Technicians and Trades Workers undertake a variety of skilled tasks, applying technical, trade or industry specific knowledge in construction, manufacturing, scientific, engineering and other activities. Around 1.8 million Australians are employed in this group, with more than a third in regional areas. More than 125,000 jobs have been added over the past five years, with a significant number created for Construction Trades Workers (46,000).
A relatively large proportion of this group are self-employed (24%), particularly Construction Trades Workers (46%). Full-time work is common and most workers in this group are male. Some occupations, however, have large shares of female workers, such as Veterinary Nurses (91%) and Medical Technicians (70%).
In which industries are Technicians and Trades Workers employed?
Construction accounts for the largest share of these workers (33%), followed by Manufacturing (14%) and Other Services (which includes automotive repair and maintenance) (13%).
Are qualifications required?
Around 60% of these workers hold a certificate III or higher vocational qualification, with apprenticeships and traineeships providing a key training pathway for many occupations in this group. There were 173,200 trade apprentices and trainees in-training in June 2018. This number has fallen by 17% over the past five years, limiting the potential new supply of skilled workers.
Are there job opportunities?
The number of vacancies advertised on the internet for Technicians and Trades Workers has risen strongly over the past five years.
Reflecting the strong demand for these workers in recent years, along with the subdued training numbers, shortages are now apparent in a number of trade occupations.
Will there be future opportunities?
The tasks performed in this group are diverse. Some are routine, manual tasks which may be susceptible to automation, although many occupations involve non-routine or unpredictable duties which are more difficult to automate. Technicians and Trades Workers employment is projected to grow by 5.5% over the five years to May 2023, although there is marked disparity between occupation subgroups. Above average growth is projected for Food Trades Workers (up by 14.2%) and Skilled Animal and Horticultural Workers (11.6%).
Sources: ABS, Labour Force (trend and annual averages of original data); ABS, Education and Work; ABS, Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations; Department of Jobs and Small Business, Occupation Employment Projections; Department of Jobs and Small Business, Internet Vacancy Index; Department of Jobs and Small Business, Skill Shortage Research; NCVER, Apprentices and Trainees
For more information see joboutlook.gov.au