Skip to main content

Construction Industry Skills Shortage

I’d like to draw your attention to a recent article from The Advertiser which highlighted the current boom in all areas of construction, from Engineering, Construction Management, to trades. All areas are currently experiencing skills shortages and as such pays are “skyrocketing”, with the average wage of plumbers, electricians and refrigeration all over $90K+ and concreters and bricklayers in excess of $100K.

Seek reported a jump in job ads from “15,000 job ads for various trades across the state compared to about 7000 pre-pandemic, according to the Master Builders Association’s most recent figures”. We really need to rethink how we engage in discussions with our young people about these careers. These pathways offer young men and women a valid and equal pathway to a career as university study, utilising the same accreditation pathway, The Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) as university.

I recently visited PEER, a Group training Organisation (GTO) who confirmed these figures and observations, and reported on many young people, including young women, are able to start amazing careers in the construction industry through their apprenticeship programs which are structured by PEER and students are mentored throughout the process. PEER offer programs in Plumbing, Electrotechnology, Data Installation and Refrigeration. Go to

A great way to see if construction is for you is to access one of the many “Try a Trade” programs ran by these organisations. This week I have highlighted Grand Junction TTC at St Paul’s College, last week I featured Western Technical College at Rosewater. These programs are an excellent way to try a career on for size! There is no limit as to how many students complete. Many also offer White Card Training, which is essential to work on a building site.

Another organization that offer excellent advice and information is Born to Build, whose website is a great way to start investigating careers in construction, both via an apprenticeship pathway but also university study in areas such as Engineering, Architecture, Surveying and Construction Management. Go to

Grand Junction Trade Training Centre Try a Trade Program - Term 3

GJTTC will again offer Industry Immersion Programs (Try a Trade) in Term 3. They are looking to run two types of programs:

Industry Immersion – Construction Focus 5 days Cost $150.00

Industry Immersion – Electrotechnology Focus 2 days (please note this may be extended to 3 days) Cost $50.00

Included in the aims of these Industry Immersion Programs are:

  • Assist students to achieve the VET Readiness (VETRO) requirements for studying VET in Year 11.
  • Introduce students to career pathways in the Building and Construction and Electrotechnology Industries
  • Enhance students learning and increase exposure to trade areas that students may be unfamiliar with and that have low uptake of apprentices
  • Prepare students for entering a Building and Construction or Electrotechnology Flexible Industry pathways course
  • Establish and encourage links between schools, students and Registered Training Organisations

GJTTC are looking to run 4 Construction classes and 2 Electrotechnology classes, each with a maximum of 15 students. Whilst I am not yet able to provide specific dates, in line with 2022 I anticipate the Construction program commencing in late July and Electrotechnology possibly in mid to late October.

In the meantime, if you have any Year 9 or 10 students who are interested in one or both of these programs please email Mrs McDonald:

Free Construction/ STEM Careers Toolkit

Construction is the third-largest industry in Australia, makes up 9% of employment and is projected to grow another 10% by 2023. By 2024 it’s expected that construction will employ 1.28 million people in Australia – many in small-to-medium sized businesses. Construction, banking, project management, urban planning are some of the rewarding career paths in this space. Careers with STEM, and the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) have released Job Kits which bring real-life career profiles, day-in-the-life stories, salary info, stats and pathways into booming career areas. Students can download the Construction Project Design Job Kit for free (see link below).

Take this quiz to see how much you know about careers in STEM and Construction

Careers in Civil Construction Years 7-10

Civil Train SA is offering a FREE 3 hour interactive Civil Construction Industry Immersion Bus Tour, funded by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB).

During the tour students will have the opportunity to gain an interactive experience into the world of Civil Construction. The morning includes gamified learning and operating a variety of simulated heavy machinery including an excavator, frontend loader, and haul truck. Students will also learn how to undertake pre-starts and how to safely operate the vehicles.

There are dates available in May and June.

If your son / daughter is interested in attending this FREE event email me on

Lisa McDonald
Vocational Services Coordinator

Challenge Program Parent Night
From the Head of Junior School