Power of Prioritizing Apprentices - Fast Tracking Skills | #18

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  Peter Hill 

Hills Electrical

"We have this belief that for every apprentice that comes through they will be better than the last one because the bar just keeps getting set higher and higher, and the performance gets better and better. Our apprentices are pushing for the training and their learnings are just off the charts." Peter Hill - Hills Electrical

This episode is a blueprint for how Tradie business owners can 'WIN THE WAR ON TALENT'. Across Australia there is a shortage of quality tradesman and this is only going to get worse. To ensure your business stays ahead of the pack you MUST maintain your capacity to deliver high quality work consistently.

Peter Hill, from Hills Electrical, shares how 'building talented tradesman from within' starts with investing time training and coaching apprentices to build their skill base, and importantly grow their confidence. It is very exciting to hear how Peter has developed 2nd year apprentices who can deliver output to the level of a quality tradesman. This is a must listen episode.

Hit the PLAY button above to listen now or subscribe free to hear all episodes. You’ll also find the full interview transcription below.

If you are unsure how to transform your business and power up to the next level then you’ll find the answers in this interview, including:

  • Why investing in training apprentices will deliver a competitive advantage?
  • Why it is important to allow apprentices to make mistakes?
  • How building confidence in apprentices fast tracks development?
  • How the new generation of apprentices require 'purpose & pride' in their roles?
  • Why patience is critical to allow people to 'flourish'?
  • And plenty more …

Full Episode Transcription:

Resources mentioned

Podcast links:

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  • GRAB YOUR FREE COPY (enter promo code - podcast)


Peter Hill Interview Transcript – Ep18

Matt [00:00:00] Welcome to Power Up Your Business podcast, I'm your host, Matthew Jones. I own Cube Performance and operate Cube Performance, where we assist and mentor and coach and guide tradie business owners how to ultimately make more money from their business, how to work less in their business and ultimately create a great lifestyle for themselves and their family. Too often we see business owners that become enslaved to their business. They've got no time, no money. We're all about making sure you build an asset in a business that serves you and your lifestyle and your family requirements. So that's what we get excited about. We're about working smarter, not harder. In this episode, we speak with Peter Hill from Hill's Electrical, based in Sydney. Pete's been on this podcast before, and this is a great episode, everyone. This is about how we frame things when we call things around the war on talent. Everyone out there, whether you're in WA, whether you're in Queensland, Victoria, New South Wales, Tassie, South Australia, Northern Territory, everyone is struggling to find good people. Now what we're about and what we really implore is that you have to invest the time to make your business attractive too so that you attract great talent. Now the starting point with that is for a lot of business owners, is that they actually neglect the people that they've already got on board. They don't train them enough. Often we'll hear business owners say, I haven't got enough time to train or they'll say, oh, this person is no good or got no idea. What we talk about in this episode with Peter is that Peter made a commitment to train his apprentices from a first year, second year. He spent a lot of time on site, really working hard with his apprentices to build them up to that confidence, up to their technical skills up and more importantly, allowing them to make decisions rather than trying to be micromanaged. And the outcome of that is that you'll hear Peter has now developed first year, second year apprentices, who are delivering an output like a first or second year tradesman. So he really provided the confidence and he really invested a lot of time into his team, and he's now reaping the rewards with productivity. You'll hear how he now doesn't have a big team. He's actually got less people than he's had before, but his output is more. Why because everyone of his team members are really operating at a high level. So this is a great podcast, and I really want you to tune in and hear when Peter talks about how his current first year apprentices are excited when they become a second year apprentice, when they will start training and guiding and mentoring when the next first years come on board. So Pete is really implementing and building in a succession plan, so it's all about building from within. So everyone out there that's really finding it tough to find the right team members, finding it tough to have the capacity to deliver their work, this is a great one to really think a little bit differently. So think about really breeding from within, focussing from within and maximising what you've already got in front of you in terms of your team because your team members are ready to go. I guarantee you, you just need to tap in and find that right vein that will really set them off on the right trajectory in terms of delivering higher output. For everyone really enjoy this episode. Cheers.

Matt [00:03:53] Peter Hill, welcome to this episode of Power Up Your Business podcast, mate, great to have you on board. This is your second edition, second run through of being on the podcast, thanks, mate.

Peter [00:04:05] Thanks, Matt, nice to join you again.

Matt [00:04:07] And this is a really cool podcast, this one and really great story, and it's essentially around apprentices, and it's about how we, as business owners leverage the power of apprentices. And you've done some really great work over the last 12, 18 months with your team and your young team specifically about really getting them up to speed, building confidence in them and ultimately letting them go. And some of the results that you've got, which we'll talk about through the course of this podcast is absolutely sensational, which is definitely admired by a lot of people in our Cube Performance community. But just in general, now, what about, just share and we often talk about, we have great conversations about the trades and we'll go, when we were tradesmen, when we were apprentice. Don't talk. Just basically, when I was doing my apprenticeship in the '80s, had a South African boss, there's no way I was going to talk back to him number one. Number two; I was going to stick my head out because I'll probably get knocked off. It's just like, work, work, work. But what do you think in the trade game now and in the construction game now, what do you think is a bit of the stigma around say apprentices or bit of that cultural thought process around that look at guys that apprentice and basically just sort of grab a broom? What's your take on that?

Peter [00:05:34] Yes, I completely disagree with the notion that apprentices are a negative have a negative impact on your business. Over the years, we've had terrific results for the apprentices, and you guys see it as an opportunity to grow yourself, to see them, make sure you have a look at yourself and all the behaviour and your actions. These young men and boys and girls that often start with you, you've got a good chance to shape their young adulthood and hopefully make a difference in their lifelong lessons to take from you. All they've had up until you start with them is their schoolteacher, their football coach or their netball coach and their parents. So all of a sudden they've got another adult or adults in your team to look up to and take advice from, and they'll follow along you know, the influence that you create for them,

Matt [00:06:35] And that's the whole thing about the within the environment that you're building and the values and the culture that you're building and we see a lot right where within your organisation, as you mentioned before, you're shaping individual, you're giving them skills and lifelong skills and principles that they can take on with them well and truly long after they've left your organisation. And the key thing that a lot of business owners fail here is they actually fail to realise from a mindset point of view that they have got an individual that they can shape and that they can actually build confidence in. Because a lot of the apprentices that are working right now, they're coming back to what you're saying, they might have come through a bit of their childhood and they haven't really been given the confidence, well no one's really pat him on the back and said, hey, you're good at this. Often a lot of apprentices just fall into the trade because they weren't good at school. So generally, they've, you know, some of them had 10, 12, 13 years of just being in the bottom grades.

Peter [00:07:32] Mediocre.

Matt [00:07:33] Yes, mediocre, they've never had the spotlight shine on for the right reasons. It really has been the negative and we've got an opportunity to build them up, build the new skills and in them, confidence. And one of the key things that we talk about, right, building that mastery where they're actually getting becoming really confident within themselves. One of the things we're seeing now and a lot of people now, and obviously, the government is really pushing to get the apprentices on board, so we've got a lot of subsidy. So and I hate seeing it where a lot of people they are putting apprentices on basically to make a bit of money. They're happy just to get this apprentice on. They're getting subsidy and essentially having someone do that again or just dig or push a broom as opposed to having that mindset where we've got, I've got a young person here, young individual that how can I? And as you mentioned before, how can you challenge yourself? How can I as a leader, as a mentor or a coach, grow this individual? So this is where, but this is the challenge now. I think a lot of people are facing across the board, especially in the trade space around Australia. How do we build good skilled labour internally rather than externally? And we talk about that, the war on talent, but coming back to it. So how do you challenge your mindset over the years and Pete, coming through generational business, you were taught by your dad, who was very much work head down, how do you had to evolve your leadership, especially with this new generation where they want empowerment, they want support, they want guidance and they want recognition? How have you had to really change your leadership?

Peter [00:09:14] Well, you go into it with a positive mindset. Then you go into with a mindset that not every day is going to be roses. There will definitely be some tough days having an apprentice. Being a leader, you don't use an apprentice to get back to the way your apprenticeship was, you kind of a chip on your shoulder. You got to wash that away and have a plan for them, have a bit of a training plan and also have targets that you want to meet year on year or every six months. Have a target of where first year should be, where a second year should be, help them out from day one, have things they won't flourish if you don't put time into them. Simple things such as the first day with them, they should have some lists. You expect them to unpack your truck and get the right tools. You are expecting someone coming with it to know exactly what a nail gun is and what kind of case it is. You're happy to label it for them on the outside, have a nail gun written on it, have a spot with the truck, nail guns so they can put them away just help them out. We use the if you might have a couple of vehicles; we got the number plate at the moment. What's all this? So help them out from the first moment gives some confidence that they're putting things in the right spot. You can't. They can't be confident if they're second guessing every action they do, then they get yelled at because we're all guilty of having every now and then, just blaming the apprentice, but often it's a good chance to look at yourself and your team, how your team operates to plan ahead and be, you know, coach them along the way. Those are the kind of things that we do.

Matt [00:10:57] And really what you're talking about and touch on there is that how we frame it within our community business performance mindset, where what you're doing as a business owner, what you're seeing, you're taking accountability for. So in other words, if the apprentice doesn't understand something or doesn't know what the tool is, you take ownership of it and state well I've got to train them better. Or maybe give them a checklist or give them some photos or give them some extra time and attention so they get it. Whereas what most tradie business owners do in the training mindset, they'll blame the individual. Why don't they get this? I haven't got time for this; I'm paying this guy money. He is wasting my time. You know what? Just forget about the tool. Just grab the shovel and just keep digging. And it's essentially like, as we fame this, it's been like treating him like a mushroom, you know, keeping him in the dark, don't give him any information. Don't give him any nourishment as you say, you keep them in dark, no nourishment and you expect them to continually flourish, which is never going to happen. And too many people and I've heard so many over the decades, so many business owners pretty much state, oh, look, I'll wait till this apprentice becomes a tradesman till he's any value. And they fail to realise that if you don't start nourishing them as a first year, you never get any value out of them as a tradesman. Correct?

Peter [00:12:20] Yes, 100% from six months onwards, but early on, you can get good results out of them for basic stuff. And the first six months is the attitude test, it deals with the first year obviously. The second year, you would have a different benchmark. The first six months with a first year, it's all about attitude and teaching them and the working environment and your culture in your business and what you would expect or your behavioural standards, you might be one-on-one with the apprentice for five days a week or four days a week. But they take everything; you're teaching them on.

Matt [00:12:55] So I'm packing it there, let's just go through a bit of a process. You got a first year on and breaking down like the first six months, the first six months is really targeting attitude, coming back to the way we do it here, which is all about our values and it's all about them buying into our expected and desired behaviours and really be part of it believing in the culture in what we're developing. And so what are some of the, in that first six month period, what are some of the things you'll implement with them to test them on that?

Peter [00:13:29] Turning up on time, all those kind of things that you want to, the little markers that we all take for granted. You just hold them really important in that first six months attitude walking, how they walk, they're walking just to walk or are they walking to get there and are they focussed on what they're going to get. Those kind of things has had a big influence on how you're going to train those people to and how much effort you're going to put into them. If you see them walking, shuffle on their feet, you're going to shuffle too. If they are determined to walk with intent, it's hard not to be attracted to that and help them achieve that.

Matt [00:14:10] I like that word intent, I like that word intent. Just again, just go get that tool with intent, they get the toll, they will come back, you know, and with intent, clean the truck with intent, clean the smoko shed with intent rather just sort of shuffling around, get in and get it done, turn up with intent. And as we say, if you're not early, you're late. Do they pack their lunch, what sort of food like as well, get an understanding of what they're like outside of work as well, which obviously impacts their performance on the job site.

Peter [00:14:44] Yes, 100 percent, going away to get lunch twice a day is not good for anyone, [00:14:47]the hip pocket, [1.4s] their health or your health. Driving up the road of every day twice a day's doesn't pay well either. And it's disjointed; you got no momentum in the day. So those kinds of things, attitude, presentations.

Matt [00:15:09] Yes, presentation is massive and what about then to that test within the first six months, obviously, communicating within the team and also getting feedback from your leading hands and your key team members but what do you look for in terms of communication and working as a team player?

Peter [00:15:25] Yes, from day one, you're always talking to the people around them because you can't be there all the time, so what you're seeing, constant contact with people working with them and find out how they are performing, their attitude, all things that are behind, when you're not there, they might slacked off a bit and that just goes down to the culture that you've got in your team. If often they're going to get tagged along because the culture in our team, we've got this belief that every for every apprentice that comes through, we ought to be better than the last one because the bar just keeps getting set higher and higher, the performance is better. And the more that at first year you can do for the second year, the second year can act as a third year and their learnings are just off the charts, I think by doing that, by that pushing, yes.

Matt [00:16:24] I love that. I love that having that, we want every apprentice to raise the bar on the previous apprentice. And again, it just flows up the chain where there's an expectation of productivity. So after that first six months, then rolling into the next day, coming up to 12 months, eight months and rolling into the back end of a second year, what are some of the tests and really get them to really skilled up there on the job site, right, really getting them quite technical. How do we start? What's your investment in time and energy and focus and money to really start to ramp up their skill level, to really start to ramp up their confidence level as well? And as we all know, when you learn and you start become a master, you really start to enjoy what you're doing as well. So what are the key tactics and training and areas that you're really working within your organisation to improve and develop your apprentices?

Peter [00:17:21] So it's, it's not just myself, often it's the other apprentices pushing this training regime that you call it. We make little videos and how to do videos and all these little technical things, such as setting timers or how to fit off certain thermostats or contacters just a little video. So they get that confidence of not having to ask every time, so straight away, they're just doing things and you get that satisfaction of you got that done and then you go over and check, and it's all right that sure way that gives them, like you said, confidence. And it just confidence breeds confidence so that they enjoy it like you said, they enjoy it more.

Matt [00:18:06] Well, they love it, they're getting pats, they're getting pats on the back. You're focussing on the good things that they're doing. And the key thing there, though, that you're setting them up for success in the way that you're giving them reference material, training material videos that they can actually reference, often in the tradie mindset. You shout at someone to get it done, then you come back and you can't believe it's not done, whereas most people don't understand is your learning capacity, a lot of people don't learn auditory, they need that visual or the other reference here again, you're doing a great job of taking ownership of, if you understand it, you've got to provide the content, the material and support for the apprentices.

Peter [00:18:47] Yes and they help, they have suggestions too, the current first year we've got this year made a few suggestions for a few, like certain ways we do some things. He said, it could be good to have, you know, if we when we put something on next year so it gives him confidence teaching. So you don't just give them the video and off you go. You got to teach it the first time and go through it thoroughly and then you show him where that video is located. Next time, they can do it by themselves at their own pace to learn, you know, you over the top of them with your phone, on the phone, trying to talk to someone else and then watching them do it so it's much more comfortable way for them to learn from it.

Matt [00:19:30] I think I just want to double back there because you said something that's really powerful and that's a culture that you're building within the organisation where you said that the first year is kind of suggestions about what he's a second year and he's going to train the next first year, how he's going to go about things. Now that is awesome, right, that is culture. And that's what we're talked about you're breeding internally where as a first year, because he's getting so much contact from the second year in the training, they're seeing what the process is and they're seeing a journey for them that they know, cool when I'm a second year, I'll start to be a trainer. And when you, as you well know, when you start teaching people, that's when your knowledge goes to another level, it's amazing when you start to teach people, your knowledge goes up and again and your confidence just keeps on growing.

Peter [00:20:15] So now we've got a second year and a first year, and I'll kind of just shadow them a bit. You know, I just keep a distance of it from them.

Matt [00:20:26] And just explain what, explain what when you shadow and just explain how you undertake that.

Peter [00:20:31] So I guess it's a combination of be far enough away for them to get stuck and make mistakes, but be close enough to help them fix it. If you're going to expect a lot from people, you've got to give them a lot. So I feel like in our training, try to spend a day, two days a week with the apprentices in some capacity training and every day, I want to make one item that we train. You know, I train them or they train me.

Matt [00:21:04] Yes that's a good point, so you're getting them to train you and you go through it.

Peter [00:21:08] Yes, which really puts them on the spot. And all of a sudden they've got to think whereas before they've been doing, they've been told from here to here, do this, do this, do this, and then when you ask them, okay, I'm here, what do you want me to do? And that's kind of how, if I've got a meeting or something, I was going to come in turn up and go, okay, what do you want me to do and how am I going to do it?

Matt [00:21:29] Just explain some of the things that you'll ask them to do, whether it be like a ruffian or a fit off. what's an example?

Peter [00:21:34] Like, I was going on a power circuit for a kitchen. I turned up and said, ok, what's my job today? And they said, I've drawn out this kitchen circuit for you? Okay, how am I going to run it? And I have got no idea, pretend I'm a first year. Tell me how I'm going to do it, and then we go through it. And there was some item here, and there, there were a few hiccups and I said, okay, well, just next time, just do this a little bit differently, and maybe you do that differently because the next person might not be as adaptable as me. It might not be an apprentice who has done it for 20 years it might be an apprentice that's done it for one year. So, yes, so just little things like just drilling it and stuff, just drill really easy for someone to follow. So they're not spending five minutes to try and get a cable through. If you drill it the way we've spoken about and give you the layout and he it threw him off a little bit. so that's when you learn.

Matt [00:22:35] Yes that's exactly the thing.

Peter [00:22:37] He said that to me, he goes, you're going through that with me, kind of rattle his cages but I wasn't at him but it just made him the rest of the day he was thinking about it.

Matt [00:22:50] So you've gone through the little details there because you mentioned something that's very obviously detailed, which is about as an example, drill in a straight line or make sure you drill clean so the conduit fits in there clean, you know, having to make sure they're all aligned or the same height.

Peter [00:23:06] Yes, exactly.

Matt [00:23:07] And they're the one percenters that can drive efficiency.

Peter [00:23:11] They drive the efficiency, productivity, you're in and out. It's fast, so it's a better job as so much easier, if the foundation is set.

Matt [00:23:25] Oh, 100% and look, it's a big commitment that you make, two days, roughly two days a week, you're spending time with your apprentices and now you enjoy being on site, you do a great job of mentoring, you got that good demeanour as a coach, as a mentor. And now a lot of people again, a lot of people will often say, but Jonesy, I haven't got time to do that, whereas they're not seeing the value in by doing that the investment in that time, the return that you're getting paid over a long period time is amazing. And some of the stories that you've shared with me, myself and obviously with our community that, yes, you've got second year apprentices there that are basically outperforming tradesmen in terms of their delivery, their output, their productivity. They're doing things quicker than you can do it.

Peter [00:24:20] Or as for our processes then I'm better than myself, like some of the things that we do and how we do it, they put me up on it and just smash it.

Matt [00:24:34] And look just to the listeners out there, the numbers like in terms of because the whole thing is it's great talking about the team and productivity, but with Pete, you know, like and with what you've done and the financials are there or it's on your scorecards reported in terms of the low wage costs, like in terms of relatively not a big team, this what I want everyone to understand. Pete hasn't got a big team, but his output is huge. What they get through is huge and again, we're not saying, I just want everyone to be clear here. This is not working massive hours. This is not working overtime, it's not working weekend. This is just absolutely coming back to intent. Every hour that we're working between, say, 3 and 3:30, Monday to Friday, is intent there. We're minimising slippage or wastage, or it's just like the intent is there and everyone's operating at a high level, you don't need a big team to get high output. And what you've done with that investment in the apprentices and their skill level, their cohesion, their confidence level, their understanding, their thinking as well, that, yes, they're critical thinking is going to another level. And this is amazing, like, let's just talk about what's that like, let's say, three or four or five years ago, there's no way you'd be thinking you'd be getting output with the number of team members you go to now.

Peter [00:25:59] No way, if we were down to team members than what we've had over the years that's a turnover is up 20% or something so down 20% up on this.

Matt [00:26:10] Yes, right, so yes, labour dollars, down 20%. And then they're yes; it's up 20% on turnover of productivity. So there's seems like a 40% gap there as it were in terms of that the drive only a 50% there. When we look at it from an operating wage cost perspective, it is through the roof in terms of what you are achieving with a young team and coming back to it with that young team. And we all need to appreciate we've got a new generation, right, the new generation, they want their recognition, they want buy in, you know, they want to know, they want to know what's the purpose of what we're trying to achieve here, which is a lot different to our day. And as you mentioned, from the get go, you got to forget about the old way. This is the new way we've got to buy into it. And I often say to business owners, they'll say, bloody apprentices or the new generation, I say, look, if you don't even want to deal with the new generation, shut your business down because it ain't going to happen for you now. What's your take on with the new generation and what you're tapping into? What do you really see that drives them and inspires them? What do you think they're really looking for?

Peter [00:27:21] To work with independence and confidence to progression, like our first year are saying next year, we, the trainer to have its second year be up a level, that progression means a lot to them. I feel having a purpose of what they're doing is; well, why are we doing these things because we work for these customers and that's what they expect and we promise them we're going to do these things that's kind of the discussions that we have. They want to be proud of what they've done more than I've ever seen. They want to be, this generation tends to be very proud of everything they do, and you know, they're all playing with 4-wheel drives and stuff like that now. And who's got the nicest 4-wheel drive or the hot lift, or whatever they're all into so proud of what those things that they can show for.

Matt [00:28:13] What do you think of it now? Look, just look at it, now they are proud of their appearance, they're definitely, they're proud of the community. They're proud of whatever they are supporting at the time. You know, whether it be environmental or cultural or race, they're definitely a lot more enthusiastic and definitely they want a voice. And the great thing that you're doing, you're giving them a voice and allowing them to channel that within the organisation and talking about from before, a lot of them, they want that but they may never have had that before in their previous experiences, where within your organisation you're allowing them that voice, you're giving them the confidence to flourish. I just love that word, flourish. It's all about, it's all about being the best. But it's about being your personal best that's right. You're providing a platform to allow individuals to come in and be their personal best. Now, granted, some people don't last and we have that. We have the hire slow, fire fast mentality, if I don't cut it, tell me. Sorry, you don't belong here. And so that's just a given, we're not there. We're not a charity. We just want that organisation and a group that we all buy in and we're all working together and we're all contributing to one another's success. It's all about the team. It's not about me as an individual. Now, one of the things just to really sort of rounded it out now, mate. We're talking about patience, it will be like, you were saying, you got to be prepared for them to make mistakes. We've got to be patient now. Most tradie business owners, we're not patient because and generally that comes off the back of poor planning, poor preparation. Everything's reactive and because they don't communicate well with their clients, they get thrown into things last minute as this is how, go, go, go, go right, it's like that hamster on the wheel scenario that we're well versed in. But we've got to be patient and what you're doing is patience and we talk about the concepts within the community, latent potential. There's a really powerful concept of latent potential and everyone out there listening, you really need to understand latent potential and latent potential is this, is it when you invest in an individual, often in the tradie mindset, you expect output straight away, you expect things to go up right. And if you look are looking it from a graph, you know, I expect improvement straightaway, whereas latent potential when you know that is that things go down. So when we start training your investment, you don't get any reward for maybe a month, maybe three months, maybe six months. But because we're patient in latent potential when it then kicks, we really get a big spike in improvement. But unfortunately, most people haven't got the patience to see out the latent potential because they're seeing a dip and they say, it's not working. They never they never see a return. They cut it early and credit to you, make with yourself and your team. Is it you understand that light potential and having the patients with the right individual, with the right attitude to see it through to wait till they spike and really hit their straps? Like how important is it to have that patience? And again, relating to that like potential, we're understanding some individuals take a bit longer than others.

Peter [00:31:30] Exactly, and they've all got their own skill set, so some might be really good return on some things and some will be slower to pick some things up on other things. I think patience is not just from our team internally; it's from all our partners, our customers, our suppliers. They will understand that an apprentice, it isn't to be frowned upon, and it is to be encouraged, and they will give advice and teach. And even our suppliers will ring up, privately, ring up an apprentice, who have done an order and then like guide them through it and teach them and coach them, the orders [00:32:10] [0.0s] stop another trades will stop and help out. And, you know, receive that reassurance for the apprentices, so it's not just our team, it's the whole framework that we work in and all our partners.

Matt [00:32:25] It's your whole ecosystem.

Peter [00:32:25] My whole ecosystem; they contribute to their success.

Matt [00:32:30] That's great, it's good, it's great the way you framed that and that comes down to the way we do it here and only dealing with people, who have got values that are aligned to yours. And selecting your A-team of support partners very carefully that again, appreciate what you're trying to do on your vision and where you're trying to grow your business so that again, it is a whole ecosystem there that's supporting every individual to thrive.

Peter [00:32:55] Exactly, exactly.

Matt [00:32:57] Now, Pete, just you know, I love it like, I love this and I love the whole fact of, you know, focussing on the individual and really changing the perception of apprentices within the trade space. Now given just to finish up, I am keen to get your thoughts and buy your one key takeaway but given where we are now, there is a war on talent. There are not many people around. There are not many skilled people around; it is very hard, would you agree, to get a decent qualified tradesman, electrical tradesmen with the right attitude that's a tough year.

Peter [00:33:33] Yes, completely.

Matt [00:33:34] Now the easiest way and this is where people need to change it, thinking this is where we're really passionate about is as you go to build that succession planning from within you. You can't rely on anything external, but if you can work what you're doing, bring a first year on, that first is trained by the second year and then the second year becomes the third year. And then next year, that first year becomes the second year, you bring another first year in and then over two or three years, by the time two or three, four years have gone through that process, you're then pushing out every year, good quality tradesmen. We're playing a long game here and this is where business owners, we're playing a long game. You've got to start investing this now to really beat that war on talent, breed from within, building that succession planning but as a takeaway, what would you, your number one take away for any listener out there, again, they may be sitting back now, maybe scoffing, going, oh, bloody apprentices, yes, right, Pete that's yes, that might be different in your world, mate, maybe not in my world, it's apprentices. You know they just don't get it but what would you frame or what was the takeaway that you'd like to give to those people, potentially with the wrong mindset?

Peter [00:34:43] Slow it down and have a think about it. I think just think about why you're going to put in an apprentice on that is just put them on for the sake of it. What do you want to achieve with the apprentice and just once you know that then you can create the environment for them and the ecosystem. You start working on your ecosystem and make sure that everyone's on board. And, you know, I don't know, just every little bit matters for them, so just have the list, prepare for it, don't, you know, put an admin lady to come in and say, here is a book, here is a computer, see you later, so the same with an apprentice have things in place, have processes in place, have an induction for them? Don't expect anything if you don't put it into it.

Matt [00:35:33] It's good, it's great advice and I think what you encapsulate in here, it's about having care, showing care and showing compassion, showing empathy for the individual is really important. And one thing that I love what you said, just understand why you're putting an apprentice. Don't put an apprentice on just for the sake of it, and a lot of people right now are putting apprentice on just for the sake of it because there is government subsidy, which is so short-term and short-minded, and at the end of the day, it really lets down the individual apprentice because there is no plan. There's no real, okay, what is the succession plan or what's the journey in the development for the individual and generally it ends up in frustration because people are just gone for the quick cash grab.

Peter [00:36:14] The apprentice will see through that too, they are pretty clever. They're going to see through that and they're going to look elsewhere and then no one wins.

Matt [00:36:20] They're very clever, I think again, as business owners, we need to appreciate that we've got some great people there ready to flourish, but we've got to give them the right nutrients.

Peter [00:36:34] Exactly.

Matt [00:36:36] Well, Pete, we'll reconnect at the end of 2022 and see how we go over the next crop.

Peter [00:36:41] Yes, exactly, fantastic.

Matt [00:36:44] Thanks for joining us again, Pete.

Peter [00:36:45] Okay, thanks, Matt.

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