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One of the best decisions I ever made was dropping out of
University to pursue a trade
Our state is on a roll. We're currently enjoying a period of
unprecedented growth and prosperity. But at the same time, we're also
increasingly finding it difficult to meet the demand for skilled
workers and apprentices. As a result, the construction sector is
starting to face a crisis.
What industry and employers desperately need is to place more skilled
workers into future jobs that meet business demand.
Electricians, carpenters and business services are in the top five
job related enrolments at TAFE NSW. These are the trades that the next
generation should be thinking about as a career option.
The make up of the workforce is changing. A survey of the career
aspirations of 1,000 Gen Y students found 53 per cent expected three
job changes within 20 years. But unless students have the incentive to
get a trade and employers have the mechanism to attract more skilled
students, then a bigger unemployment issue will emerge.
It's important we empower small businesses. These are the people who
keep local communities strong and invest their livelihoods, making
sure people have jobs. They're your local electrician, your local
carpenter, the friendly faces at the café around the corner.
[quote]The students of today are not just the tradespeople of
tomorrow – they're our future entrepreneurs and our future business leaders.[/quote]
The Housing Industry Association reports that in 2014 NSW had the
smallest migration outflow since the early 1980s. This clearly shows
residents and businesses want to tap into our state's unprecedented
period of investment.
To fix this skills shortage and create jobs I am advocating strongly
for more skilled students. From own my experience I've seen the value
of a skilled workforce and what it brings to communities as well as
One of the best decisions I ever made was dropping out of University
to pursue a trade. The life skills it provided me meant I was able to
build a business, earn a good wage, and hire and train skilled
apprentices. I even mortgaged my home to grow the business. The skills
I learned from all of this I still have today.
The reality is that governments must look at revenues just like any
other business. And if more elected representatives were tradies who
had to mortgage their homes, then governments would be far more
advanced at delivering long-term job creation initiatives.
As a government, we need to do our bit to make it easier, simpler and
more efficient for employers to find the right training provider to
upskill their apprentice or trainees. Over the next 18 months, this
government will provide up to $100 million to fund the creation of
47,000 new apprenticeships.
Put simply, anyone who doesn't recognise that there is a changing
workforce and demand for skills has their head in the sand.
Our state is in a great position. We have a thriving small business
community. We have a booming construction industry. All we need now
are the skilled workers to fill all those jobs and build our future
workforce. So consider learning a trade and be a part of our state's future.
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