We had a chat to Alex Kubsch, Senior Trainer with Builders Academy, about his background in building and construction, why training is important, and the rewards of working as a trainer with Builders Academy Australia.
Tell us about your background in building and construction…
I started out cabinet making. Did my apprenticeship, qualified, and basically transitioned from cabinet making straight into carpentry – and that’s where I’ve been ever since. After taking on carpentry I started my own business and worked for over 25 years as a builder.
How did you become a trainer?
While I was in class doing my CPC40110 Certificate IV in Building and Construction (Building), my trainer actually said I’d make a good trainer and I took it on faith. I did my qualification in training and assessment, and it snowballed from there. It wasn’t something that I ever planned to do, it just happened. I always had the passion for building, but now I’ve got the passion for training.
I’ve also continued studying by doing my diploma, and now I’m training in diploma.
What’s the favourite part of your role as a trainer?
The students. A lot of them have got experience in the industry, while some don’t have experience in the industry. I’ve taught both types of groups. It’s rewarding when they come in and they finish their course – at the end of it it’s great knowing that you’ve given them really good information and helped their careers. The course content is awesome, and it’s great when they just soak up the information.
What do you find most rewarding about your role?
Probably the most rewarding story that I’ve got is that I initially had a CPC40110 Certificate IV in Building and Construction (Building) student, a young guy, an apprentice. He completed his Cert IV with me, and then he went out and started his own business. About 18 months later, he came back and did his diploma with me. To actually see them grow as individuals and move ahead in the industry – and it was only because he did the Cert IV – to have the confidence to go out and do his own business. That’s probably one of my biggest rewards.
Tell us about how the different training methods work?
I teach both face-to-face and virtual classroom. The virtual classroom is a really interactive system so the students see us and we see the students. They can get involved in the classroom, because we can do virtual breakout rooms where we can send particular group of students to complete different activities in different rooms, and the trainer can actually follow them around into rooms and take part in their discussions. They can also annotate on the screen. It’s an awesome system, and the fact that all the students get to see each other as well. It’s like being in the real classroom. It’s fantastic. I just love it.
Can you tell us about face-to-face? How about the new Saturday classes?
Teaching face-to-face is an awesome method as well because you’re in a classroom with a lot of students. You get some really good conversation, and students become really good friends as well.
The benefits of Saturday classes is it will fit in better with people’s schedules. Because everyone’s so busy during the week, it will give them the ability to actually go and relax and actually go and learn what they need to learn to be able to do a qualification. They’re probably a lot more refreshed as well because they’re not doing it straight after work, they’re doing it the following day.
What are the benefits to having industry current builders training builders?
The benefit of builders training builders or potential builders is that the people who are leading the training have got the latest knowledge on the industry. They can really give the students a feel for what we do, how we do it, and why we do it.
The people who are actually teaching have the first-hand knowledge because they’re out there doing it, and they can pass on information a lot better than people who are just academic, which have got the knowledge on the industry. Hands-on, you can’t beat hands-on experience.
What piece of advice would you give to someone thinking of becoming a trainer?
It’s a good way to transition off the tools. And if there was one bit of advice I’d give to someone who’s actually interested in becoming a trainer, it would be to enjoy the ability to pass on information and experience to students.
One of the benefits of training, to coming off the tools, is you’ve got all the current experience to be able to answer any of the questions that the students have, and be able to just impart great knowledge to the students, and valuable knowledge to the students.
What advice would you give to a student who is thinking of completing a qualification?
At the end of the day, if you want to transition out of the qualification that you’ve got now, it’ll give you the start that you need if you want to make a transition through the building industry.
Call us on 1300 LEGEND if you are interested in becoming a trainer with BAA.