June 20, 2019


“Take a chance in the industry, there’s plenty of opportunities.”

We had the chance to catch up with Malcolm, a builder who currently employs three of our great Cert III apprentices undertaking training with City-Wide Building and Training Services (CWBTS). Mal works with our trainers to teach the guys onsite – which means that they’re learning on the job full time. To hear how about training apprentices from an employer’s perspective, read on to find the full interview below. Thanks Malcolm!

Name: Malcolm Graffin
Job: Owner, Malcolm Graffin Building 

“I’m a sole trader and I use my initials ‘MGB’, Malcolm Graffin Building. I am the son of a builder and my son is being trained as well. We have three generations here… even my dad comes down to visit occasionally. We are contract wall frame builders. We make pre-assembled wall frames for houses.” 

“I predominantly schooled here in the Tweed Valley. I did my high school here. I was trained in the local TAFE as it was one of the only options available then. I was apprentice to my dad — that started in 1980. I did a clerk of works down in Lismore for three years of night school and then got a builders licence. I started in carpentry.”

“​Without a doubt, my father influenced me to get into building. All my school holidays I would work with my dad so it just seemed right.”

“I currently have three apprentices, ranging from first, second and third year — all three do their apprenticeship on-the-job through CWBTS. And we’ve probably got three or four completed, too. I see myself in a lot of them. They have all got potential and it’s all about how you can develop your potential.”

“I couldn’t afford to have apprentices in the traditional system where they leave site [to go to TAFE]. If I had three people leaving site every second or third week for so many days it would be very cost prohibitive. I join in as a co-trainer. You’ve got the student or the apprentice. And you’ve got the trainer Josh. Between the three of us, it’s a good outcome.”

“There’s a fair bit of responsibility. It starts as simple things because I’m not always here every day. They have to learn a bit of teamwork and they have to be self-motivated. They’ve gotta get-in and do things.”

“I make sure they get the practical experience. Josh comes and looks at what we’re doing, so it’s proofed up, and the boys take pictures when they’re on site. As a co-trainer I sign on with Josh and we both go through a logbook to prove that the apprentice has had practical experience in all the subjects.”

“The students get to do little bits of everything and they can pick something that might interest them. There’s niches everywhere in the industry.”

Legend! Thanks Malcolm.

Interested in studying for your Certificate III through on-site training? Check out the CWBTS courses here or phone 1300 4 CWBTS.

Are you an employer who’d be interested in working with CWBTS as a co-trainer? We’d love to hear from you. Feel free to give our team a call for more info: 1300 4 CWBTS.

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