With apprenticeships taking a lot of time and effort on your part, it is very important that you understand how long-term changes in your chosen industry will affect your career.
One of these trends is the emerging importance of green construction for the building industry, as planners and building firms look to environmentally friendly solutions to the housing and workplace challenges in the future.
Many of these skill areas are also on the national skills needs list, making apprentices eligible for incentives. If you want to pursue one of these careers, make sure you upload your CV to Apprenticeship Central – a free service which can help you contact potential employers.
Building challenges stem from green technology
While there are many new opportunities for employment in the green construction industry, it is also important to understand how these might feature in your future as a trades person.
According to the Center for Construction Research and Training (CCRT), almost half a million people are employed by green construction projects in the US alone. These jobs are spread across builders and related trades as well as architects and administration staff.
A similar story has emerged in Australia, with the number of green star certifications from the Green Building Council of Australia increasing exponentially. In 2004 there was only one green-certified building, compared to 515 in 2012. This growth is set to continue in future years as more companies and home owners demand greener buildings.
However, these projects come with new challenges for builders, with new materials being used which will require new building skills. As energy efficiency standards increase, workers will also need a strong understanding of how their building work needs to comply with new guidelines.
New energy a challenge for electricians
Electricians will be seeing greater use of smart meters and solar energy which are challenging the way that people currently use electricity.
For example, the Australian Clean Energy Regulator has reported that over one million Australian households now have solar panels, with most of these installed in the last ten years. While the installation of these devices is being handled by solar companies, every electrician will soon need to know how to maintain and handle these systems as they appear in more Australian homes.
Plumbers facing greater pressures
In the future, plumbers will also need to be increasingly familiar with solar hot water systems and water saving techniques which home owners are demanding in their renovations and new builds. These skills will be in even greater demand as engineers and designers find new ways to reduce water usage from everyday appliances.
These trends are only now taking off, but they will likely have a lasting impact on your career after an apprenticeship. Understanding how these new developments will affect your long-term work can make a big difference to your future career opportunities.