Once upon a time leaving school to do an apprenticeship was seen as something for the kids who weren’t “smart enough for university” but nothing could be further from the truth.
With many tradesmen and women owning and running their own businesses within a few years of becoming fully qualified it is certainly a worthwhile career.
Head of the department of plumbing at TAFE NSW Riverina Institute, Wayne de Britt is a plumber and ran his own business for 30 years before becoming a teacher.
Most trades fairly lucrative and specialist- Wayne de Britt, TAFE head teacher and plumber
“Being a tradesman all my life I can see the advantages for young men and women getting out into the workforce, getting a trade, getting qualified and then running their own business,” he said.
“The good tradesmen, the ones who devote themselves to the job and keep enhancing their skills will never be without work.
“They’re sought after and could get a job anywhere in Australia.”
Australian tradies are even sought after across the globe with many international companies seeking out Australian tradesmen and women for their projects.
“Australian-qualified tradesmen and women are well sought after worldwide because of the strict licences and training we have here in Australia,” Mr de Britt said.
When it comes to job security most trades are considered safe especially electricians and plumbers.
“There can be building booms and busts but trades like plumbing and electrical don’t rely on them as much,” Mr de Britt said.
“There is always an industry there with renovations and maintenance so it’s fairly secure in most areas.”
When making a career choice and tossing up between on-the-job training like an apprenticeship or traineeship in any sector or university take all factors into consideration.
Often parents are pushing their children towards university but that pathway isn’t for everyone.
“I’m a big believer in the trades,” Mr de Britt said.
“They’re not suited for everyone but I find that if a young man or woman gets a trade early in their life after three to five years they’re earning good money, they’ve got their license and they can always fall back on that trade later in life.
“A trade can virtually open any door to business ownership or working anywhere in the country.
“There’s more scope to get there quicker and to be successful quicker and a lot more security in a trade.”
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