What's true and what's false? Here are the most commonly misunderstood facts about apprenticeships in Australia.

Myth: There’s no future in “dirty trades”
Truth: Australia has never needed skilled trade talent more

The Facts

  • Due to an industry-wide skills shortage, Australia has never needed skilled trade talent more.
  • There are 64 traditional trades included on the Federal Government’s National Skills Needs list.
  • 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: Apprentices earn less than most other jobs
Truth: Apprentices become tradies without student debt

The Facts

  • 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.
  • 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: I’ll only get a job if I go to uni
Truth: Employability for trades is incredibly high

The Facts

  • The Department of Employment has forecast 54,900 new jobs up to the year 2019 for electricians, carpenters, tilers, painters, joiners and plumbers.
  • 94.0% of trade completers were employed after training
  • In contrast, research by Graduate Careers Australia shows that 69 per cent of bachelor's degree graduates find jobs.

Myth: Being a tradie is a backup plan
Truth: Become a tradie if it is right for you

The Facts

  • There were 264,425 apprentices and trainees in training as of 20 September 2020. Source: NCVER
  • 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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