White collars turn blue

Document Sample
White collars turn blue Powered By Docstoc
					White collars turn blue
Career changers
turn to trades,
writes Amanda
OFFICE workers sick of the 9-to-5  "It's a minefield, its pretty intense," someone has been working in an
grind are throwing in their desk he says, particularly for former white- industry for a period of time and has
organisers and taking up the tools.  collar workers looking to go a shade of no formal qualifications, we can assist
  The number of people opting for a  blue.                                   them to work out what skills they
career change to become an appren-      "White collar               rely on have and what they might do to be
tice tradie is growing.              sending out their CVs to get jobs       qualified."
   "About 63,400 new apprentices and that's how those jobs operate.            One option could be to complete a
trainees commenced in the 12 months     `Building and engineering firms do pre-vocation course. Offered by train-
to March 31, 2008," Education and                                            ing organisations such as TAFE or
Training Minister Rod Welford says have a bit of that, but most rely on old- industry-related organisations, the
of National Centre for Vocational fashioned methods.                         short-term programs introduce tradie
Education Research figures.              "The first thing is to go out to your wannabes to the basics.
  "That's a 7.9 per cent increase on own network and approach employers          For example, a pre-voc bricklaying
the previous year.                    in whatever your chosen field is.        course might teach students to lay a
  "The group which recorded the          "That's the best way to go for trades certain length of wall in a straight line,
largest growth rate was the 45-years- because a lot of the chippies and or teach aspiring electricians the basics
and-over category, where the 6600 sparkies like to see you and like to see of wiring and energy equations.
commencements        represented    a if you want to be there and want           Most of these course are full-time,
10.1 per cent increase over the pre- to learn.                                 however, and many places are going to
vious 12 months"                         "It's about biting the bullet and unemployed people under the federal
   And in this                        making that first contact. You have to Productivity Placement Program de-
                        of economictime
turmoil, workers looking to enhance swallow your pride and knock on signed to get workers interested in
their long-term prospects are still those doors and say hello. Let them           skills-short professions.
looking for tangible, hands-on skills.    know what you want. If they can't put     Financial assistance is available
  "There are all sorts of people          you on they might know someone through the service to eligible job-
coming to us to retrain," Queensland else. Its not easy, getting knockback        seekers for formal skills assessment by
Apprenticeship       Services     Centre after knockback.                         certain assessors. Those assessments
manger Damien Shea says.                    "Obviously at the same time you       can be provided to employers to prove
   "We did one the other day who was                                              the apprentice hopeful can do the job.
73 when he started that's huge, isn't would talk to an apprenticeship               And employers who do open their
it? All sorts of people are doing this   centre, such as QAS, and job agencies   minds to hiring mature-age workers can
entry-level people, with degrees in       to see what is around. Spread your reap rewards, Sarina Russo Apprentice-
whatever, people who have very few        approach far and wide to cast your net ship Services national business develop-
or no skills, people with skills but no   as far as possible."                   ment manager Steve Wyborn says.
formal proof.                               Mature-age apprentices willing to       "The best thing about mature-age
  "Generally its because they are train in a skills-short job could get applicants is that their life experience
looking for a new direction in their extra financial help to offset notori- gives them a much clearer idea of what
life, because they have been doing the ously low apprentice wages. There's apprenticeships are available and
same thing for a long time. They feel also the possibility of cutting down exactly what trade they are looking for.
its time to do something different, and training time, via recognition of prior This means that mature-age appren-
they see that there's a skill shortage learning and experience. However, tices are a great option for employers
out there, so there's opportunity."  the hard part is knowing what appren-       "they know exactly what they need
  He says the global financial crisisticeship to take and how to get going. to do to achieve their goals," Wyborn
should not put people off chasing their
                                     Year 12 grads     traditional fodder for says.
career dreams.                       apprenticeships         have in-school     However, it can cost more to
  "No, not at all. People are worriedsupport services they can access, but employ an older worker. While finan-
about what will happen in the short its hard to know where to turn once cial assistance is available, that's still a
term, but this is going to give them the school tie comes off. That's where worry to employers.
                                                                                    "For generations, employers have
better job opportunities in the long a handy service called Skilling Sol-         recruited apprentices straight out of
term, because they will have more of a utions Queensland comes in         a
                                                                                  school," he says.
skill range," he says.                 virtual GPS of tradie career infor-
                                                                                    "It is what they are used to. The skill
   "Trades are very portable. I read mation anyone can use regardless of          and labour shortage is forcing em-
somewhere that there is a downturn employment status.                             ployers to re-evaluate their recruit-
in carpentry, but carpenters can pick    "We assist people who are at point
                                                                                  ment strategies.
up and work nearly anywhere in a a' and want to get to point 'b'," SSQ             "Mature-age apprentices bring a lot
range of fields."                      acting director Kelly Shead says,
                                                                                  to the table. They have a great work
  However, he says the trick is to find adding that they can't give advice, just ethic, clear goals and usually bring a
an employer willing to give a mature-   information.
age person a go.                          If someone rings us and says they lot of current skills to the job.
                                        want to be an electrician, we say these      "Employers of mature apprentices
                                        are the steps and this is what you do. If

Shared By:
Description: White collars turn blue