As Christmas and New Year’s festivities come to an end, many school leavers are turning their attention to careers and employment.
A large number of these carer seekers will be considering joining more than 200,000 Queenslanders in the construction industry. The good news for these career seekers is that residential building is staying solid in the face of a declining resources sector. We expect the residential sector in Queensland to continue to grow at healthy 5% in 2016.
To help aspiring tradies navigate their way into an apprenticeship, CSQ has provided a list of eight top tips for gaining an apprenticeship.
Don’t just consider the popular trades
It is important to find a trade that matches your abilities and your interests. There are more than 70 different careers in the construction industry so it’s worth taking the time to familiarise yourself with all of the different opportunities. For instance, did you know the construction industry offers roles in cartography and demolition?
Do your research
Do some research to ensure you understand what is involved in an apprenticeship before you enter the industry. Find out the duration of the apprenticeship, the length of the probation period, the award rate you will be paid and any funding you may be eligible for. Understand your obligations as an apprentice and the benefits you are entitled to.
Talk to people in the industry
According to CSQ’s CEO Brett Schimming, the best way to enter the construction industry is to start networking. 
“Talk to anyone in the construction industry and ask them for advice. If you don’t already know someone in the industry, pick up the phone and call local businesses. Most businesses are happy to give advice to those who show an interest in the construction industry,”.
Write a career plan
Once you have decided which trade pathway you wish to go down, it is important to make a career plan mapping out the training organisations and employers to contact. A plan will provide you with clear, achievable goals and help you to stay on track as you gain new skills and develop your career. Having a clear direction of where you want to go will ensure you stay motivated.
Look at pre-trade training programs
If you need more experience in construction or would like to gain a better understanding of the industry, CSQ offers Trade-Start. The program is designed for those who have already left school and provides a mix of theory and real world experience. Programs like Trade Start can provide the ideal pathway for beginning an apprenticeship.
Shop around for the right training organisation
Registered Training Organisations differ in where, when, and how their training is delivered. You can choose to study at a TAFE or private training organisation based on your needs, location and your preferred style of learning. Jump online to compare their different offerings.
Update your resume
Ensure that your resume is relevant, up-to-date, and highlights all skills, training and experiences that would be useful for the position you are interested in. Prepare a cover letter to include with your resume that explains why you want to work in the construction industry and your relevant experience.
Hunt for your apprenticeship
Once you have decided the type of apprenticeship you are interested in, begin applying for apprentice positions. Ask people within the industry if they are willing to take on an apprentices, browse websites and newspapers advertising job vacancies and talk to trade associations. Apprenticeship centres and job placement organisations can also help you to find an apprenticeship and they offer services in proofreading resumes and job applications and have resources to help with your job hunt.
“With more than 70 different careers on offer, there are careers in construction to suit many different interests and talents. If you have good literacy and numeracy skills, a good work ethic and the right attitude, then this could be the industry for you” said Mr Schimming.
If you're interested in exploring a career in construction find out more at or by contacting the CSQ Team on 1800 798 488.