**This is an updated post**
Apprenticeships are a fantastic way to learn a trade on the job. You get to learn expert skills, gain an introduction to the industry and the keys to a rewarding career. Plus, you get paid as you learn.
Recently, the federal government committed to investing an additional $1.2 billion towards supporting Australian businesses. This is part of the government’s economic recovery plan, and further underlines the importance of apprenticeships in Australia.
If you’ve been thinking about taking on an apprenticeship and learning a trade, now’s the perfect time.
Read on to find out how you can find an apprenticeship in your industry of choice, and how you can take the first steps towards learning a trade.
What is an apprenticeship?
Think of an apprenticeship as an agreement between yourself and an employer.
Under this agreement, the employer will train you to become a professional in a particular trade, and in exchange, you work for apprentice wages.
Who is eligible for an apprenticeship?
Apprenticeships are available to anyone of working age and don’t require entry qualifications.
Anyone can become an apprentice – whether you’re a school-leaver, looking to re-enter the workforce or wanting to switch careers. Age isn’t a factor in who can become an apprentice.
How do I get an apprenticeship?
There are four steps involved in getting an apprenticeship: research, preparation, job hunting and study.
First off, you need to work out which industry you’d like to become an apprentice in. Remember, you are looking at a long-term career, so you want to pick one that you think you would enjoy.
Start to think about what your interests are and write them down. Some examples could include “being outdoors” or “making things with my hands”.
Also, have a think about what you are good at. Ask your friends and family what they think your strengths are. Write these down as well.
Using your list, have a think about what types of jobs may fit in with your interests and strengths.
Next, you should Google what these jobs are actually like, and what these careers could offer you. You may also want to speak to someone already in the industry to get an insider’s point of view. You could do this by chatting to a friend or family member already working in the industry, or by dropping into a local business and asking for some advice.
Being thorough with your research is essential. You want to be sure that this is an industry you can see yourself happily working in for many years.
To be considered for an apprenticeship, you will need to apply for a position with an employer.
Employers pour a lot of time and effort into training their apprentices, so they will often look for people who show a real interest and commitment to the industry.
You could also call up a local business to offer your services on a volunteer basis for a couple of hours a week.
3. Job hunting
Once you have your resume ready, you can begin your job hunt.
There are a few different ways you can look for an apprenticeship.
Firstly, you can make a list of all the local businesses in your chosen industry that are around you. Drop into each of these businesses for a chat and to hand in your resume.
4. Study options
Most apprenticeships come with some formal education requirements. Studying an online course before or during your apprenticeship could help you meet these requirements.
Many apprentices find that online study is a great fit for their busy lives. There are no classrooms, and your study materials are available through your smart device – whether you prefer to study on your phone, your tablet or your laptop.
It’s time to get started
Getting an apprenticeship can open up the doors to a rewarding lifelong career.
A bit of preparation and research before heading out into the workforce can help you to find an industry that you truly love – because finding a job that you look forward to every day can make a huge difference. As the old saying goes, find a job you love and you’ll never have to work another day in your life.