Meet Charlie Ford – Certificate IV in Building and Construction


Life can get in the way sometimes, even for an ambitious young tradie like Charlie Ford who is studying so that he can move into management one day.

A few years ago, Charlie was forced to drop his Certificate IV in Building and Construction when his workload became too much to manage.

“I couldn’t find the time. My schedule didn’t meet up. Life got in the way,” Charlie says.

That’s why Charlie is grateful he decided to study at BAA.

“BAA was incredibly supportive, incredibly helpful. They went above and beyond to make sure I was okay, help me get back in the class and finish.”

“They knew my goal: to advance in the construction industry.”

The Call of the Chippy

For Charlie, there was always a strong pull towards carpentry.

“I got started through woodwork, and built general knowledge of carpentry. I really enjoyed it. At the end of the day you can actually stand back and see what you’ve done. That started me on the path of becoming a carpenter.”

Charlie undertook his apprenticeship and he’s never looked back. But he is also the kind of person who is always pushing himself to learn, grow and improve.

“When I came out of my apprenticeship, I always thought you had to take your time with things and not rush. That’s how I was taught.”

“That’s not how the business makes money. It’s getting the job done to a standard, and it’s not taking your time. You’ve got to put a bit of pace behind it.”

Charlie is now three years out of his apprenticeship, which means he’s looking at taking the next step.

Working his way up the ladder

“I am a subcontractor, but I want to get on wages.”

Charlie doesn’t necessarily want to own his own business one day. Even though some chippies find freedom in working for themselves, Charlie much prefers the structure that comes from full-time work, so that he can focus on the task at hand.

“I like to focus on the job, get it done. I’d like to learn about business but at this point I’d just like to save up, do my job to the best of my ability and hopefully that next step in the paycheck.”

Charlie doesn’t want to be doing the same thing forever. That’s why he has an interest in pursuing management roles in the future.

“Maybe lead people down the track.”

“I’d like to stay in domestic. Management wise and career wise, commercial might be an avenue for me. I don’t know yet.”

The one thing Charlie is certain about, is that he wants to have a very broad knowledge base before he starts to get involved with leadership.

“I find that people who have been managers of sites, domestic or commercial, without a trade experience have a bit of a disadvantage. A lack of understanding.”

“Some managers who haven’t had trade experience have been fantastic, but you come to a site with someone who doesn’t really fully grasp what’s happening on your end of things.”

“That’s where a lot of breakdowns in communication happen.”

But Charlie realises that as a tradie without any prior management experience, he only has half of the skills to manage a site as well. That’s where BAA comes in.

Back on track with BAA

“I was approached by someone from BAA, her name was Kelly.”

Charlie was told that he was applicable for a government grant, which would cover the cost of the Certificate IV in Building and Construction, so Charlie could study for free.

“She signed me up, that’s when my journey started with BAA.”

Unfortunately, Charlie didn’t have the time at that stage to complete the Cert IV. Now, he says, he’s glad that BAA reached out to him again. Charlie is still as busy as anything, but with the support of BAA he is finishing off his course.

“I find the time to do it. It’s a lot to take on, but for a course that offers you such a career path, it’s to be expected. It’s just about managing the workload.”

“The BAA staff are incredibly helpful. They don’t quit on you. They go, ‘Listen this is what you need to do, we can organise for you to do it this way.’

“They help you out in the best way they can. From a bigger school, you wouldn’t get that treatment. It’s actually quite refreshing to have such an individualistic approach to it, instead of just a large company approach.”

Charlie says that the teachers are the same way as well.

“My teacher Bosko is very knowledgeable. He has industry experience so he can instantly tell you in layman’s terms what you’re learning about.”

“He hasn’t just been all serious. He also says, let’s have some stories, let’s have a laugh about it, that kind of thing.”

Charlie has almost finished his Cert IV for good now. In the end, he’s glad he’s finishing and he’s glad he’s finishing at BAA.

“It opens your eyes to both sides of the story: What’s behind management and what’s behind the trade. “

“It’s the next step. There’s not really another thought to it. If you want to progress in this industry, you will need the certification.”

“I don’t know anywhere else that could give the same as Builders Academy Australia.”

Looking to take the next step in your career in building and construction with a certificate or diploma? To find out if you’re eligible for government funding, Contact our team at 1300 LEGEND (1300 534 363) or request a call back and we will get back to you with all the information you need.