Secret to training legendary apprentices

redmond-articles-1As our industry grows, along with the demand for skilled tradies, it’s our job as employers to get the right people trained up and ready to make a difference. Since starting my own business at age 30, l’ve been passionate about training. I wanted someone young and fresh to help me out; who would grow to become a valuable member of both my team and the construction industry. So I took on an apprentice through the BCITO. Seven years and six apprentices later, I’m reaping the benefits. Not only do I now have a team of guys with the skills that my business needs, but I’ve got some great mates to work with too.

Finding the right apprentice isn’t easy, but once you’ve found someone you can get along well with, is eager to learn and not afraid of a bit of hard work, you’re sorted. It’s then up to you to mentor that person until they’ve got the skills you both need. At the beginning, it’s all about investing your time, skills and energy. Being a good mentor means giving your apprentices a chance to excel and pushing them to be their best.

Seeing the potential isn’t enough; you have to provide opportunities for your apprentice to reach that potential. After a couple of years of training and hard work, they hit that magic moment and all of a sudden you’ve created a fully competent tradesperson. Through training apprentices, I’ve had excellent opportunities to foster great talent. One of my first apprentices, Willie de Gruchy, went on to win the Auckland 2013 House of the Year. Bill Harkness (pictured), who’s still working with me now, won the RMB Carters Apprentice of the Year title in 2013.

I’m so proud of what these guys have achieved, and it’s so rewarding to know I have been a part of their career. The bottom line is that there aren’t any downsides to supporting your apprentices to be their best. When your apprentices succeed, so does your business. Who wouldn’t want a top class tradesman to work alongside everyday? For me, training apprentices just makes sense.

Ben Redmond
Redmond Builders & Construction