Image – Canva.
  • 16,000 Queenslanders started an apprentice or traineeship
  • 297,920 apprentices and trainees started nationally
  • 50% payroll tax rebate for apprentices and trainees in QLD

The Property Tribune reported back in March there was a tradie shortage.

Following the end of JobSeeker, federal subsidies for apprenticeships were announced, and a number of state initiatives were also rolled out.

It is crucial that more Australians roll up their sleeves to become tradies as a severe housing shortage is still crippling residential markets across the country.

Why is it crucial?

Mike Zorbas, from the Property Council of Australia, said in a statement on the latest PCA survey results, the property sector will again do the heavy lifting in Australia’s economic recovery.

“As Australia emerges from the current lockdowns, the property sector will again be essential to our economic prospects,” 

Mike Zorbas, Property Council Group Executive of Policy & Advocacy

Queensland is now seeing the benefit of the investment in apprenticeships.

The latest figures from the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) showed that more than 16,000 Queenslanders started an apprentice or traineeship in the December 2020 quarter – up 11% from 2019.

NCVER’s report also showed that more than 10% of workers employed within trade occupations in Queensland were either apprentices or trainees.

The national numbers show that there were 297,920 apprentices and trainees in-training as at 31 December 2020, an increase of 13.9% from 31 December 2019.

Source – NCVER.

NCVER’s figures for the whole country showed that for 2020, more than 75,000 Australians took up a trade, with many more heading to non-trades.

2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2019 to 2020 (% change) 2016 to 2020 (% change)
TRADES (Occupation, ANZSCO group) 72.7K 72.8K 72.9K 69.7K 75.5K +8.3% +3.8%
Engineering, ICT and science technicians 2.3K 2.4K 2.3K 2.5K 3.4K +32.6% +44.5%
Automotive and engineering trades 15.7K 17.1K 18.1K 18.0K 18.3K +1.4% +16.9%
Construction trades 22.0K 22.4K 21.7K 19.3K 21.6K +11.9% -2.2%

Source – NCVER

Taking a snapshot of the trades themselves, noting the table only includes some data from the entire data set, the number of people commencing a construction trade has been falling. There was some recovery during 2020, but it is yet to return to 2016 levels.

Other sweeteners are likely to follow, given that trades remain a vital part of creating more housing stock in a supply-deprived property market.

“We … have the 50 per cent payroll tax rebate for apprentice and trainee wages.”

Di Farmer, Minister for Training and Skills Development and Minister for Employment and Small Business

While the short-term implications of having a tradie shortage can be felt by most prospective homeowners, the housing supply – and consequently housing affordability – remains a concern.

More stock as soon as possible is the call in the latest Property Council of Australia survey, which ranked affordability as respondents’ highest concern.

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