How to get a construction job in Brisbane
So, you are looking for a construction job in Brisbane, where do you start? If you have experience in carpentry, you are at an advantage. The Australian Government identifies carpentry as an area “experiencing a national skills shortage”. In the trades, there are not enough skilled workers to fill the available vacancies and those vacancies are going unfilled. This is the best time to start your career in construction, but why aren’t employers knocking on your door?
Get qualifications and experience as a carpenter or builder, and keep learning skills
They are looking for skilled carpenters, that mean both experience and qualifications. For example, you may have the experience, but not the appropriate qualifications. Getting your Certificate III in Carpentry can be a good start towards being recognised as a skilled carpenter. If you have enough experience you can even apply for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) to reduce the duration of study.
On the other hand, just having the qualification isn’t sufficient either. Training to be a carpenter and spending most of you time in a classroom will not appeal to employers. You want to make sure you’re getting practical work experience as you go. The best time to get this work experience is while you are studying! Your investment in quality training will show employers that you are willing to prove your skills every step of the way. If you think getting on the job training while studying is hard, you’re right it is! A lot of employers don’t want to take a chance on someone without experience. Liberty College will actually arrange for students to get work experience at their partner companies, an amazing opportunity for international students or people starting a new career.
Now, let’s say you have significant experience in the construction industry and a Certificate III, how can you get a leg up on the competition? Consider you are the hiring manager, and your looking through some resumes, you see lots of applicants with informal work experience, and roughly the same qualifications -how can you pick a suitable candidate? Employers are looking to see as much practical experience as possible. When we designed our Certificate III Carpentry and Certificate IV in Building and Construction combination course, we focused on teaching a range of skills beyond carpentry and providing optimal work experience.
Students are taught both in a practical area meant to replicate a work site, and on the job working alongside industry professionals during their work experience hours. Despite the course title student will also get experience with formwork, steelfixing and concreting. Construction managers always say they struggle to find good workers. Carpenter are quick to back away from unfamiliar lines of work and reaffirm that they only know carpentry, the result: less calls for work, less calls from the employer. This would be like working as a translate and only knowing one other foreign language, you are not going to be as appealing as someone who can translate more languages. Thus the employer is only going to call you in for specific work, or not call you at all because there are workers out there who are ready to work with concrete, then switch to carpentry half way through the day, then finish off with some steel fixing -an employer’s dream worker. Any evidence of real work experience and diverse skills is going to be game changer for you in the job hunt.
Consider upgrading your skills to become a construction manager
Next, consider your future. Construction is a physically demanding field of work, you may already experience exhaustion at the end of a hard day’s work. Take your experience on the practical level and upgrade it. Trade some tools for a clipboard and prepare to move to a management role. In Australia a construction manager earns on average $115,809.00 annually. That’s amazing when you consider that the average Australian earns roughly $78,832.00 annually. However, you never want to just go back to the start and invalidate your experiences by starting fresh. Using a Recognised Prior Learning (RPL) pathway you can complete a Diploma of Building and Construction (Building) in just 6 months. This means you can trade your experience and previous education for an amazing qualification in a shorter time.
Invest in yourself: study construction, work at a construction job in Brisbane
If you are just starting out, and you’ve mostly been doing general labour, this will all seem a bit overwhelming, but it is achievable! You can get the education and experience needed to move up in this field, all while working and making money. At Liberty College we offer a complete package of Certificate III in Carpentry + Certificate IV in Building and Construction (Building) + Diploma of Building and Construction (Building) that includes both work experience and paid work experience! The classes are structured so that you can work while you study, and we offer flexible payment plans. This means students can essentially pay-as-they-go for their education. Whether you are based in Brisbane, or are overseas and thinking about studying in Australia, if you are interested in getting qualified and getting work experience, apply now at no extra cost!
Get connected, meet industry professionals, and let the jobs come to you
Perhaps the best advantage to studying with Liberty, is the introductions to industry professionals, you can have a chance to meet future employers before you even graduate! When people working in business try to find jobs so much of it depends on networking, the trades are not immune to this trend. Consider ways to meet industry professionals, even if they are not hiring they could direct you to places that are, or give you useful tips on what can make you more employable. In a city of 2 million people, you would be surprised at how well everyone seems to know each other, use that to your advantage to get a construction job in Brisbane. Use the contacts you have, and see if you can get introduced to other industry experts.