Fiddler on the roof

Carpenter / Joiner Greg Fidler was looking for more than a course to kickstart his domestic builder qualifications, he was after something he could tune into that could keep him focused and motivated.

While Greg wasn’t new to study, the classroom hadn’t always been his favourite place.

By the time he was halfway through high school he was sitting on the fence as to what career direction to aim for “it was either PE teacher or some form of trade.”

But the fact that Greg had always headed straight for the tool box as a young kid to “muck about with saws, and drills, plastic chainsaws” well, it was probably an early indication as to the path he’d take.

“I finished Year 10, headed straight to TAFE and was in an apprenticeship by the time I was 21. I was happy to be done with school.”

However, 7 years on the tools with his domestic carpentry skills, Greg recognised that it was time to put pick up the books as a refresher.

“I needed to keep my qualifications up to date if I wanted to move towards residential building projects.”

“I’d tried an online course for training – but that just didn’t suit me – I needed a classroom to keep me motivated.”

A friend recommended the Certificate IV in Building and Construction (Building) at the Trade Institute of Victoria, and the fact that I could do it at nights surrounded by other people was really appealing.”

“It was hard to go back to study in my 30’s, while working full time and with a 2yo son at home. I had to be really, really disciplined. But the support I had was incredible,” said Greg.

What appealed to Greg from the minute he signed up with TIV was that his pathway to start seemed straightforward and the course work was something to look forward to.

“The last thing you want is a headache with paperwork before you even make it through the door to class, the admin team made the process really easy, and I could get stuck into study.”

“Being funded through a registered training organisation Upskilling made all the difference to my budget as well. While the cost of studying at TIV wasn’t a deal breaker, it did help to receive some form of funding as an incentive.”

Over 6 Months Greg set about filling in the gaps in his building and construction knowledge.

“The teachers were just brilliant and they made all the difference with their been there, done that approach.”

“Because I had a carpentry background the onsite units were fairly easy for me for to rip through, but it was really good to have a refresher about industry standards.”

“It’d been a long time since I’d been to school, and I feel like I formed some good study habits. I learnt to take plenty of notes, and I’d stay back 10 minutes or so after class for revision while its fresh in my mind and there’s no interruptions.”

Greg said the atmosphere was less of a classroom and more of a conversation surrounding skills, standards and things to anticipate on a jobsite. And with practical building units looking at outputs like material schedules, legal requirements and reading spreadsheets Greg found an immediate use for templates and tools.

“I even used the class business plan in my own submission for my builder’s licence in September 2016, almost 1 year after I finished the course. Using a reliable template that I understood really helped me clearly present everything I needed to gain my DBL.”

Greg’s domestic building and construction business, Fidler Constructions, has a team of 4 covering Moonee Ponds and Essendon.

Happy with the foundations TIV gave him, Greg didn’t hesitate to request his MEGT apprentice to be trained at TIV as well.

Greg’s apprentice carpenter, Harvey Daniher is completing his 3rd year and is one of the 200 apprentices across Melbourne that TIV has now supported with hand-on experience and up-to-date industry skills. The flexible apprenticeship training support extends to twice monthly on-site visits for site skills observation and assessment.

“One concern I really had as an employer is that I would lose my apprentice for a week at a time, and that’s an expensive outlay when you have a small business. To be able to fill the skills gap while he’s still on the tools on our job site is brilliant. As long as my apprentice is getting the knowledge he needs, then that’s just great for me.”

It’s pretty clear to us that Fiddle’s found a training tune that was just the right beat.

Talk to TIV today about upskilling your trade qualifications in a Certificate IV in Building and Construction or apprenticeship training.


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