Learning a trade isn’t just about nailing the practical skills. It’s also important to learn personal skills that are valuable in the workplace, from taking initiative to showing up on time. MPTT works with each of our trainees to help them become great employees and get the best job possible.
What are work-readiness skills?
Work readiness means you’re prepared for your first trades job and have the personal skills employers are looking for.
Employers don’t expect you to know much about your trade when you’re starting out, but they do need you to have skills in these key areas:
- Personal Skills
This means conducting yourself well, from time management to teamwork.
- Worksite Skills
You can work in a safe, healthy way and follow good work procedures.
- Industry Insight
You understand the industry, including employer expectations.
- Job Search Skills
You know how to find and apply for jobs, and understand employment agreements.
- Work Experience
You have some trades experience to help you hit the ground running.
“Lucas is a really good apprentice, one of the best I’ve come across. He’s very intuitive with the whole process. I’ll be thinking about a task and I’ll turn around to find Lucas already handing me the right tool for the job without prompting. And if I have to take a phone call and I’m tied up, Lucas will just start cleaning up or keeping himself busy. He’s bloody amazing.” Paddy Durham, Excel Refrigeration and Air Con Ltd
How to get started
Even if you’re just starting out in the trades, there are some things you can do to increase your chances of getting a great job down the track. Remember, your MPTT navigator is there to help ensure you’re ready for work and coach you on how to make a good impression on your boss. Here are some ideas for where to start:
Get your driver licence
A driver licence is essential in the trades. Your boss might need you to pick up supplies for a job, or you might need to travel between different work sites. Find out how to get your licence on the New Zealand Transport Agency website.
When you’re just starting out, a restricted licence is fine for many jobs. If you already have your restricted licence, getting your full licence will make you even more valuable to an employer. Find out more about how to get your driver licence.
Get a Site Safe card
Employers want to know you can work safely on-site. What you need to know depends on your trade, so ask your training provider about getting a Site Safe card, or talk to your MPTT Navigator.
Be drug and alcohol free
Trades workers need to be focused and safety-conscious, and most employers do drug and alcohol tests as part of their site safety practices. Staying away from drugs and alcohol will also help you stay physically strong.
Have a great attitude
When you apply for jobs, you’ll need referees to vouch for you. By turning up to your classes on time, working well with others, and showing interest in your training by asking questions and taking notes, you’ll show you can be a valuable employee in the future.
Get work experience free
Work experience is essential for building your skills and adds valuable trades experience to your CV. In fact, a lot of employers won’t hire someone who hasn’t had work experience.
Find out more about how to find work experience, and get tips from trainees who’ve done it before.