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Not sure which trade offers the best employment opportunities? If you’re thinking of doing an apprenticeship or traineeship, choosing a field with high demand will give you greater job security. Australia needs skilled workers across a range of industries, so there are plenty of promising career pathways to choose from.

According to the Department of Education, Skills and Employment, the following trades are currently experiencing a skills shortage.

Automotive Trades

Automotive trades specialise in keeping cars, trucks, heavy machinery and other types of vehicles operating safely. The nature of this work is very hands-on and detail-oriented, so tradies in this sector require advanced technical skills.

One of the main factors identified by the government for the shortage of workers in this field is a lack of specialised skills in applicants. This means that earning an automotive trade will allow you to make the most of high demand for qualified motor mechanics, panel beaters, heavy vehicle mechanics and other automotive specialists.

Construction Trades

From plumbers and carpenters to painters and bricklayers, a variety of construction trades are needed in greater supply across Australia. Although demand varies between trades and location, statistics from 2018 show that 41% of employers in the construction industry reported failing to attract any suitable applicants for job vacancies.

The primary reason applicants were deemed unsuitable for the advertised roles was a lack of relevant experience. Other common reasons included inadequate technical skills and failing to turn up for job interviews. This gap in the market offers excellent job opportunities to qualified tradies, especially as the construction industry covers some of the highest paying trades in Australia.

Electrotechnology Trades

The electrotechnology industry covers electricians, air-conditioning and refrigeration mechanics, telecommunications specialists, and more. Demand for this trade has increased across all Australian state and territories in recent years, although employers are able to fill electrotechnology vacancies without too much difficulty (data from 2018 shows that 68% of employers were able to find suitable applicants).

However, demand is still high, particularly in regional areas where employers reported finding it harder to recruit suitable applicants.

Engineering Trades

Engineering vacancies increased at a rate of around 1% in 2019, so this industry isn’t growing quite as quickly as some of the others mentioned above. However, the number of suitable applicants for advertised roles has been dropping, so demand is still there if you have the right skills.

The engineering industry covers a wide range of specialisations, with some areas experiencing greater demand than others. For example, civil engineers are likely to have a greater choice of opportunities, with Job Outlook predicting strong growth in this sector.

What trade should I do?

Choosing a trade is a big decision so it’s essential to carefully consider your options. Even though job security should factor into your choice, your interests and skills are also important factors. For more information on getting a trade, please visit our Apprenticeships and Traineeships page.