For some parents it’s anxious times as their children approach graduation or even before they do. What will they do? Do they need any help? How can I help? These are often the questions that come to their mind as they try to be of assistance to them, whether the kids want it or not!
Whether the kids admit or not they are often happy to receive advice but yes, reluctant to get it from their parents! But, the more you know the more you can help. When they realize that parents are genuinely interested in helping out and have ideas to offer than just questions, they’ll be more receptive to what you have to say.
Is your child interested in learning a trade in a hands-on way? The best way for them to do this is by getting an apprenticeship. Apprenticeships are a great way to get on-the-job training in a practical setting while still working and earning a wage. Before getting an apprenticeship there are a few questions you can go through with your child to know about their interests and the path that can be most conducive in the long run.
KNOWING: What do you like?
Is there a particular skill that he/she is drawn to? Use this to their advantage. Choosing a trade could have a significant impact over the course of your child’s life and career. Consider talking to other friends and family, and even counsellors at the school. Get input on different areas and where your child would like to be. As much as this is their decision, help them to figure out what they want personally before deciding the rest.
One of the best ways to go about this awareness is to ask them what have they enjoyed most at school, what skills make them happy and they can be on for hours without feeling that it is ‘work’.
FINDING: What is in demand?
Consider the job market. What are the trades that people often use? What is in demand on a consistent basis? Your child may be choosing an area they like, but will it pay them a steady pay check over a long term period? Will there always be work available? Some trades are always in need, but they also have a large number of labourers already. Consider the logistics and the best case scenario for each trade area. Look at what people value and try to match that with your child’s personal interests.
ASSISTING: Get a head start
Many trades require certain skill levels and training qualifications. If your child is still in school, or has left already, consider getting a jump start on their interest area by taking a course. Organisations like Careers Australia specialise in helping people figure out their career pathways. They can help your child to figure out their interest area and provide the training necessary while they are still in school. Work experience is a great way to learn the industry and decide if it is a place where they want to be for the long term.
You can help them by showing some profiles of professionals on LinkedIn, their experiences and where they are now.
Kids often need role models and inspiration to take on a step, only telling might not work, showing does.
KNOWLEDGE: Research Well
It’s a good idea that you have already done some good research before starting the discussion with our child. It not only shows genuine interest but also builds trust.
Before embarking on an apprenticeship, you and your child should look at the all the information. Gather everything you can find about the process before, during, and after. Learn the apprenticeship lengths for the different industries, and what is required of both the worker and the employer. In many cases, the worker and the employer plan out a training program and timeline. In your state, government entities provide advice on the most relevant qualifications for the workplace.
CONNECT: Network and Introduce
Let your friends and family know that your child is looking and see if they have any contacts. When beginning an apprenticeship, most employers will be familiar with the process, so your child needs to be confident. While some job postings may be up on advertising websites, there is merit in approaching someone face-to-face, or cold calling. While this may be an abrupt introduction, it will give your child the practice they need until someone says yes.
Here again, looking up some similar profiles in your network on LinkedIn might help.