The heat has really come off the building and construction industry, but that can be a great time to start an apprenticeship. Often by the time an apprenticeship has been finished the employment prospects will have turned around and there may be less newly minted tradies to compete with you for jobs. Here are some tips to get a construction apprenticeship in a tough job market.
Sign up with a labour hire agency
Some worksites may not be able to commit to supporting an apprentice full time, but may need you during high intensity parts of their construction project/s. This can often be better for your overall learning as an apprentice than staying with a single site where you learn and perform the same tasks over and over again. When you are moving regularly it's important to show a flexible attitude and take on any tasks that you are asked to do, even if they are of a non-technical nature.
Always be on show
Many apprentices get shy when they deal with bosses or supervisors but it's important to remember that every interaction that you have with your site management is a chance to impress them. Performing to the best of your ability is important as these people can be the folks who decide whether to keep you on for the next stage of your apprenticeship, be a reference for your next job or even be the people who interview you for a job when you are looking for a job after your apprenticeship has been completed.
Keep in contact with your lecturers and other apprentices
The people that you meet at trade school can be another important part of your professional network. They can help to recommend you to labour hire agencies and hirers so help you find a job. Many jobs are not advertised through job sites and other formal processes. It can be very useful when your fellow students recommend you at the end of a placement, and you can do the same for other apprentices that seem like they might fit in to your workplaces. Lecturers also often have deep industry networks and can help you to get new roles and develop your professional network.
Even in a difficult job market it is possible for proactive and passionate apprentices to find job roles in the construction industry. If you would like to work in this industry long term you should sign up with a labour-hire agency (like DSC Personnel) and do your best to impress everyone you interact with.