Trade start

Are you considering a career in the building and construction industry but need to be sure it’s the right choice for you?

Trade Start is the perfect way to find out.

Trade Start is a 16-week full-time course that teaches you about:

  • basic use of tools and materials
  • the construction industry and its culture
  • different career paths and job types
  • communication and teamwork skills
  • measuring, calculating and project planning
  • green (environmental) skills
  • essential workplace health & safety requirements.

Trade Start is a mix of classroom-based learning and 160 hours of structured work placement, which is arranged for you as part of the course. This combination means on completion of the course you’ll have job-ready skills and a Certificate I in General Construction or Certificate II in Resources and Infrastructure Work Preparation — plus connections for your next move in the industry.

Am I eligible?

To be eligible you:

  • must have finished/left school
  • must not already be in an apprenticeship or traineeship
  • must meet the general CSQ course funding requirements

To find out more, visit our Course Selector and search ‘Trade Start’.

General vs civil construction

When you’re talking to people about a career in construction you’ll often hear the question ‘general or civil?’.

Put simply, general construction is houses, townhouses, units and commercial buildings and civil construction is all the things you need to make a community work: bridges, roads, tunnels, dams, etc. You’ll need to decide which is the one for you.

How to decide:

  • Research the types of work in each sector
  • Talk to people from general/civil companies or relatives you might have in the industry
  • Talk to industry associations or unions involved in these sectors
  • Visit a career website such as or