that company is looking to recruit internally for apprentices.
National Apprenticeship Program
NAP is a unique training alternative for the resources industry and other sectors. The program recruits talented Australian residents with existing trade skills and experience, and enables them to complete a trade qualification potentially within 18 months. The selection process includes a Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) assessment to establish whether applicants meet NAP’s minimum skills requirement. Host employers include an operating coal mine site and major construction companies.
An apprentice that enrols through an apprenticeship organisation will have the same off the job training and receive the same qualification, but will normally receive a wider range of trade skills. This is due to the apprenticeship organisation changing the apprentices placement to different host employers through the term of the apprenticeship, giving them a full scope of work across a different range of industries. The likelihood of landing an adult apprenticeship through a lot of the apprenticeship organisations is slim because most of the host employers are smaller companies which struggle to afford the higher pay rate an adult apprentice is on. The staff in these organisations will have a great feel for what is happening around the region and will point you in the right direction if there is no suitable roles with them directly.
Resource Industry Companies
Going off what I’ve personally experienced, you will have a better strike rate to get your start as an Adult Apprentice through a larger company in the resource industry, where the extra costs don’t come into play as much. Many companies recruit for apprenticeships internally, this means they put on apprentices through their own pool of labourers, TA’s or utility workers that are keen and have shown their worth (this was mentioned above in work towards your goals). Other companies recruit externally and use website application forms, it is worth contacting each company and speaking with the HR staff about there recruitment processes, do it nicely because they might recognise your name when they’re flicking through the pile of applications.
Below are links to the apprenticeship enrolment web pages for some of the major players in the resource industry, many of which have previously rolling out apprenticeship recruitment drives.
In the end it doesn’t really matter if you learn your trade with the one company in the resource industry or through a range of host companies through an apprenticeship organisation. If you commit to working hard and developing new trade skills and knowledge you will have built a solid foundation from which you will succeed from.
For more detail and to help guide you into the construction, mining or resources industries follow this free guide – How to Find a Job in the Mines (or Resources Industry) Guide
Disclaimer: Cribhut provides this information with the best intentions, but purely as a guide. Like most things in life, there are no guarantees. Your lively hood is your own responsibility and even if following the above recommendations, it is still up to you to do your own research, to be patient, persistent and put in the hard work.
Photograph by Lewis Wickes Hine / NYPL Digital Gallery
The team at Cribhut
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