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.”
The NSW government last year announced support for 3,000 training places for women in trades with the funding intended to remove the cultural and social barriers keeping women from building sites.
New research reveals women comprise only 2 per cent of workers in construction. TAFE NSW provides women with pathways into a range of construction trades and already boasts a comparatively higher proportion of female enrolments in construction courses at 9 per cent.
TAFE NSW Nowra student Reana Bidois is studying a Certificate III in Carpentry and is an apprentice with BPL Contracting in Nowra and on the South Coast.
Reana is among a growing number of women who are capitalising on the construction boom to gain new skills, qualifications, and a new career in an industry with variety and opportunity for growth.
Since she was a teenager she’s wanted to follow in her father’s footsteps and learn a trade.
“After school I started out in hair dressing and was a nail technician for a while. I Then had a trucking business in Sydney for a while, but I always wanted to be a tradie.
“When I moved back to Nowra a few years ago I decided to become a carpenter. I started out as a laborer and was offered an apprenticeship.
“I would encourage young women coming out of school to consider a trade as their thinking about their future. Girls often talk about nursing, hairdressing, and beauty but I wouldn’t overlook a trade.
“I think as a society we’re really coming around to seeing more equality between men and women, but I think the more we see women taking the step to follow their passion and jumping into a trade, the move we will move this thinking forward.
“Being a woman in this trade isn’t something I give a lot of thought to. The tradesmen I work with don’t treat me any different. I’d say don’t be scared to try a trade, get in touch with TAFE NSW and go for it.”
“The website and the teachers can explain what’s involved and help you understand what to expect. The TAFE NSW teachers are really supportive and have real industry experience to pass on as they have all worked in the construction sector themselves.”
TAFE NSW Nowra Carpentry and Building Head Teacher John Quin, 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 trade 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 Quine 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 house building and renovation boom keeps skilled tradespeople like electricians, plumbers, carpenters, 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, firstname.lastname@example.org