Meet James Grant – Diploma of Building and Construction


James didn’t become a carpenter until later in life. But, when he figured out that he wanted to be a builder at age 28, nothing could stop him from doing his apprenticeship and becoming a qualified carpenter.

“I’m a chippy and have been for 9 years now,” James says. “It took me a while to figure out where I wanted to go and what I wanted to do, but when I did, I applied myself, and here we are.”

A determined mindset helped James become a carpenter. Now, he’s applying that same mindset to upskill so that he can take his career to the next level.

That’s why James is doing his Certificate IV in Building and Construction at Builders Academy Australia.

building and construction

The Next Step

James wants to become a registered builder.

“Eventually, I’d like to get my Builder’s license so I can do my own projects.”

The path from apprentice to becoming a registered builder is seven-years long, at a minimum, meaning it takes almost as long as becoming a qualified doctor. The rewards make it worth it though, as registered builders are better qualified for supervisor roles and can take on bigger jobs, making it possible to grow a business.

James is an entrepreneur at heart and wants to establish his own business. He says he’d like to, “be in charge of what happens from start to finish and not have to go through all the channels, as when you’re working for someone else.”

When considering the benefits of undertaking a certificate, James says that the government subsidy makes the decision to study and easy choice. This meant that a course worth thousands only cost James $260.

“It’s a tax write off as well, so why not do?”

But James says, even without the subsidy, he would recommend undertaking the course anyway.

“If it had of been a full fee, you’d have to think about it a lot more,” he says, but adds that, “if you stick with it the returns will be threefold.”

Even though the value is obvious, for someone who’s working full-time, going back to school presents a set of challenges that can make it hard to complete a Diploma and become registered.

That’s why James chose BAA.

diploma building and construction

Making it Work

It’s been almost 20 years since James studied, so he was concerned about returning to school initially. Looking back, James is glad he didn’t let that put him off.

“I thought I might have struggled and bombed-out early on. I’ve found it quite informative. I’ve learned a lot.”

According to James, he has never been the studious type and is much more engaged when it comes to practical work.

“I never liked school, I never liked homework,” he tells us. “To undertake a course 20 years after you’ve done any sort of schooling and homework is a big thing. But I’ve actually found it quite easy this time around. I guess that’s because I know where I want to go, I know what I want to do so I’m going to achieve it.”

James says that a lot of this comes down to the learning environment at BAA.

“Tansel, the trainer has been really helpful,” he says. “He’s willing to listen when you have questions and give you answers based on his knowledge through the developments he’s done.”

“He’s a pretty relaxed and easy-going guy so you can have a bit of fun in class too.”

This means that the trainers at BAA create a kind of environment where people in a class can share ideas and bond over their shared experiences on the job.

“We have a bit in common and common goals and the work they do is similar. We can trade stories and experiences and learn from each other as well.”

Seeing Results

Even before becoming a registered builder, James says that the Diploma at BAA has given him an extra edge on site.

“I’ve actually learnt a lot of useful information, like, how to utilise the NCC and The Australian standards,” he says, adding, “I’ve been able to flip through and find the section that I need and carry on with work.”

“There’s no downtime, there’s no waiting for answers. It’s a more proactive approach to work and it means I’m heading in the right direction.”

James thinks this means that it’s valuable for any chippy, even if they don’t aspire to own a business or supervise a site. For James, it’s about being the most skilled he can be before anything else.

“If you don’t become a builder and you don’t become a supervisor either, you’ve still got a lot of great knowledge that you can utilise in your day to day work. I think it’s been really helpful. I’d recommend it for sure.”

That doesn’t mean that James doesn’t have dreams of pushing his career further. He’s already looking towards the future.

“Just to have that freedom at the end of the day and be able to say, ‘I built that from start to finish. I’m the one who liaised with the client, did the quoting, got all the contracts in place,’ ” he says, and adds, jokingly, “and take home the profit (if there is any).”

In the end, James thinks more tradies should look at this as an option.

“My advice would be to give it a go. Make a phone call, enrol and come along.”

Looking to take the next step in your career in building and construction with a certificate or diploma? Contact our team at 1300 LEGEND (1300 534 363) or request a callback and we will get back to you with all the information you need.