LET’S PUT YOUR FLEET AT YOUR FINGERTIPS TOYOTA HALO CONNECTS YOU TO NEAR REAL-TIME1 FLEET VISIBILITY
Remembering back to his own apprenticeship powers Beau Lesueur's passion for a coaching approach to management, Kathryn Kernohan reports.
Beau Lesueur still fondly recalls the positive experiences he had with his employers when he was an apprentice and how they helped him to kickstart his career. That’s why he strives to provide the same type of leadership and mentorship for his own apprentices.
“I definitely remember what it was like to be in their shoes, and how I picked up things from people who taught me, which have stayed with me the whole way through,” he says.
“I try to manage in the same way, and only do things in the way that helped me when I was starting out my career. It’s great to be able to teach young guys and see them develop their skills.”
Beau got his start in the industry by completing an apprenticeship through Master Plumbers’ Group Training Organisation, Plumbing Apprenticeships Victoria (PAV), in 2017.
“I started out doing domestic general plumbing for my first year and then switching between domestic and commercial work,” he says. “It was a fantastic opportunity to work for multiple companies including some big ones.”
One of the companies he worked for was Triple A Airconditioning, who then kept him on once he was qualified. “I worked for them for about a year and then felt I was ready to start my own business, which was always my goal.”
Having learned a variety of skills throughout his apprenticeship - PAV apprentices gain experience with a minimum of five plumbing streams - Beau eventually became licensed across all six streams including mechanical services.
Starting his own business, Master Trade Services, and trying to build up a base of clients along the Mornington Peninsula proved challenging at first.
“When I started out I was a one-man band and it was tricky to get my name out there. It was hard and it took a long time. I took on all kinds of jobs and slowly but surely word of mouth kicked in and I started to get more and more clients,” he explains.
“My goal was always to do a lot of commercial air conditioning work because that’s what I got the most experience in as an apprentice. I’ve always liked that type of work because it throws up some challenges and gives you different problems to work with. To begin with, I looked to get my foot in the door wherever I could and some of the relationships I built as an apprentice were really helpful in getting me started.”
These days, Master Trade Services has a team of six workers on the tools supported by two administrative staff based in the businesses’ Frankston office. Master Trade Services provides a wide range of plumbing services, and also specializes in air conditioning installation and repairs, from large industrial ducted air conditioning systems to split-systems and smaller units.
Beau’s time is evenly split between working on the tools and tending to the business side of the operation, such as quoting and invoicing.
With a keen interest in wanting to help the next generation of plumbers, Beau decided to join about 250 other businesses across Melbourne in becoming a PAV Host Employer.
With Master Plumbers taking care of recruitment, onboarding and contract-administration, and flexibility for Beau to request staff for however long he needs them, it has been a positive and rewarding experience.
“I’ve been a member of Master Plumbers for as long as I’ve been in the industry and when I was starting my business, they helped me get all of my background bits organised, such as insurance and Safe Work Method Statements (SWMS) for commercial jobs,” he says.
“So, when business was really busy and I needed some extra help I became a Host Employer. The best thing about it is how flexible it is, I can get apprentices just for the time I need them which means I can take on new jobs and not have to worry about maintaining a certain workload afterwards.
“Any new business starting out can’t predict how much work they will or won’t have and being a Host Employer is just so flexible in getting people when you need them. On top of that, you don’t have to worry about sick leave, annual leave or WorkCover stuff because Master Plumbers handles it all. I’d definitely recommend it to others.”