Mitch Hawkins is an ambitious young builder with a taste for success. The second generation builder knew at an early age that he wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps into the family business. Starting a school-based carpentry apprenticeship was Mitch’s first step on a pathway of education and learning, and once he got started in the building industry he has never looked back.
After nearly ten years on the tools Mitch returned to the books to complete a Certificate IV in Building and Construction (Building) through TAFE Queensland and obtain his Builder Low Rise license. This would allow him to become a licensed building contractor for low rise residential and commercial projects. He is now employed as a construction manager in the business that his father started, Hi-Tech Projects and Virtus Homes.
With a lot on his plate, but dedicated to career growth, Mitch continues to attend night classes at the TAFE Queensland SkillsTech training centre in Eagle Farm one night per week. He is currently studying a Diploma in Building and Construction (Building) to work towards obtaining his medium rise builders license, and has even qualified for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) for a number of units.
When asked why he chose TAFE Queensland over other competitors, Mitch says that while there are numerous private organisations out there that offer building and construction qualifications, and often within shorter timeframes, he chose TAFE Queensland because of the quality and flexibility they offered.
“Many of the tradespeople I know have gone to the quick turn-around private RTO’s, which I think operate simply for profit. I have always studied through TAFE Queensland because they provide quality training, the courses meet the industry needs, and they prepare students for the workplace.”
Mitch plans to one day take over the family business and said that since getting his low rise builders license, he has been able to take on new roles in project management and estimating. He has also started his own company on the side called M Group Projects which he hopes to grow and specialise in design and construction, property acquisition and development, and leasing projects.
According to Mitch, although it takes a bit of courage to become a builder and go out on your own, it certainly does have benefits in the long run. A career on the tools can be hard on the body, and he has seen a lot of tradespeople in their forties and fifties only now going through the process of obtaining their building licenses.
From here Mitch plans to continue his work across Hi-Tech Projects, Virtus Homes and M Group Projects, with a goal to complete an Advanced Diploma in Building and Construction (Management) to gain his open builders license before he turns thirty.
In Queensland all building licenses must be obtained through the Queensland Building and Construction Commissioner (QBCC), which have strict qualification, experience and financial requirements. Industry tradespeople can apply for the low rise, medium rise or the open builders license, all with differing application requirements.