There are two main components to most of the training as an apprentice:
Like any job, there are some basic skills that are very handy to have before you start as a plumber. These include:
• Having a manual drivers licence
• Reading designs, plans, and instructions
• Using hand tools
• Soldering and welding skills
Showing you already have these skills can make a good first impression on potential employers and help you get the job.
But don’t worry if you haven’t mastered all of these yet – most employers will be happy to train you up on any gaps you have.
Your CV is probably the most important document in your search for an employer and a job. Make sure you write a CV that showcases your best skills and grabs the employer’s attention. Here are some tips for a winning CV:
• Keep it short
Try to stick to one page, up to a maximum of two.
• Put the employer first
Step into their shoes and think what does the perfect apprentice look like? How will they help my business? Make sure you match your CV’s content with the skills the employer is looking for – job ads will give you a big clue here.
• Personalise it
Don’t take the same CV to every employer. Take the time to tailor your CV to each different employer, reflecting the specific skills and attributes they’re looking for.
• Triple-check it for errors!
Even the smallest typo or grammar mistake can put off an employer. Read through your CV several times before printing it off, and have friends or family check it too.
Right, you’ve got your CV sorted – now it’s time to find an employer who will offer you a job.
If you think about it, there are heaps of places you can look. Here are some suggestions:
• Go on job websites such as Seek and TradeMe jobs
• If you’re still at school, visit your careers advisor to see if they know of any openings
• Use your network! Ask friends, family, community groups you’re part of, your sports club, and other connections. You might be able to find a tradie who is looking to take on an apprentice
• Go the old-fashioned way and door-knock. Whip out the Yellow Pages, look for plumbing companies in your area, and go visit them – they’ll appreciate your proactive attitude
If an employer has said they’re interested in talking to you – well done! Now’s your real chance to impress.
Remember that even the most casual, laid-back trades company is still a business. That means you have to act professional and make a strong first impression if you want the job.
If you have limited experience talking to business owners and managers, here are some quick tips to impress them:
• Show up on time
If you’ve made an appointment to meet with a company, arrive a few minutes early, or at least on time.
• Body language matters
Employers don’t just listen to the words you say – they also look for “cues” in your body language. Sit and stand up straight and look confident. Make good eye contact when addressing them. Offer a firm handshake when you first meet them. The little things do count!
• Dress for success
We don’t expect you to rock up wearing a suit and tie, but you should still make an effort to look tidy. A smart shirt, pants, and pair of shoes with well-groomed hair is enough for employers to take you seriously.
• Be polite and professional
Remember, you could potentially be talking to someone who could be your boss for the next four years (or more). No matter what you talk about, stay polite and act professional at all times.