Skilled workers in demand
THE range of careers that start with vocational education would surprise many so it is only fitting the theme of National Skills Week 2017 is 'more than you know'.
Running August 28 to September 3, the annual event aims to highlight the diversity of vocational education and its strong employment outcomes.
Organiser SkillsOne chief executive Brian Wexham said vocational education was broader than the traditional trades most people associated with it.
"National Skills Week is about making sure parents, the wider public, students and industry all understand the opportunities there are for kids to get involved," he said.
"It's also about job growth because Australia is built on skills and very much in the vocational area. It increases productivity, which is obviously a significant economic benefit.
"The 'more than you know' theme aims to encourage people to put their 'let's explore' hat on and find out about vocational education."
Mr Wexham points to particular employment demand in tourism and hospitality, aged care and child care - all of which begin with vocational education.
Between 2015 and 2020, the Australian Government's Employment Department forecasts a need for 19,000 extra waiters, 11,700 extra bar attendants and baristas, 43,000 extra aged and disability carers and 39,000 extra child carers.
"The tourism and hospitality sector is going gangbusters at the moment - all states have seen growth,” he said.
"For aged care, while demand is national, retirees tend to look to Queensland because of the weather and other factors so the pressure that will put on getting more people to consider aged care careers is certainly a factor."
Mr Wexham said new infrastructure in some cities has also increased the demand in traditional trades.
An extra 26,100 electricians, 12,000 carpenters and joiners, and 7800 plumbers are expected to be hired in the five years to November, 2020.
He also noted the demand for digital skills.
"Technology is impacting every area of business now so it's also important to get more people into coding and programming,” he said.
"Even in agriculture, you have drones checking your dams, replacing scare crows, and managing cattle."
About 18,000 extra software and applications programmers are expected to be needed between 2015 and 2020. National Skills Week events are running across the country. Find out more www.nationalskills week.com.au.
National skills shortages
The Australian Department of Employment has released the top trades experiencing skills shortages across the country in 2017:
- Fibrous plasterer
- Solid plasterer
- Roof, wall and floor tilers
- Air-conditioning and refrigeration mechanic
- Pastry cook
- Automotive electrician
- Motor mechanics
- Sheetmetal trades worker
- Vehicle painter