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Trade qualifications must be recognised as a career of first choice by government, educators, parents and students.
For many years, trade training has been viewed as a secondary option for young people. This must be reversed if the state’s shortage of skilled trades workers is to be resolved. Furthermore, the pandemic has highlighted the critical and sustainable nature of a career in a building trade.
Over the past two years we have seen strong growth in apprentice numbers as a result of the development of Apprentices Victoria and the encouragement of trade-based learning through the Big Infrastructure and Big Housing Builds. The Australian Government’s wage subsidy programs have also boosted apprenticeship commencements.
Free TAFE training courses, including building and construction qualifications, also promote the benefits of trades to take up a higher level of qualification. But TAFEs cannot provide this training on their own.
Long-term, nationally-recognised industry training organisations, such as HIA, are focused on seeing skilled industry participants appropriately trained and capable of achieving registration as a builder.
The work of industry trainers must continue to be supported by an incoming government, in combination with support for training delivered by TAFE colleges.
Support trade training through the implementation of flexible pathways into the building industry
Continue to fund well-established industry training providers to deliver relevant, industry-focused trade qualifications.