Tradie drought threatens Australia's green future — MEA

Monday, 12 February, 2018

Tradie drought threatens Australia's green future — MEA

The current drought in Australians undertaking apprenticeships or traineeships threatens the viability of future energy savings schemes, warns industry body Master Electricians Australia

Data from the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) reveals that only 268,600 people were undertaking an apprenticeship or traineeship in 2017, said MEA in a statement.

The number of Australians undertaking an apprenticeship or traineeship has plummeted across the country to levels similar to those recorded in the early 2000s, according to the NCVER data.

MEA CEO Malcolm Richards said that unless there was a reversal to this alarmingly low trend then it would prohibit future government energy initiatives.

“There is presently a record low rate of apprentices, which is going to lead to a major shortage of qualified tradespeople in the coming years,” Richards said.

“Highly skilled and well-trained tradespeople are going to be essential to the Australian energy sector in the future, particularly with the advancement of new technologies.

“Just a few days ago we saw the South Australian Government announce a scheme to provide 50,000 solar panels and batteries, which will obviously rely heavily on local tradespeople to deliver the scheme.

“MEA welcomes government initiatives as well as investment in new technologies in the energy sector, but we need the tradies in place to deliver these programs.

“If we don’t see a pickup in the number of young Australians wishing to learn a trade, then it will prohibit many future schemes in the energy sector.

Image credit: ©Lisa F. Young/Dollar Photo Club

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