More youngsters taking on trades are needed.
More youngsters taking on trades are needed.

More kids needed in trade industries

NEW South Wales needs more school students taking up a career in trades and training if the nation is to tackle current skills shortages, with only one in 200 (0.5%) students aged 15 to 19 undertaking a school-based apprenticeship.

Federal Assistant Minister for Education Sussan Ley, a NSW MP whose portfolio includes vocational education and training in schools (VETiS), said the problem was not unique to NSW, with the national average just 1.5%.

"It's no secret we need more tradies in this country. Yet the current national VETiS framework, which is meant to be delivering the next generation of skilled labour, hasn't been updated in over a decade," she said.

"Our kids need the freedom and support at school to choose a career in the trades without feeling like they're playing on the B team for not deciding to go to uni.

"Unfortunately Labor was so preoccupied with promises of flashy new buildings they failed to see that the real focus needs to be on the quality of career advice, training and real-life work experience being offered to our kids."

Ms Ley said the return of a national approach was needed and welcomed the recent agreement from the states and territories to work with the Federal Government to update the national VETiS framework for the first time since 2001.


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