Apprenticeships were once considered to be the foundation of gainful employment in Australia, with university studies out of reach for many until the 1980s. Since then, apprenticeships have steadily declined in popularity while university intakes have increased.
But the employment market is becoming increasingly difficult for university graduates, compared to a national shortage of skilled labourers across the welding, fabrication, construction and manufacturing sectors. Workforce capability and availability is a growing challenge for the welding and fabrication sector.
In addition, the sector is further compounded by the issue surrounding Australia’s existing welding workforce, who is aged over 45 years old on average. This heavy proportion of older skilled trade workers, like welders, puts into focus the looming issues that industrial sectors are likely to face when older workers reach retirement age.
Apprentices are an important asset to securing Australia’s local manufacturing sector, generating growth, and stimulating the economy. Australia requires a significant increase in skilled, qualified tradespeople on major projects, and in industries as diverse as defence, shipbuilding, aerospace, infrastructure, rolling stock, and resources.
Supported by a strong TAFE system with curricula focused on the future, young people need to acquire complex, high order technical knowledge and skills. They need robust, deep and transferrable qualifications that provide a strong base for life-long learning and skills development.
Weld Australia is a strong advocate for the Australian welding industry, and is committed to ensuring that the sector remains competitive on a local and global scale, both now and into the future. Our experts closely follow packages and initiatives from governments and industry to support a strong pipeline of welders and fabricators.
Weld Australia Student and Apprentice Membership is free for currently enrolled students and apprentices completing a welding related vocational training course with an Australian Registered Training Organisation.