Teens not keen despite success rate
YOUNG jobseekers are turning their backs on trades despite a skills shortages and strong employment prospects.
The number of young people taking up trade training has dropped by almost half in the past two years as would-be tradies are lured to university study instead.
And of those who do choose vocational training, only a low number stay the course.
More students are enrolling in university degrees, despite lower employment prospects after graduation.
Universities recorded 569,064 commencements in 2014 – up from 509,766 in 2012 – the Australian Bureau of Statistics has found.
The same period recorded just 192,000 apprenticeships and traineeships starting, down from 330,500, National Centre for Vocational Education Research statistics show.
SkillsOne chief executive Brian Wexham said vocational training was an “in” to many desirable jobs. “We know it’s undervalued and it shouldn’t be,” he said. “I would encourage more people to put their ‘let’s explore’ hat on and look at all the opportunities in vocational education and the careers that extend from that.”
There are 64 traditional trades on the Federal Government’s Nationals Skills Needs List, ranging from arborists and bricklayers to carpenters and cooks.
Graduate trainees are more likely to get jobs more quickly. In 2014, less than 15 per cent of apprenticeship and traineeship graduates could not find a job within six months of completing their qualification, Department of Employment report Australian Jobs 2015 reveals.
Those with a certificate III had the best employment prospects, with 86.6 per cent in work soon after graduation, followed by those with a diploma or higher (85.5 per cent).
Bachelor- degree graduates, by comparison, had a 68.1 per cent chance of finding fulltime employment within four months of completing their degree – the lowest uptake since at least 1990, according to GradStats.
Third-year carpentry apprentice Lara Nobel, who also has a masters degree in architecture, said more people should consider a vocational pathway.
“Society puts pressure on, saying that all smart people go to uni and that is not true at all. There are a hell of a lot of smart people at TAFE and there are different types of smart,” she said.