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Your new job

Starting a new job can make most of us a little nervous; you will be working with new people and learning new skills.

I was just out of school and home. I didn’t know what to expect. Work is different to school. Now and then I call the guys at Incolink and they support me without any hassles.1st Year Plumber

An apprenticeship or traineeship is a formal training arrangement between an employer and an employee. Apprentices and trainees do a combination of work and recognised training to get a qualification, certificate or diploma. An apprenticeship or traineeship can be full-time, part-time or school-based, and can be undertaken by anyone of working age.

Pre-Apprenticeship

Completing a pre-apprenticeship can make you more valuable to an employer. Take the time to make sure you are familiar with the industry and your employer.

  • Ask a lot of questions
  • Treat your pre-apprenticeship like it's your job
  • Turn up on time

These things show an employer and your teacher that you have a keen interest in the trade. Performing really well in your pre-apprenticeship can help you find a job.

You have a right:

If you are looking for employment as an apprentice there are a number of ways to find an employer:

  • If you are still at school talk to your Careers Teacher, or if you are at TAFE talk to the Careers Officer or Student Services.
  • Visit your local Centrelink/Job Services Australia provider. For details of your closest office phone Centrelink Employment Services 13 28 50 or go to www.humanservices.gov.au
  • Visit an Australian Apprenticeship Centre. For the centre closest to you, freecall 13 38 73 or go to www.australianapprenticeships.gov.au or go to www.education.vic.gov.au
  • Contact Group Training Association Victoria for your nearest Group Training Provider. Call (03) 9639 3955 or go to www.gtavic.asn.au
  • Check the Situations Vacant section of local and regional papers regularly.
  • Visit your local council youth services and talk to the Youth Worker, or your Local Learning and Employment Network program officer (LLEN).
  • Contact the employer association of the trade you are interested in, and ask them for a list of employers looking for apprentices.
  • Call the Union Apprentice Officer at the relevant trade union office.
  • Contact the Incolink Job Support and ask for the Apprentice Support Worker (03) 9668 3061 or
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  • Attend careers events and expos.
  • Visit job seeking internet sites.

Your Apprenticeship

Once you start your apprenticeship you are in the workplace and there are a few things to remember.

  • Employers will understand that as an apprentice you will not know everything.
  • It was hard work getting this job so make sure you are on time, not just the first week or month. Get into the habit of being punctual and if possible be early.
  • Listen to instructions closely. Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) is a major part of this industry. If you are unsure of what is required you must speak up. It is better to ask if you are unsure, as there is a possibility of injuring yourself or others because you did not understand.

Early starts and low wages can be difficult for first and second year apprentices, especially if your mates have unskilled work and are earning more. However, if you stick it out you will earn a lot more once you are qualified in your trade.

Careers counselling and apprenticeship support programs are amongst a range of services Incolink offers building and construction workers. Other services also include employment and training, as well as resumé assistance. Call the Incolink Job Support on (03) 9668 3061.