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Tips for Your First Day as an Apprentice

MIGAS Plant Mechanic Apprentice Jaxon

MIGAS Plant Mechanic Apprentice, Jaxon, is completing his on-the-job training in the mining sector.

So, you're taking the plunge and are ready to dive into your apprenticeship work and training. Congratulations!

It’s a rewarding, challenging and eye-opening journey that will furnish you with valuable skills, real work experience and a qualification recognised by employers around Australia.

But before strap on and lace up that PPE…you might be wondering, “What will my first day be like?”

What will you do? Who will you meet? How do you fit in? What time’s lunch break?

Don't worry, we've got you covered. In this blog post, we'll give you a glimpse of what to expect on day one of your apprenticeship odyssey, and some tips on how to make a great first impression.

What Does the First Day of an Apprenticeship Look Like?

There's really no such thing as a typical first day of an apprenticeship. Every trade, employer, and workplace is different, so your experience will vary depending on the kind of apprenticeship you're undertaking and where you're doing it.

However, there are some common elements that most apprentices will encounter on their first day, such as:

Meeting your supervisor and co-workers

This is your chance to introduce yourself, get to know them, and learn about their roles and responsibilities.

Be friendly, respectful and professional, and try to remember names and faces. They will be your colleagues for the next few years, so it's important to build a good rapport with them.

Getting oriented onsite

Your boss or supervisor will show you around the workplace, explain the rules and procedures, and give you a rundown of what you'll be doing and learning.

Safety is critical in every workplace, but especially in a trade environment that contains dangerous equipment. Your safety briefings begin on day one, and paying close attention can help prevent accidents and injuries.

You'll also get your personal protective equipment (PPE), tools, and uniforms, if you haven’t already. Make sure you have everything you need, and follow the instructions on how to use and maintain them properly.

Starting your work

Depending on your trade and employer, you might start your work right away, or you might have some training or induction first.

Either way, be prepared to get your hands dirty and learn by doing.

You'll be assigned to a more experienced worker who will show you the ropes and supervise your tasks. Listen to their advice, follow their instructions, and don't be afraid to ask for help or clarification.

Remember, you're not expected to know everything on your first day, but you are expected to show initiative, enthusiasm, and willingness to learn.

What to do on Your First Day of an Apprenticeship

Your first day of an apprenticeship can be nerve-wracking, but it can also be fun and rewarding. To make the most of it, here are some things you should do:

Be punctual: First impressions matter. Arriving on time (or even a bit early) shows your eagerness and respect for everyone’s time. Plan your route, check the traffic, and leave early if necessary. If you're running late for any reason, call your field officer or supervisor and let them know.

Take notes: You’ll be receiving a lot of information. Having a notebook handy to jot down important details can be a lifesaver.

Ask questions: No question is too silly. This is your time to learn, and showing curiosity demonstrates your commitment to your apprenticeship.

Show enthusiasm: Your attitude can make a big difference. Show that you’re ready and willing to learn. Smile, greet people, and thank them for their help. Avoid complaining, whining, or making excuses. A positive attitude will help you cope with any challenges or difficulties, and make a good impression on co-workers.

Be proactive: Don't wait for someone to tell you what to do, or sit around doing nothing. Be proactive, and look for opportunities to learn and contribute.

What NOT to do on Your First Day of an Apprenticeship

On the flip side, there are some things you should avoid on your first day of your apprenticeship, such as:

Don’t be shy: Engage with your mentors and peers. Building relationships from day one can make your apprenticeship journey smoother and more enjoyable.

Avoid distractions: Leave your phone in your locker or on silent mode. Your full attention should be on learning and absorbing as much as you can.

Resist the urge to overdo it: It’s natural to want to impress on your first day, but remember, it’s a learning process. Take it one step at a time. All of your work will be completed under direct supervision so it’s important you are not completing any tasks or touch any equipment without your safety induction and under the direct supervision of your tradespeople.

Don’t be dishonest: You might be tempted to exaggerate or hide something, but that's a sure way to lose your credibility and trust. Instead, be honest, transparent, and accountable, and admit your mistakes, weaknesses, or concerns.

Making the Most of Your Apprenticeship

An apprenticeship is not just a job, it's a career path that offers hands-on experience and a chance to earn while you learn.

Here are a few tips to ensure you get the most out of your apprenticeship from the outset:

Set goals: Identify what you want to achieve during your apprenticeship and discuss these goals with your supervisor and field officer. Remember each stage of your apprenticeship gets you closer to becoming competent, breaking down your learning journey into goals for each stage will really give you a pathway to success.

Stay curious: The more you’re willing to learn, the more valuable you become as a tradie.

Seek feedback: Regularly ask for feedback on your performance and use it constructively to improve your skills.

Speak up: If you’re unsure about something or don’t understand, whether that’s on the job or while completing your qualification studies, there are people to support you. Talk to your supervisor, field officer, or trainer to get the help you need.

Be patient: Skill development takes time. Be patient with yourself, maintain your motivation, and trust the process. Not every day will be your favourite, but you’ll be one step closer to achieving your end goal – becoming a fully qualified tradie.

Start Your Apprenticeship Journey

Deciding to pursue an apprenticeship is the first step towards a fulfilling career in trades.

Whether you're a school leaver or someone seeking a career change, an Australian Apprenticeship offers a unique blend of formal training and hands-on experience that can set you up for success in your chosen field.

If you're feeling inspired and ready to embark on your apprenticeship journey, the MIGAS Jobs Board is your gateway to a world of opportunities. With a range of apprenticeships available across various traditional trades, MIGAS connects aspiring tradies with their dream careers.

Don't let uncertainty hold you back. Our dedicated and experienced team is here to help you every step of the way.

Visit our Jobs Board to apply today and take the first step towards becoming a qualified tradie.


Published 07/03/2024

In the spirit of reconciliation, MIGAS Apprentices & Trainees acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their Elders past and present and emerging, and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.