Record of Work app making life easier for apprentices
For Josh Galuszka (pictured below) a philosophy of keeping it simple has proven to be stunningly successful for him and could yet prove to be a relief to thousands of apprentices throughout New Zealand.
The app, which started as a thought three years ago, saw Josh win an Award for Excellence at the 2018 NZ Microsoft ICT Awards.
“I guess that means I’m legit now,” Josh, who developed the app on the side while working with Key Skills NZ said. “I can finally get over the massive sense of impostor syndrome that I carry everywhere I go. Honestly, I didn’t even know there were awards at the event. I just went to promote the app.
“I have worked in industrial labour-hire for 13 years and part of my role has been assisting apprentices with their assessments and finding the right work to complete their apprenticeships.
“The feedback I kept getting was that the guys were really disorganised around their admin. Apprentice carpenters are supposed to keep an on-the-job diary of the work they have done and what tools they have used while complementing that with photos.
“But because they were so disorganised and their work diaries were not kept updated, we found assessors were spending a great deal of time retrospectively drawing that information from them.”
Josh said the paper based work diary system had quite simply failed to keep pace with technological advancements which had the potential to make the process of record keeping much easier for apprentices, employers and assessors alike.
Josh originally created a free app to test his theory. The free app was downloaded by more than 1,000 apprentice tradies to digitally record their work progress and apprenticeship milestones and achievements. This app caught the attention of Auckland based polytechnic Unitec which had 300 to 400 apprentices on its books and was looking to develop an app to do exactly what Josh had achieved with his first attempt.
“I had a talk with some of their assessors and together we developed a custom Record of Work app,” Josh explained. “We needed to find a cost efficient way of developing and promoting the app.
“We have now sold six licenses for the app to national polytechnics, custom-designed for their apprentices to ensure they can record their work tests to successfully complete their apprenticeships.
“The app we have developed is specific to carpentry but we are working on developing apps for apprentice plumbers, gas fitters and electricians.”
Josh said he has never drawn an income from the apps he has helped develop, instead investing all profits back into the business to “grow and nurture it”.
“I also just wanted to see if I could do it,” he admitted candidly. “It seemed such an obvious thing to do; to use smartphones and develop an app to keep these records that I just kept waiting for someone else to do it.
“But no-one did so I did it myself. It was too good an idea not to. I come from a family of tradies and while I have always had an interest in technology, I am passionate about bringing technology into trades but I am definitely not an IT guy.
“New Zealand is in an infrastructure crisis. We are growing so fast and don’t have the staff to complete the construction. My hope is this will both speed up the process and ensure better quality of work and training.
“I can only do so much myself and depend a lot on software developers, but we have made the process as simple as we can to help to help tradies record their work easily and quickly.”
For more on the Record of Work app, contact Josh at firstname.lastname@example.org