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CTF is currently running multiple 3-day Try-A-Trade programs across a range of trades and locations during the September/October school holidays. Find out more information below:

Gain construction experience with CTF’s fully funded Try-A-Trade program. Participants get a taste for careers in the building industry while still at school or if you’re considering a career change, learn what to expect in various trades. Get hands-on training, preparation for specialised careers and in-demand job skills.

Our Try-A-Trade program gives year 9 and above students, or school leavers and mature age job seekers, a chance to try various construction trades. Selected Registered Training Organisations deliver the courses on behalf of CTF at locations throughout Western Australia.

Because CTF fund the program, there is no cost to students or schools to participate.

You can register your interest below:

students and ITA participating in CTF Try-A-Trade program

Try-A-Trade Program Overview

The program gives participants the opportunity to try different trades, find the right career path and learn critical skills needed for the job.

Participants gain real-world experience through practical activities led by an experienced professional. Each Try-A-Trade course runs for up to three days and focuses on two to three trades.

Once completed, participants will have gained a greater understanding of the necessary skills to start a career in construction. CTF’s Industry Training Advisors are available to help answer students’ questions and outline the next steps for education and career opportunities.

Our Try-A-Trade program aims to:

  • Give participants practical and interactive construction experience through fun, hands-on activities
  • Help students make educated choices about study options after school by showcasing the exciting pathways available
  • Raise awareness of construction as a viable career

Try-A-Trade Program Requirements

The Try-A-Trade program is open to anyone with an interest in exploring a career in construction.

Participants are required to source and wear their own steel toe-capped boots and must also be able to travel to the campus where the program is offered.

School students must be in Year 9 or above and can choose to participate through school or apply as an individual if their school doesn’t participate.

Available Courses and Trades

Try-A-Trade courses are offered in a range of trade areas with a particular focus on areas where there are a high demand and skills shortages. CTF will try to match participants with their areas of interest but cannot guarantee the availability of specific requests.

Trades available through Try-A-Trade include:

  • Airconditioning and Refrigeration
  • Bricklaying and Blocklaying
  • Building Design and/or Interior Design
  • Cabinet Making 
  • Carpentry 
  • Civil Construction
  • Concreting
  • Design
  • Drafting
  • Electrical
  • Estimating
  • Glazing
  • Mechanical Fitting
  • Metal Fabrication
  • Painting and Decorating
  • Plumbing
  • Rail Infrastructure
  • Roof Plumbing
  • Scheduling
  • Solid Plastering
  • Stonemasonry 
  • Surveying
  • Wall and Floor Tiling
  • Wall and Ceiling Lining

Places are limited so it’s important to register your interest early to avoid missing out.

For more information, please email or phone 08 9244 0100. We’re here to help.

    Try-A-Trade FAQ's

  • The program is designed for school students in years 9 and above, as well as school leavers and mature age job seekers who have an interest in exploring construction careers. Try-A-Trade is the perfect stepping stone to starting an apprenticeship and helps you to gain an insight into the construction industry.

  • Each course runs for between one and three days. Participants must be able to attend all required days.

  • Try-A-Trade is fully funded by Construction Training Fund (CTF) in Western Australia.

  • There are no fees for participants or schools

  • The program is designed to give participants a taste of a day in the life of different construction roles. One of the biggest benefits of our Try-A-Trade program is the career advice and job insights into different career options participants gain. This provides them the opportunity to explore the skills required and learn about the pathways to work in a specific trade in the building and construction industry.

    Participants find themselves in a better position to make educated decisions about their careers.

  • Other benefits of our Try-A-Trade program are:

    • Hands-on learning
    • The opportunity to try a trade before you commit to a long-term apprenticeship
    • Learn about the variety of roles available within the construction industry and the skills required
    • Meeting, talking to and learning from trade professionals, lecturers and local industry people
    • No cost
  • We are currently accepting Expressions of Interest to participate in Try-A-Trade for Terms 3 and 4 of 2022. You can participate through your school or if you are no longer at school or want to participate outside of school, register your details so we can let you know when a public course is running.

  • We will collect the expressions of interest over each term. Dependant on interest in each trade and location, we will then work with training providers to find their capacity to deliver in the next Semester.

    We will get in touch with you when we review the applications and let you know if you are successful in gaining a place in the next Semester. Due to the volume of applications, we may not be able to place everyone.

    If you have been successful, we will confirm all the details of your application before referring your application to the allocated Registered Training Organisation.

    The Registered Training Organisation will work with you to book suitable dates and let you know what information they require to register the students.

    We will send out a short survey to the students and you at the end of the program. An Industry Training Advisor from CTF attends each Try-A-Trade course to talk to the students about careers in construction and the different pathways. They are also available to attend your school if the students have further questions after their course!

  • Participants can take part in all Try-A-Trade programs. We encourage participants to attend as many as practical, this way they can get a taster of multiple trades before making a decision.

  • CTF selects and funds a range of Registered Training Organisations across Western Australia to provide the services. We are currently in the process of refreshing our provider list, so this will be available on our website once complete.

  • Each course can have up to 16 participants.

    The total number of courses available is currently impacted by trainer availability. As apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship sign-ups have significantly increased in the last few years, training providers (like everyone else) are super busy! We will be working with training providers to make as many courses available as possible throughout the year, in all of the regions across WA.

  • Try-A-Trade can be delivered at an RTO’s training facility, Trade Training Centre, or appropriate school site, with access to quality tools, equipment, and materials for the course, realistic to current construction worksite conditions.

  • Some training providers are able to deliver the Try-A-Trade program at the school site, however they are not permitted to participate in ‘live works’ as the intent of the CTF Try-A-Trade program is to give students a chance to get hands on and try some of the typical tasks undertaken in a construction role. It is a short introductory program and has no assessment requirements, allowing students to have a go and not worry about making mistakes. As such, the quality of the work cannot be guaranteed, and any projects assembled should be disassembled and removed at the end of the course.

    There would be flow-on impacts with insurances, ensuring products meet building standards, etc. for any live works constructed and this is not the responsibility of CTF or the Training Provider. The funding of Try-A-Trade is not intended to supplement schools’ capital works and maintenance programs, it is a career taster experience. Even if schools are willing to fund the cost of materials, the CTF Try-A-Trade course must not be used in this way, for the range of reasons listed above.

  • We ask for schools to:

    • Assist in promoting construction careers to students and parents as a possible pathway for all, particularly focusing on increased participation from females and diverse groups.
    • Assist in facilitating the pre and post-program survey with students.
    • Select and refer suitable students to participate in the program.
    • Encourage students to attend the CTF Construction Futures Centre before applying for the program (where possible) – schools who have attended will be given preference to access places on the program.
    • Advise students of the program expectations including the requirement to provide their own steel toe cap safety boots where required.
    • Provide us with feedback on the program, the administration processes, and the training providers, so we can continuously improve the program.
    • Provide a teacher to supervise students during the program if requested by the Registered Training Organisation.
  • Expressions of Interest are now taken through the Construction Training Fund (CTF) website.

    The process has been revised for a number of reasons:

    • To give CTF a clear picture of how much demand there is for the program
    • To make it fairer for schools to apply – expressions are collected over a set period, so it is not a first come first served approach.
    • To give students access to a broader range of opportunities to try different trades. Under the previous arrangement, some schools were often restricted to the same one or two trades.
    • Schools can apply all year round. You don’t have to wait for an email that places are available, we will contact you to put you in touch with a training provider if and when we have a place available that meets your requirements.


    Schools can choose the length of the program that suits them.

    Not all schools can make arrangements for a full 3-day program. Schools can now nominate their preferred program duration to make things more flexible.


    Students from Years 9 and above can participate.

    The program used to only be open to Years 9 and 10, but now applications are open to Years 11 and 12 too, and even post-school leavers – because it’s never too late to change your mind and give construction trades a go!


    The range of trades available has been expanded.

    Construction is a huge industry with a lot of diverse roles. We want students to be able to see roles from a range of industries including construction roles in the resources sector and more para-professional roles involved in design, drafting, scheduling and surveying. CTF will try to match schools to trades where there are skills shortages or local needs for future pipelines of work. We do also try to match schools with their preferred trades but this may not always be possible.

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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.