Lazy teenagers create apprenticeship opportunities for more mature students
Beginning a mining apprenticeship
At iMINCO we receive a lot of mail about mining apprenticeships and exactly where to start looking. It seems apprenticeships in the mining and resource sector are highly sought after, especially by mature students. When you reach an age where all you want to do is work and build a career, the focus on starting an apprenticeship take on a new meaning.
This is not the case however, for the younger generation, who seem to think apprenticeships are just below them.
“employers were forced to beg to find apprentices.”
In a recent article, apprenticeships and the youth market were being highly debated as employers were forced to beg to find apprentices. This is on top of the latest figures that highlight the rise of jobless youth. Things are getting dire as the Australian government`s productivity chief came out swinging, saying an inquiry was needed.
Peter Harris, the Productivity Commission chairman said while there had been efforts to ramp up apprenticeship funding, the Commission needed to see the government mandate a review with “a much wider target than government funding”.
50 percent of apprentices ‘jump ship’ before qualifying
Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane indicated the government would ‘tip in’ $200 million each year to increase apprenticeship completion rates. This action has been required because the truth of the matter is, apprentices seem to drop out well before their time, with some 50 percent deciding to ‘jump ship’ before qualifying.
With a well-publicised ‘skills shortage’ across the entire mining industry, the question has to be asked, why is this happening? Has the younger generation been softened by a society that ‘gives’ and ‘rewards’ them for just turning up? Have we as a nation fallen foul to the lazy and unfocused gaze of teenagers and twenty-somethings?
Australian industry is struggling to find good, skilled people
Mr Harris made a statement recently that the industry is struggling to find good, skilled people with the right mindset and a full and thorough review was required.
The fast-paced mining arena seemed to act like a vacuum and sucked away many apprentices from other trades into the mining sector, creating a completion rate vortex as young people found they could jump into mining and get higher-paying jobs with fewer formal qualifications.
The result of that, was a drop in apprentice numbers as the lure of bags full of cash attracted the young apprentices like a moth to a 1000 lumen spotlight. Those people who for the majority seemed to ‘go west’ ended up in the hot and dusty mine sites of the Pilbara, with a large majority pre-destined to burn out or manage a year at the most.
“younger Australians are not favouring apprenticeships”
Today, we see apprenticeship vacancies in some industries go begging, despite the increase in youth unemployment. The common belief is that younger Australians are not favouring apprenticeships because that does not fit into their idea of future work.
Even the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry says this issues of low apprenticeship numbers needs to be tackled.
The Australian government Infrastructure Minister Warren Truss said he ‘expected’ the government would formally respond to the commission`s inquiry later this year. That’s a typical response from government.
Here we have major concerns being raised about the future of Australia as a skilled country being prepared to take on the challenges of competing in a global market well into the future. As usual, the outcome could find its way into the ‘too hard basket’.
Apprenticeship guide book
For those who are still determined to carve out a career in the mining and resource sector as an apprentice, there are still plenty of opportunities around. iMINCO has created a guide to help people understand how to research apprenticeships in the industry.
The guide is free, download your personal copy today.