Skilling Queenslanders
for work
Apprenticeships and
Approaching the end of your course? What next?

Skilling Queenslanders for Work!

NINETEEN-YEAR-OLD Tony Hale has a bright future ahead of him after taking part in SANDBAG’s construction traineeship Building our Community.

The program is part of the Skilling Queenslander’s for Work (SQW) initiative which is funded and supported by the State Government.

It is one of the many programs SANDBAG offers to help people find and hold jobs in the local community.

Mr Hale graduated recently and began a carpentry apprenticeship with local builder Abode Constructions, after undertaking a work trial with them as part of his traineeship.

Another graduate Robert Clayton was offered a full-time job with Sandgate Pest Control this week.

SANDBAG Work Skills and Pathways Facilitator Luci Davey said it was wonderful that Justin Andrews of Abode Constructions approached SANDBAG as a hiring option for his business.

“Local employers are encouraged to contact SANDBAG if they have job opportunities as graduates will be ready and willing to work,” Ms Davey said.

“Employer incentives apply when hiring a graduate into an apprenticeship or traineeship.

“Participants will gain their Construction White Card, Working at Heights and Confined Space tickets – all skills which will make trainees much more employable when they graduate.

“Trainees also apply their knowledge in a practical sense by undertaking minor building works at SANDBAG and at several other not-for-profit community organisations in the 4017 area under the supervision of a licensed builder.”

The Difference Between a Pre-Apprenticeship and Apprenticeships

What we learn in the classroom, or workshop, is the foundation for everything we do during the rest of our lives. The skills we gain through our training help us to work successfully and explore a range of career opportunities.

Fortunately, in today’s study climate, there are many options to achieve your goals. Pre-apprenticeships and apprenticeships are just two of them, offering a perfect starting point to enter your chosen industry.

So, let’s breakdown the differences to help you begin.


A pre-apprenticeship (or pre-app) is your introduction – kind of like walking up to a window and actually seeing what your future career could look like. It helps you learn fundamental skills without the commitment of longer training. That way you can decide whether an apprenticeship is something you will then want to pursue.

A pre-app is also perfect if you already know you want to get an apprenticeship. Because you’ll already know some job basics you’ll be more appealing to future employers, making it easier to get an apprenticeship. Plus, your future boss will be reassured that you know what you’re getting yourself into and that you actually want to work in the industry. Usually you will get a certificate II level qualification after completing your pre-app, and this can take anywhere from 5 to 20 weeks dependent on study options and days per week.

Also, you don’t need an employer to study at this level, with a lot of pre-apps able to be completed as part of your QCE studies.


Apprenticeships are a three-sided agreement between you, your employer and a training organization. That means you have to find a job as an apprentice and sign a training contract with them before you start study.

The study part of an apprenticeship can work a number of ways including blended delivery (workshop, or on-site). Two common ways are:

  1. We come to you On-site 1 day every three weeks for the duration of your apprenticeship, or
  2. You come to ASG for a set amount of weeks straight and then work the rest of the time until you come to ASG again for another block of weeks.

An apprenticeship is competency-based, not graded. You will be signed off as either successfully or unsuccessfully being able to complete a task.

Once you complete your apprenticeship, you will hold a nationally recognized qualification. Afterwards, you can go straight into industry, upskill with further training or look into other roles, such as managerial or supervisory titles.

The best part about an apprenticeship though? You’ll get paid to work while you’re studying.

Approaching the end of your course? What next?

The chance to receive an education is a wonderful thing. To come out at the other end as a successful graduate with a recognised qualification is an equally glorious experience. You’ve worked hard and achieved something important, now opportunity is ahead of you.

However, completing your studies is not the finishing line. It doesn’t mean everything you want will simply be handed to you, either. To accomplish anything in life, you have to be proactive and positive. In the below article, we look at tips and advice to keep in mind as you prepare to finish your course and chase your dream career.

Take Your Opportunities

A lot of people sadly believe that opportunity is a regular thing. They think that if they pass something up, the next break will simply come the following week. If you sit and wait for the perfect moment to arrive, you may be sitting and waiting for a long time. Any successful career is worth chasing instead of waiting for it to land in your lap.

When you’re fresh out of study, you’re eager and, perhaps, at your most impatient. But while you may have time, you need experience. The best time to do internships, volunteer or freelance work is when you’re starting out. Use those opportunities to build your work experience and take the chance to make them a stepping stone towards your dream career.

Aim High but Remain Realistic

A person who lives within their means will probably live a basic life. If you have career goals, they should be bold and exciting, but they will require a lot of hard work and perseverance. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t start ticking off career goals straight out of your course. Remember, you’re at the ground floor and these things can take time. Keep the dream job as your focus, chip away at your goals and keep working towards the dream. Don’t expect everything to work out just because you’ve graduated.

Do your research - create a long-term plan

So, you have a dream job in mind. Great! Now, you need to find out how to turn that desire into a reality. You should start by researching what you need to do to get from point A to point B. Look at entry-level positions that can lead to this role. Consider the companies where you’d love to be employed and find out about their employment options. Consider roles in different fields that may also lead to your future job.

It doesn’t hurt to have a five or ten-year plan. It can help you stay motivated, but don’t be upset if you don’t meet every goal in your timeframe. We did say that these things take time.

Check job sites, send emails, and talk to people

Job sites are a good way to keep track of current trends in the industry. You can see what roles are available and find out what you need to be able to successfully apply.

Some companies don’t have a lot of employment information available on their websites. Sending a polite email to enquire about career options never hurts, but there is a fine line between eager and over-enthusiastic. Getting advice about where to find job opportunities will help you know where to look.

Consider a pathway into further study

When your course is almost over, ask yourself, “Do I have everything I need to achieve what I want in the workforce?”. Perhaps you want to add to your skills set or build on your knowledge. Following a pathway into further study is always an option. For example, moving from a diploma into a degree can provide a greater education base for you to use when working in your chosen field. There is no such thing as too much information, and we never stop learning, whether at school, work or simply in life.