Just because you’ve already been through one career doesn’t mean you’re destined for a retirement home. Many people are on their second or third career. And, with more and more Australians living longer, it’s becoming a necessity. Here’s how to take advantage of it through a mature age apprenticeship.
What Is A Mature Age Apprenticeship?
A mature age apprenticeship, or adult apprenticeship is training that you can acquire as an adult for a professional trade. Tradesmen exist all over Australia, from brick layers to electricians to masons to carpenters. These trades are a vital part of the economy and are necessary for the building of infrastructure, homes, schools, and other buildings.
While many people mistakenly believe that an apprenticeship is only for the young, the truth is that anyone can become an apprentice. So, in that sense, people are right - you have to be young at heart to get into an apprenticeship.
Here’s a list of apprenticeships to get you started.
Why Start Now?
Why not? If you’re retiring, or thinking of retiring, or you just lost your job, an apprenticeship can be a very rewarding career. Apprentices learn skills that are not taught in school and, unlike most jobs, you earn while you learn.
And, you can actually earn slightly more money than a young apprentice that’s fresh out of high school or college. Learning a new trade can open up a world of endless opportunities, both in full-time and part-time work. When you’re done with your training, you will have skills that few others possess.
What Qualifications Do You Need?
Before you can become an apprentice, there are a few things you must do. First, you have to honestly assess yourself and determine whether this is the right profession for you. Tradesmen must have a good work ethic, must be motivated to learn new skills, must work in a team environment, and must be dedicated to becoming an expert in the trade.
You’ll also need some work permits. For example, this company provides you with your White Card so that you can work as an electrician or plumber.
But beyond that, the skill sets vary by trade.
Finding a Job
Finding a job as an apprentice may be easy or difficult depending on the trade you’re applying for. If you want the best chance of succeeding at this, choose three different trades and do some research on them.
Try to find at least 10 tradesmen in each trade that you can talk to and discuss the trade with. Get a feel for what it’s like to work in that trade. Go on YouTube and watch videos about each trade. Ask questions and get opinions from people in the industry.
When you’re ready to apply, make sure your resume contains a list of your actual accomplishments in life, use a spellchecker, include dates on everything, and don’t use exotic or negative language like, “I was fired from my job once,” or “I have an amazing and stupendous work ethic.” Also, don’t use fancy fonts. Stick with Arial or Times New Roman.
Don’t say anything negative about your previous job, even if there were a lot of negative aspects to it. And, keep it short and to the point. You’ll have time to tell your story if you’re interviewed.
When applying for jobs, always include your contact information and try to get the interviewer’s information when submitting the application and resume. Ask if you can follow up or if the interviewer will make a determination by a specific date.
Here’s the thing: a lot of companies can be rather rude when it comes to getting back to you. They won’t give you a time-frame to expect a call or letter. They’ll just keep you “oh hold.” Use this opportunity to keep looking for jobs.
In an ideal world, your hopeful employers would send you a weekly update to let you know where they were in the hiring process. That way, you could better coordinate interviews and keep applying for positions. But, that’s not often how it works.
You have to be persistent, but not too persistent. You have to keep applying for jobs. Never give up. Don’t stop at 10, or 20, or 30. Keep applying until you get an interview and a job.
Even when you’ve had a few interviews, don’t stop applying and researching. You should always be looking for ways to find more opportunities. There are others out there looking for work. Make sure you’re the one the boss hires.
Peter Cutforth is a Director at Urban E-Learning, a global elearning, OH&S training, and web strategy firm based in Little Edward St. Spring Hill, Brisbane, Australia. Urban E-Learning provides compliance related online, Distance and Face-to-Face training products in the construction, hospitality and heavy vehicle transport sectors, to name a few. Examples include the White Card Construction induction course and the RSA - Responsible Service of Alcohol course. Peters interests extend to training, safety and compliance, online marketing, and Mobile Apps.