Here’s four myths and nine myth-busting fast facts about Australian apprenticeships.

Myth 1

There’s no future in “dirty trades”.

The Facts

1. Due to an industry wide skills shortage, Australia has never needed skilled trade talent more.

2. There are currently 64 traditional trades included on the Federal Government’s National Skills Needs list.

3. The Federal Government’s 2017 Budgets includes a proposal to establish a Skilling Australians Fund which would be used to support up to 300,000 apprentices, trainees, pre-apprentices and other categories of local workers.

Myth 2

Apprentices earn less than most other jobs.

The Facts

4. MIGAS pays apprentices and trainees under the Modern Award which is comparable to working in retail or hospitality - and they start earning straight out of school without the burden of a HECS or VET Student Loan debt.

5. The highest average starting salary for a VET qualification (certificate IV in hazardous areas – electrical at $85,400) is higher than the highest starting salary with a bachelor-level degree (dentistry at $80,000).

Myth 3

I’ll only get a job if I go to Uni.

The Facts

6. The Department of Employment has forecast 54,900 new jobs up to the year 2019 for electricians, carpenters, tilers, painters, joiners and plumbers.

7. Latest research by Graduate Careers Australia shows vocational education graduates have a better chance of finding a job with 78 per cent of VET graduates finding a job compared to 69 per cent of bachelor degree graduates.

Myth 4

Being a “tradie” is just a back-up plan.

The Facts

8. There were 278,600 apprentices and trainees in training as at 31 December 2015.

9. The Australian Government invested nearly $1.4 billion over 7 years (2008 – 2016) through the Trade Training Centres in Schools Program to enable secondary school students in Australia to have access to modern trade training facilities.

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