National Centre for Vocational Education March quarterly figures released

Digitalisation and the trades

Electricians, bakers and other skilled tradespeople are adapting to the modern world. That means mastering lots of hi-tech. 3D printing, for example, is set to revolutionise saddle-making! Apprentices can be way ahead of their employers.

The National Centre for Vocational Education released its March quarterly report on Thursday which showed an increase in commencements and completions compared to the previous March.

There were 5140 commencements over the 12 months (up 5.7 per cent).

Commencements in the trade sector went up by 10.4 per cent.

There were 3225 males who started apprenticeships and 1915 females.

There had been 2105 cancellations and withdrawals in 2019; the lowest figure over the past five years.

Commencements over the five-year period were highest in 2015 at 5815 apprentices.

Building Minister Elise Archer said the increase in trade apprenticeship commencements was contrary to a decrease nationally.

“We are bucking the trend in terms of our apprenticeships and traineeships,” she said.

“We’re now seeing an overall decline in apprenticeships and traineeships nationally by 2.7 per cent.”

Master Builders Tasmania executive director Matthew Pollock said almost 3000 houses were built over 2017-18.

He said this was in addition to more $800 million in commercial work and $1.5 billion in civil engineering.

“Looking forward, there is certainty there as well,” Mr Pollock said.

“We expect to see growth of close to 20 per cent in the value of construction work over the next 12 months.

“There is certainly still a skills shortage in construction and we do need to encourage more people to get into the trade.

“What is encouraging is that this construction boom that we’re seeing is attracting more young guys and girls into the industry.”


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