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How to Get a Construction Apprenticeship in Western Australia

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Apprentice on a job site of a partially built house.

Considering a career in the construction industry? Wise move – construction continues to grow, remaining one of the dominant job markets in Australia. 

There are various ways a person can secure an apprenticeship, but all require an employer signing you up and an Australian Apprentice Support Network provider completing a training contract.

An apprenticeship is ideal for practical learning, industry exposure, and gaining valuable skills while earning an income.

To improve your chances of success, consider enrolling in a pre-apprenticeship program, which will equip you with the skills and knowledge needed to impress potential employers and secure the desired apprenticeship.

What are the different ways of getting an apprenticeship?

There are two primary ways of applying for an apprenticeship in Western Australia. You can approach an employer offering apprenticeships in your chosen field or through an Australian Apprentice Support Network (AASN).

The majority of apprenticeships come from speaking directly to a business, before undertaking a two-week work trial where they can experience the role first-hand. It’s possible that a pre-apprenticeship could help you secure this trial, as it’ll show that you have an existing knowledge base.

The second option is to apply through an Australian Apprenticeship Support Network (AASN) provider. These providers offer assistance in finding and securing an apprenticeship by matching you with potential employers in your chosen field. They also provide advice and support throughout the apprenticeship process, including helping with the application process, registering your apprenticeship, and accessing any available financial incentives.

It’s worth noting that some companies or trades may require you to complete a pre-apprenticeship before applying for an apprenticeship. This involves a short training course to gain the necessary skills and knowledge to succeed in your chosen trade.

Do I need to do a pre-apprenticeship?

In Western Australia, pre-apprenticeships are not always mandatory for a construction apprenticeship. However, they can significantly increase your chances of getting hired as an apprentice. A pre-apprenticeship program can provide foundational knowledge and skills in your desired trade, making you a more attractive candidate to potential employers. They're a great aspect of vocational education and training (VET) for construction.

Pre-apprenticeships typically range from three to four months and offer classroom-based and hands-on training. They can be taken at TAFE or other registered training organisations.

In some cases, completing a pre-apprenticeship may also allow you to receive credit towards your apprenticeship, reducing the time it takes to become fully qualified.

Considering a pre-apprenticeship? Make sure you read about Construction Training Fund’s (CTF) Pre-Apprenticeship Scholarship Program and Pre-Apprenticeship Award. 

The Pre-Apprenticeship Scholarship Program covers the full cost of tuition fees, textbooks, and related expenses for eligible students pursuing a pre-apprenticeship course in the construction industry.

Additionally, the Pre-Apprenticeship Award provides participants with $250 to support their studies.

Is it worth doing an apprenticeship?

If you want to work in the construction industry, an apprenticeship isn’t only worthwhile but also mandatory in many construction sectors.

Apprenticeships are a straightforward combination of on-the-job and classroom training, delivering a rounded education where knowledge is built upon so that, at its conclusion, you feel equipped and ready to continue to move forward in the workplace. 

One of the areas where an apprenticeship separates itself from other studies is that you’re paid throughout your training. Unlike most university students, this means that your lifestyle needn’t be at odds with your education. 

Additionally, one of the great unknowns of study is whether there’ll be a job for you at the end of it. Apprentices have the advantage of already being positioned in a workplace.

Can you fast-track an apprenticeship?

In Western Australia, options are available to fast-track your apprenticeship, but it ultimately depends on the specific trade and the employer you work for.

One option is to undertake a pre-apprenticeship course, which can shorten the length of the apprenticeship by up to 6 months. This is because pre-apprenticeships provide a foundation of knowledge and skills that can be built upon during the apprenticeship, allowing you to progress faster.

Another option is to work with an employer willing to offer an accelerated program. This would involve working longer hours or taking on additional responsibilities to gain the required experience and skills faster. However, this option is less common and may not be available for all trades or with all employers.

It’s important to note that while fast-tracking an apprenticeship can be a tempting option, it’s crucial to ensure you’re still receiving the proper training and experience to become a skilled and competent tradesperson. Rushing through an apprenticeship could result in gaps in knowledge and skills, impacting your future career prospects.

Construction Training Fund’s incentives for apprenticeships

When you start your apprenticeship, you could be eligible for financial support from CTF. 

This includes compensation for tools, accommodation, short courses, pre-apprenticeships, or disaster recovery work. 

Read our article about CTF’s financial support of apprentices for more information.

CTF supports Western Australian businesses employing apprentices as well. Some of our employer support is:

A construction apprenticeship is valuable for gaining practical learning, industry exposure, and skills while earning an income. 

To increase your chances of success, consider enrolling in a pre-apprenticeship program and approaching potential employers directly or through an Australian Apprenticeship Support Network (AASN) provider. 

If you have any questions about how CTF can help you, contact our team today. 

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Acknowledgement of Country

The Construction Training Fund acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land throughout Western Australia and pay our respect to the Elders both past and present. We thank them for their ongoing custodianship of the lands and waters, and celebrate their rich culture of art, song, dance, language, and stories.