Working with employers, including long-standing CVGT partners such as roof plumber Gary Clark, McCaig Air Conditioning and Poyser Motors in Bendigo, has given Murray some strong connections.
“The long-term associations I have with my hosts have developed out of trust and they know I’ll provide a quality service – they trust my judgement,” Murray says.
“I have to give them high-performing apprentices to help their business and they know I will.”
Murray says being involved in the selection process with employers has taught him the traits that can signal the right person for each job.
After almost 15 years with CVGT Australia helping young people, Murray Willet has some sound advice for anyone considering taking up a trade – go for it!
Speaking for National Skills Week 2021, CVGT Australia Apprentice and Trainee Consultant, Murray says the initiative is all about raising awareness of what is possible when starting an apprenticeship or traineeship.
“Everybody is supposed to do something in their life that they can look back on and say ‘I did that’, and it’s more in the trades that it’s noticeable,” he said.
“They enjoy the work and are well rewarded for their capabilities.”
After a varied career across the army, teaching and sales, Murray joined CVGT. He says he discovered at a young age his gift is training people.
“I realised what I really enjoyed was getting young people over the line in meaningful employment, and (working for CVGT) was just an extension of what I had done in the past,” he says.
“It all fell together pretty well for me. I have a fair bit of sales experience too, so that helps.
“But I’m pretty handy both mechanically and working with timber. I’ve built a couple of houses and renovated houses. I have a genuine interest in trades. Selling training or selling group training to host employers wasn’t a hard sell.”
“You can pick the personality and whether they will be a match for a particular industry or field,” he says.
“If they want to be a tradie they will make in-roads before they leave school. They might do a VET course for instance and there might be a component of carpentry in there, or there might be a plumbing part.
“It’s there if they want to have a crack at it. But even at those early stages they need to be told that going to university isn’t the be all (and) end all. Some will earn more than many other professions.
“I know of one young guy who was the dux of year 12 and decided to go on and complete an apprenticeship, he could have done anything he wanted. He’s doing really well for himself.
“People don’t see trades as the flash thing for their kid to do. And I know some kids that have made more money than any solicitor that you can point at, it’s unreal.
“My daughter said, ‘I wish you had made me go and work with timber.’ She loves it.”
With places in carpentry, plumbing, concreting, parks and gardens available now, Murray says group training can be the perfect way into the trades.
“We don’t put up barriers. We try to ascertain the best possible outcome for the apprentice or trainee,” he says.
“(National Skills Week) is an awareness thing – it should be an instrument for young people to take advantage of finding out about more about what they can do.
“It’s all about finding pathways.”