Michael Fredericks – Plumbing & Gas Fitting Trainer at MPA Skills

#NationalSkillsWeek #Apprenticeships #Traineeships #MoreThanYouKnow

This is a great interview with Michael Fredericks – Plumbing & Gas Fitting Trainer with MPA Skills another of our dedicated industry trainers participating in National Skills Week.

Q What first got you interested in wanting to do an Apprenticeship?

When I was in school I was like most teenagers; I had no solid idea of what it was that I wanted to do. I was always fond of the idea of an occupation that had a larger physical component than sitting behind a desk.  I was also quite keen on the thought of being paid to learn, this left me looking at apprenticeships.  I specifically chose plumbing because the people that I spoke to at the time led me to believe that it is a licensed trade with a lot of variation in work; I was sold.

Q. When did you start your apprenticeship/which qualification?

Q. How long were you working at your chosen trade?

I started my working life with a plumbing pre apprenticeship course through MPA Skills. The work experience component that was included in that course placed me with BGC Plumbing.  During this on the job experience I asked if they would be interested in taking me on as a directly employed apprentice, they accepted and I started and completed my apprenticeship with them.  I then continued work as a sub-contractor, eventually obtained my full plumbing license and am currently working for MPA Skills as a plumbing and gas trainer.

Q. Is there anything you would tell your younger self that you know now?

Nothing relevant to my current job position. I believe I would mostly make all of the same choices if I had the same opportunities.

Q. When did you start in your current role?

I am currently a Plumbing and gas trainer at MPA Skills. I started this role as a sub-contractor in January 2014.

Q. Why the transition to your current role?

My current job role was offered to me and coincidentally at the time I was looking for some extra work. After the first day I had made up my mind that it was an enjoyable job and something I could see myself doing for an extended period of time.

Q. What’s a typical work week involve?

There is not really such thing as a typical week as a trainer.  It all depends on what classes are happening and which you are needed to take. Activities range from lecturing in a class room setting, to demonstrating practical techniques and requirements for industry tasks and assessing performances across these areas.  This could be for any plumbing or gas fitting task during the day or in any one of our numerous part time night courses, for either apprentices or tradesmen alike, and could be in a number of our training facility locations.

Q. What is the most challenging aspect of your role?

The most challenging aspect of my job role is when I have to occasionally deal with an apprentice plumber who shows no interest in what I want to teach them and puts no effort into any of the assessments or tasks set. It is quite a shame to see this and more so when the lack of effort and attention lead to the individual not completing some part of their training and having to return a second time to re-do.

Q. What about the greatest joy?

The greatest joy is when I get to see an apprentice get all the way through their training, complete their apprenticeship and then come back again to successfully complete their contractor’s license.  Knowing that I helped them succeed is quite rewarding.

Q. What’s the one thing you learned as an apprentice that you transfer to every apprentice your work with?

I like to impart on apprentices is that it is important to remember your apprenticeship is your time to learn and make mistakes, but it is up to you as to how much you learn and is directly related to the questions that you ask.  I also like to remind them that once they finish their apprenticeship they are going to be looking after themselves and their work is their own responsibility.  Basically, the more effort you put in as an apprentice the better tradesman you will be which will lead to a better reputation and more work.

Q. What would you like to achieve in your current role?

I want to essentially remain in my position for the foreseeable future, I enjoy gaining the ability to train people from all walks of life and with different abilities.  I get a sense of satisfaction imparting knowledge and seeing an Apprentice leave with a set of strong skills.  Maybe in the future I would aim to become a training manager.

Our thanks go to Michael for taking the time to participate in our interviews #National Skills Week.

For further information about a career within Plumbing & Gas Fitting you can contact MPA Skills at http://www.mpaskills.com.au