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The strong demand and good starting salaries for trade graduates are great reasons for students in the ACT to consider a trade qualification

Trade your way to a career in the Australian Capital Territory

The strong demand and good starting salaries for trade graduates are great reasons for students in the ACT to consider a trade qualification. 

Speaking recently with career practitioners, teachers and school leaders working in ACT public schools, labour market analyst Ivan Neville said conditions in the ACT’s labour market are generally stronger than the national average.

The ACT has a lower unemployment rate (3.9 per cent compared with 5.2 per cent nationally) and a higher participation rate (69.5 per cent compared with 65.8 per cent nationally). However, employment in the ACT has fallen marginally over the past 12 months (down 0.1 per cent, whereas nationally, employment has increased by 2.6 per cent).1

Ivan explained that while the youth unemployment rate in the ACT is the lowest of any state or territory, there are disadvantaged young people in the Australian Capital Territory who struggle to find work.2

“The most important thing for young people to remember is that they need to finish Year 12 (or equivalent), get good career advice, consider all their options and choose the pathways that suit them,” Ivan said.

Analysis by the Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business shows that the skilled labour market has been tightening, particularly in the trades, generating more opportunities for young people who acquire the necessary skills.

Across Australia, most of the trade occupations assessed by the department in 2018 were found to be in shortage.

The department’s research shows trades currently experiencing skills shortages in the ACT include carpenters and joiners, painters and fibrous plasterers, bricklayers, motor mechanics, panel beaters and hairdressers.3

“While university provides good career pathways, it is not for everyone. Learning a trade can set you up for a stable and rewarding career,” Ivan said.

“Conditions are strong in the ACT, but the jobs market is still competitive, especially for young people, and it can be hard securing a job offer. Job seekers should focus on post-school education, gaining relevant work experience and demonstrating their communication and employability skills.

“Entering a trade should not be seen as a lesser option or a second choice pathway.”

More information

From the Newsroom

  1. ABS, Labour Force Survey, Australia, April 2019 (cat. no. 6202.0), trend and seasonally adjusted data.
  2. ABS, Labour Force Survey, Australia, April 2019 (cat. no. 6202.0), trend and seasonally adjusted data.
  3. Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business, Ratings Summary - Labour Market Analysis of Skilled Occupations.

Correct at time of publication

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Last modified on Wednesday 5 June 2019 [10006|117056]