Any apprentice brick and blocklayer in Queensland knows that when you decide to start sub-contracting in your own right, the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) requires under the law that you be licenced to perform your trade. Following your 4 year Apprenticeship you are legally able to become a sub-contractor and given the work opportunities available, you just may want to commence your own business, soon after qualification. It’s therefore a wise move to start preparations early.
To get a trade contractor licence you must complete an approved managerial qualification. These are courses which, while required by law, will massively improve your ability to run a successful business. Both MBA and HIA run them and I can’t recommend enough that in Year 4 of your apprenticeship, you plan for the contractor’s course ASAP on completion, if you’ve an intention to set up your own business in the first couple of years thereafter.
One of the first things to do for yourself if you haven’t already joined is, even as a first year apprentice, take up a membership in one of these construction industry associations. Most importantly, you’ll get good advice and support in streamlining your application process for the Licence but you’ll learn a lot along the way. The links to MBA’s relevant pages are here:
- Business Management Course for Trade Contractor; (mandatory)
- Access Licensing team; provide guidance throughout the entire QBCC application process
If you join an Association as an Apprentice there are usually very favourable rates and membership benefits as well. For example, Master Builders has negotiated a great range of exclusive member discounts on products and services, including member-only pricing on Telstra phones and internet, which could save you 30% off your mobile phone bill.
At MBA as an apprentice or student member, you have access to professional advice on issues like contracts and disputes and employment and wages from Master Builders at no extra cost. You’ll get regular updates on changes to building codes, laws and regulations and the Master Builders Magazine.
Membership of the Housing Industry Association HIA offers similar benefits, easy to follow legal advice, resources for HIA trained apprentices and so on. Check them both out and see what’s right for you.
ABBTF Manager Qld