An article in the Australian Financial Review in August on apprentice numbers being at a 10 year low has sparked a great interest in the bricklaying skill shortage through a number of radio stations.
ABBTF currently has 200 apprenticeship vacancies which we are finding difficult to fill. This is a surprising number considering that youth unemployment is at the highest level since 1997!
The issue is highlighting the different choices and aspirations of the Generation Y and Z. Young people do not readily see the benefits of gaining bricklaying qualification. Despite the offer of real jobs and the chance to get paid to learn a valuable skill young people are choosing different options for their life and career.
I was involved in a number of live radio interviews in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane which attracted online callers and added interest in the job vacancies. A good result – ABBTF received more than 50 calls following the interview with Alan Jones in Sydney on 2GB (please hear the interview below).
The interviews also highlighted the outdated public perceptions of the trade and lack of awareness that a bricklaying apprenticeship is a pathway to becoming a builder.