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Adult apprenticeship?

Discussion in 'The Pub' at netrider.net.au started by robbied, Feb 6, 2009.

  1. Im 22.
    I like my job. It pays quite well.
    But there's no future in it.
    If I stay here I will be in the same position in 10/20/30 years.
    Same pay and tasks.

    So im thinking of starting an electrical apprenticeship.
    I know the pay won't be that great for the first few years.
    But after 4 years I will have a qualification and the pay will be great.
    I think this is the right decision.
    I've got to think long term and look after my financial security for the future.

    Has anyone gone down this path?

  2. I did the pre-apprenticeship course at Swinburne 2 years ago, didn't get an apprenticeship....
  3. What sort of field are you thinking of doing?

    Getting into electrical would be a great thing to do. It can open doors to alot of other trades like refrigeration and DDC controls (the last of which can make some fair cash).

    There is also a big push in property on energy sustainablity at them moment, which means that companies are hiring consultants to put in place plans to reduce usage. An electrical trade would be a good place to start for that, throw in some uni study and an understanding of NABERS and you could make some nice money.

    Have a chat to a few companies around your area to see what renumeration is like for an apprentice your age. You might be surprised that it picks up a fair bit after the first or second year.

    Oh... and cash jobs a plenty! :grin:
  4. It will be hard for you to find anyone willing to put you on as an adult.
    Personly I would never employ an adult apprentice as adults are set in there ways and are much harder to mould into what you want. I will employ a 16 year old highschool drop out over a year 12 pass student any day.

    I would approach small business owners for employment as they would be more willing to employ an adult for the benifits of maturity and reliability. As an electrician you will be onsite so having a full drivers licence will be an advantage if you have one. Go and talk to a few people and sell yourself.

  5. A friend of my son did exactly that and is now finished the course, and has full time employment with the company that took him on as an apprentice.

    You're right about the money in years 1 and 2. Get out and talk to people who can give you good advice. If you do start down this path, work hard and keep your head down. It will pay off long term. We have a shortage of skilled trades in this country, and who knows where it might take you in the future. Good luck.

    BTW: Someone close to me finished his elect apprenticeship 3 years ago. Last year he earned over $80k before tax. Doing well and enjoying his work.
  6. Thanks for the replies guys.
    It's given me a good insight into what to expect.

    My plan is to first find an employer.
    Hopefully one who does a lot of commercial/industrial work.
    I can start the pre-ap course in July so that will give me a bit of time to keep working and save up to support myself during the 6 month study period.

    After the apprenticeship I would like to specialise in home/business automation/security.
  7. Completely agree with you here, but he is only 22, thats still a kid growing. I dont think we can say he is set in his ways though, clearly he is willing and trying to change. It only adults that dont want a change that tend to be set in there ways.

    My cousin took one up at 25years he had no problems adapting but did need to prove he was not set in his ways. He hasnt looked back and now owns his own business.
  8. Thanks Sherileigh84 :)
    If I was set in my ways I wouldn't be leaving a well payed job and venturing out into the unkown to secure a better future.

    Good to hear about your cousin. That gives me a lot of hope.
  9. A mate of mine recently started an apprenticeship (he's 31) as a landscape gardener. His reasoning was pretty much the same as yours, thought he wasn't going anywhere in current job. He got his by simply talking to different people. "Networking" I think they call it... Something like 70% of positions are never advertised so it's often the best way to start off. Or by posting on a public forum! :)
  10. The pre-app isn't a prerequisite for the apprenticeship. It does give you the basic skills (both in theory and in practical), which makes you more attractive to a potential employer, knowing that he won't have to tell what a cable looks like.
    Also, a lot of the subjects are the same in the pre-app and the apprenticeship, so if you do the 6 months pre-app, you get 6 months off the schooling of the apprenticeship.

    Hope this helps :grin:
  11. Thanks mate!
    I'd prefer not to do a pre-ap but if nothing comes before then I'll just do it.
  12. My brother did exactly that - he did an adult apprenticeship as an electrician (specialising in air-con stuff). with Carrier when he was about 24He also went to RMIT later and did a Diploma of Electronics and then went to Latrobe & did IT.

    He ran his own business for years doing home/business automation & security. These days he's doing a lot of work with renewable energy stuff and they've just got an investor for a very innovative small wind generating system he and a friend have developed.

    He got the job because he had experience working as a Trades Assistant in the mines in WA. (No pre-apprenticeships in those days). I suggest you write to every company you can find asking what they have. Contrary to some comments - many larger companies are preferring adult apprentices. By changing directions and doing something else it's a definite sign that you're prepared to learn and not set in your ways.

    Talk to the Group Training Companies out there and see if they will take you on. Group training companies take you on as an apprentice and conduct the training and hire you out to other organisations. It can work very well and give you a variety of experience.

    Gippsland Group Training is the largest group training company in Australia (they are building a big new $7 million facility in Deer Park) and there's a specialist electrical and electrotechnology group training company 370 degrees (formerly VicTec). They are in the process of expanding and building a new training centre in Brunswick.
  13. have a think about plumbing also, massive demand for them and they charge through the roof
  14. This is something that I should look at. people always comment on the protrusion of my crack

  15. Strange because in my experience as an educator I find the exact opposite of what you claim.
    Adults may be set in their ways but tend to approach their tuition with more maturity and can cope with the pressure better than a 16 year old school dropout.
    Adults are more willing to listen and use their initiative better than 16 year olds.
    Maybe in your experience (and I'm not bagging your experience) you may want to mould someone to work like you do which in this case says more about your approach than it does with your apprentice.
  16. [/quote]
    Strange because in my experience as an educator I find the exact opposite of what you claim.
    Adults may be set in their ways but tend to approach their tuition with more maturity and can cope with the pressure better than a 16 year old school dropout.
    Adults are more willing to listen and use their initiative better than 16 year olds.
    Maybe in your experience (and I'm not bagging your experience) you may want to mould someone to work like you do which in this case says more about your approach than it does with your apprentice.[/quote]

    I think my comment did not come across they way I ment it to. There are benifits in younger employees and in older employees. What I meant by the older ones being set in there ways was more in relation to bad habbits that they may have picked up along the way. Fact is these days most people do not beleive in putting in a fair days work for a fair days pay. I like to get em young and train them the right way ( not my personal way ) ie to respect others and their property and to be honest and hard working. The younger you can get an apprentice the easier it is to teach them the skills they will need in both work and life. From a management perspective I would much rather have a younger workforce than an older one anyday. The older they get the more childish and petty they become.

    I left school at 16 in year 10 because I hated it, There were no subjects at all to do with trades and big push towards IT related employment. I was not good at math,english or science and was told by my english teacherI would be nothing if I did not stay and finish year 12 as a minimum. I set a goal to become service manager by the time I was 30 when I was 16 and am now thinking of a new goal. I am the youngest service manager in the Asia Pacific region for the Chrysler Jeep Dodge product and would love to bump into my old english teacher that I am sure would only be earning 1/2 of what I do.

    robbied, You just need to get out there and prove you have what it takes. Think of how your current position may / will help you in a new role. The pre app course will show you have drive and determination to to do the job and if you can finnish as many modules as possible this will be a huge advantage. From an employers perspective it will also mean less days away from the job for school which means more days making money and not costing money.

    Good luck!
  17. Cheers, thanks for clearing that up. :)
    I'm 44 and very adaptable.
    Being in education there is change going on all the time so in a sense It's hard to pick up bad habits as I'm constantly learning new things.
    If I could have some time over and was content with a pay cut for a few years I'd seriously consider getting into a trade.

    then of course work hard and make a killing.
  18. I might be able to help you out, depending on where you live. (give us a yell of where you are, I go through a grouptrainer....... most say its sh1t, and I don't disagree, but you'll have no issues with age discrimination, and my pre-ap went from nov12-just before christmas, so no 6 month wait.)

    I'm 21, so about your age, and just ticked over to 2nd year in my electrical apprenticeship. And I also came from a decent paying job (sales rep) and decided to take the plunge in pay, and risk the sh1t pay/sh1t workmates, in order to secure a decent living for myself by getting a trade.

    I first gave plumbing a go for a few weeks, $270 per week after tax, it was a 6.30am start about an hr from home..... I got treated like sh1t, and hated the work, so canned that. Approached another small business, this time an electrical mob in north syd, pay was the $270, guys seemed arrogant in the interview, so didn't even pursue that one further.

    I found a group trainer, got me straight in, did the pre-ap for a few weeks fulltime (unpaid) and then started tafe in the new year, had no job lined up for me, so paid me award rates wage, for doing nothing, while they looked for me (worked for me, i've got bills to pay, a previous well paying job, and no time to sit around with a negative income)

    I scored an EBA company, (enterprise bargaining agreement) and my pay after tax for first year was give/take $450 which includes base rate of like 11 bucks or so, then fares/travel and productivity allowance, 9 day fortnights, and the work is alright. (I'm not only in it for the cash, but from my experience, you'll get screwed around every now and again, so best to be getting paid asmuch as you can, seems Group trainers are your best chance of getting EBA..... In saying that, theres only 4 of us out of 12 in the class on EBA, rest are award....)

    I don't know what the award rate guys got after fares/travel factored in, but I think it was over $350 a week.

    Apologies if you didn't want to read a novel, but yea, thats the kind of pay range you can expect for the first year, and that yea, you're still employable at 22......... I've got a 30 yr old classmate...., any other questions, just shoot and i'll try and help you.

    *edit* If the cash worrys you that much (what i've gathered) I was told that if i'd started my apprenticeship at 21 instaid of 20, i'd have started on 3rd yr pay as a "mature aged apprentice"
  19. Thanks for the advice and info guys.

    Whiteknight1, I live in Melbourne. I'll definitely look into group training.
  20. I totally agree with oz650r. I am an electrician and had a mature age apprentice and my god, it was such a headache. He basically tried taking over the show, would undermine me by talking to the project manager looking after the job. Give him a task and he wouldnt do it, he thinks he is better off doing another task and so on. 9 times out of 10 I would take a normal apprentice, i may take a mature age one but he would have to impress me.