Peak construction training body, Construction Skills Queensland (CSQ), has responded to claims of a skills crisis and massive decline in trade apprenticeships in the construction industry.
Following the recent release of its ‘Apprentice Annual’ report, CSQ celebrated findings of a healthy apprentice pipeline for Queensland’s current and projected construction needs.
CSQ CEO, Brett Schimming, said that while there had been declines in non-construction apprentices and trainees, especially in manufacturing and retail, the opposite was true of construction trainees.
“Reports of dramatic loses in apprentice numbers in Queensland do not reflect the situation in the construction industry, the largest employer of apprentices,” Mr Schimming said.
“CSQ is pleased to report a strong and sustainable pipeline of apprentices and trainees moving into the construction industry.”
“Apprentice recruitment, retention and completion rates for the Queensland construction industry remain healthy and on par with the industry’s resourcing needs,” he maintained.
Mr Schimming noted that the number of Queensland’s construction trades apprentices and trainees in-training has risen from 7,970 in 2013 to 10,041 in 2018.
He said the ratio of apprentices or trainees in-training to construction workers has also grown.
“In 2013, there were 13 apprentices or trainees in-training per 100 workers; and in 2018 this had grown to 15 apprentices or trainees per 100 workers.”
“Plenty of young people are still taking up the challenge of a construction apprenticeship and recognising the opportunities that this offers to earn while you learn,” he commented.
To assist construction apprentices and trainees to boost their skills and future-proof their career prospects, in October 2019 CSQ announced that it would fully cover the training costs of priority short courses and higher-level skills training.
“Trade apprentices will be able to boost their skills and knowledge base, making them a more valuable asset to their current employer and ultimately more employable moving forward in their career,” Mr Schimming said.
“CSQ will also offer free training to eligible apprentices and trainees following the completion of their apprenticeship/traineeship to support their successful transition to tradesperson, licensee and business owner.”
The ‘Apprentice Annual 2019’ report by Construction Skills Queensland can be found here.