Construction Training Fund’s (CTF) Try-A-Trade program introduces participants to a range of construction trades, providing insights into the daily life of possible future careers. Attendees learn about trades through practical activities led by registered training organisations. Both schools and individuals can register for Try-A-Trade programs, choosing programs that are one, two or three days long. The programs run throughout the year, including during school holidays. Try-A-Trade is available to teenagers in years nine to twelve as well as school leavers or mature-age job seekers.
The CTF Try-A-Trade program allows for students to complete trade tasks within controlled conditions. This recreates some of the experience of working in specific trade roles. Try-A-Trade days are run by registered training organisations within Western Australia. They are conducted at the training organisation’s facility or a trade training centre. Try-A-Trade predominantly runs in Perth but not exclusively – programs are available across urban and rural Western Australia. A Try-A-Trade program runs for one to three days and is available for students from year nine and older, as well as school leavers and mature-age students. One course can contain up to sixteen participants. Participants are required to attend on all days that the program is running, although one, two or three-day courses are available. Attendees are led through practical activities related to the selected trades. One course typically covers two or three different trades.
Try-A-Trade programs can provide many benefits. They function a bit like a trade school for teens, providing opportunities for them to try a variety of different construction trades. They don’t provide qualifications but can give both school students and mature-age students a better idea of which career path to pursue. Try-A-Trade also gives participants access to industry professionals who provide information and advice, increasing the useful skills they learn and develop for future roles. The program is an excellent stepping stone for those wanting to enter the construction industry. Try-A-Trade courses can point students towards pre-apprenticeship or apprenticeship programs in their preferred area. Try-A-Trade programs are fully funded by CTF and free for both schools and individuals to participate in. Participants are allowed to attend multiple Try-A-Trade programs. Students can check if their schools have registered for Try-A-Trade.
A wide variety of trades are available for teenagers to try. The construction industry has roles that appeal to different preferences and passions. Creatively minded students may be drawn to trades like drafting. Drafting allows students to use their artistic skills and apply them to technical drawings. Students who like problem-solving may want to try electrical trades, which involve identifying circuit issues and brainstorming methods of repair. Bricklaying can be a great option for students looking to pursue a physically active work environment. All trades provide practical skills for everyday life.
CTF accepts Try-A-Trade applications from schools. Schools that register can offer the Try-A-Trade course to their students. School registration requires a list of preferences for the program. The preferences include the number of students, preferred dates and preferred course length. Schools must register in advance. Applications are open all year round. After applying, schools will be contacted when a training provider for their preferred date and length of time is available. Due to high demand and limited spots, not all schools will be successful upon application. Applications are kept on hand for when new opportunities become available.
Participating schools are encouraged to promote construction career pathways to students with an emphasis on diversity. Schools will also assist in providing CTF with feedback through student surveys as well as referring and selecting students suitable for the program. Schools must promote the CTF Construction Futures Centre to students. They may be required to supervise per the request of the training organisation.
Students can register for Try-A-Trade as individuals if their school is not registered. Registering as an individual allows students to attend public Try-A-Trade sessions. Public Try-A-Trade courses can be provided for school leavers and mature-age participants. Individual registration requires personal details and areas of interest.
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