What Happened To The Aussie Apprentice And How Can We Get More Of Them Back?

Australia has a dire shortage of apprentices – with 47 per cent of trade and technician jobs experiencing staff shortages.

Some say low pay and physically demanding work is to blame, while others argue Generation Z is simply too lazy or soft.

Listen to the episode of The Briefing here:

Advocates want more subsidies and investment to boost the workforce, but some young apprentices have reported toxic workplaces and hazing.

Meanwhile, older tradies are struggling amid a surplus of work and drought of young workers.

So how did we get into this mess, but more importantly, how can we fix it?

Australian Council of Trade Unions assistant secretary Liam O’Brien joined The Briefing to unpack why there is such a shortage, listing a number of reasons why people no longer want to complete an apprenticeship, or fail to complete one once started.

“We have got to make sure that we’re providing the support… the poor support that apprentices get, the federal government spends a lot of money [but] support to apprentices is pretty poor,” he said.

“There really needs [to be] much stronger industry support… but in particular, if you’re setting yourself up for a career in a particular trade, you do want to make sure that those workplace experiences are positive.

“And what we hear from our premises is that many apprentices don’t have that support and in their workplace and they’re not getting the training and supervision and the variety of work that they need to be able to continue with their trade.”

To hear the full chat with Mr O’Brien, listen to the episode of The Briefing.

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