‘Real’ projects help entice students into industry

South Western Times
South Regional TAFE South West managing director Duncan Anderson and Master Builders Australia training committee chairman Tim Mead admire the craftsmanship of the new amphitheatre.
Camera IconSouth Regional TAFE South West managing director Duncan Anderson and Master Builders Australia training committee chairman Tim Mead admire the craftsmanship of the new amphitheatre. Credit: Jon Gellweiler / South Western Times

South Regional TAFE and Master Builders Australia officially opened the first completed national construction pilot project at the Bunbury Campus.

An amphitheatre was constructed by 30 high school students in a 10-week timeframe as one of four nationwide initiatives which aimed to entice students to pursue apprenticeships in a building trade.

Master Builders Australia training committee chairman Tim Mead said with up to 20 per cent of tradesman in the industry set to retire in the next five years, the demand for quality apprentices was set to sky-rocket.

“They need to be replaced – it’s as simple as that,” he said.

“Apprenticeships are the only way that is going to happen and our biggest problem is that they don’t apply and don’t look for the jobs.

“We perhaps also get the wrong applicants and we believe it is programs like this that will get us the right applicants for the jobs.

“We will certainly be after more Federal funding and we are hoping the States will get on board with it so we can get the correct kids who want to come into the industry and stop that high fallout rate.”

Mr Mead said he was particularly hoping to encourage more females to pursue a trade, as they make up just one per cent of the workforce.

“It’s a terrible statistic when you consider we are employing one million people,” he said.

“The ladies bring so much good to the site, it is really important to us at Master Builders that some of these girls get the awareness so they apply for the jobs and get themselves out there.”

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