“Too often undertaking a trade is perceived as being a second-choice career for students who don’t receive a place into university or an ATAR. This perception subscribed to by parents, schools and students, needs to change,” said Jocelyn Martin, HIA Deputy Managing Director – Industry and Policy.
“A trade is not only a viable and meaningful career choice, it provides a launch pad to owning and running your own business with high career earning potential and the opportunity to work on a wide variety of different projects.
“Apprentices earn while they learn and develop relevant and life-long skills. In addition to developing a trade business, the career paths beyond a construction apprenticeship are broad and can lead, for example, into design, project management and building certification.
“The benefits of an apprenticeship were reinforced in the April 2023 report by the Ai Group Centre for Education and Training which found embarking on an apprenticeship led to higher job satisfaction, earnings and employment outcomes.
“HIA therefore welcomes the focus of this year’s National Skills Week, held from 21-27 August, to raise the status of practical and vocational learning, and to dispel some of the outdated myths often associated with doing a trade, apprenticeship and vocational training.
“National Skills Week provides a great opportunity to celebrate apprentices, trainees, students and the skills sector with the important work they do in building and maintaining our homes.
“In launching National Skills Week, Minister for Skills and Training, Brendan O’Connor noted that the current labour market is suffering significant skill shortages which has doubled in the last few years. Building trades in particular are facing significant skills shortages.
“To successfully deliver on the Government’s recent commitment to build 1.2 million homes over the next 5 years, we need more onsite apprentices, tradies and workers coming into our industry.
“This will require a coordinated effort across all levels of Government, close engagement between the education sector and industry and innovation around the delivery of training and student support.
“Promoting greater understanding of the opportunities of undertaking a trade as a career and its potential, and how it can contribute to a successful and modern economy is an important first step in addressing the skills shortages,” concluded Ms Martin.
For more information visit National Skills Week 2023.