Employers struggle to attract candidates
AS MANY as 5000 apprenticeships are sitting vacant across Australia, as the nation suffers “job snobbery”.
Employers struggle to attract enough applicants and many young people do not turn up to job interviews.
National Apprentice Employment Network (NAEN) national executive officer Dianne Dayhew said employers were desperate for apprentices, particularly at the start of the year. “There would be about 5000 vacancies across the country . all for firstyear apprentices,” she said.
Queensland had a shortage of diesel motor mechanics, panelbeaters, bricklayers, cabinet-makers, painters, sheet metal trades workers, and metal fitters and machinists, the Department of Jobs and Small Business reported.
Ms Dayhew said it was not a case of employers being overly picky. “They just don’t have enough candidates applying,” she said.
“Skill shortages develop and we have to start importing skilled labour from overseas because our own workforce won’t take on a skilled career path.” Skilling Australia Foundation chief executive Nicholas Wyman said Australia suffered from “job snobbery”.
“There is the attitude that if you don’t have a university education, you won’t have a successful life,” he said.
“Many jobseekers believe (trades) are the jobs that noone else wanted to do and are poorly paid. It’s not true.” SEEK data for the year to June revealed electricians ($78,391), airconditioning and refrigeration mechanics ($77,380) and fitters, turners and machinists ($74,547) had the highest average advertised salaries in the trades and services sector.
Michael Wentworth, chief executive of group training organisation Apprenticeships Are Us, said he was sick of the term “youth unemployment crisis”.
“Such rubbish, it’s a ‘youth participation in employment crisis’,” he said. “We get a lot of young people who are booked for an interview but don’t show up, or commit to work experience then don’t show up to the trial.” Apprentice fitter and turner Jaycob Irvine started a science degree but changed to a trade after four months as he wanted more hands-on work. “Go out and try something and, if you like it, follow up on it,” Mr Irvine said.