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TAFE NSW is training the next generation of tradies, as the nation’s construction industry continues to thrive following a record year of house builds commencing in 2021.
The Housing Industry Association (HIA) is forecasting 125,000 houses are expected to begin construction this year across Australia, following a record 149,000 last year. This is driving hot demand for tradespeople until at least the end of 2023.
HIA’s General Manager Apprentices, Russell Holtham said TAFE NSW plays a critical role in the training of HIA apprentices in residential building trades in NSW.
“Vocational education is a key pathway into the construction industry. TAFE NSW offers students an invaluable combination of theory and practical experience, which combined with HIA’s apprentice offering means graduates are ready to hit the ground running.”
TAFE NSW Certificate III Electrotechnology student and Narooma resident Graham Rayer is a second-year apprentice electrician.
He was offered an apprenticeship with By The Coast owner Phillip May, after Graham did some laboring with him. “My father’s workshop burnt down during the fires at Cobargo and not long after that I was helping Phill with some work.
“There’s a lot to learn but what I learn at TAFE NSW I can apply to real life scenarios and I’m getting a solid foundation, something I can build on throughout my career.
“To know the teachers are working in the industry makes what we’re learning more relatable. They often use examples of the things they’ve experienced.
“An example of the practical skills we learn might be knowing if you’re running a cable over a certain distance, we need to understand how to overcome voltage drop over that distance, so we’ve got the right amount of power at the other end.
“Something I love about this job is that I’m contributing to the community around Narooma and along the coast. People are really appreciative of what we do for them, like powering lights, adding solar systems, and adding power points.”
Graham’s employer Phillip May owns By The Coast and said “on the whole it has been a pretty busy couple of years. “You always get a quiet week here or there, but in general there’s a lot of work for tradespeople.
“Without trades the economy stops, we need people learning trades. Graham’s working his way through his trade and once he’s got that qualification, he’s never going to be unemployed. There’s always a job for good tradespeople.”
TAFE NSW Electrotechnology Teacher Allan Goodger, said as NSW’s leading provider of vocational education and training, TAFE NSW was uniquely positioned to arm students with the hands-on, practical skills they need to develop successful careers.
“There are so many opportunities to make a difference in a rewarding construction career, and our skills-based courses allow students to hit the ground running in local industries and stay living and working in regional areas,” Mr Goodger said.
“Many of the construction sectors across NSW are experiencing growth in jobs, so there is currently an opportunity to choose from a diverse range of careers.”
Australia’s growing demand for tradies is unlikely to end any time soon, as the ongoing building and renovation boom keeps skilled tradespeople like plumbers, carpenters, electricians, and builders busier than ever.
For more information about the range of construction industry courses available at TAFE NSW or via TAFE Digital, visit www.tafensw.edu.au or phone 131 601.
Media contact: Adam Wright, TAFE NSW Communications Specialist, mobile 0466 375 552.