Tradies are increasingly finding ways to rake it in compared to other industries. High rates of pay aside, tradespeople are using technology, vocational education and apprentices to set themselves apart and succeed within their industry. With Australia in the midst of an unprecedented skills shortage there’s plenty of opportunities for individuals and businesses to capitalise on the demand for qualified tradespeople.
- Using technology
Tradies are increasingly embracing technology to improve their business. With the average person checking their phone 85 times a day, it’s no wonder that technology, especially smart phones, has become integrated in the workplace.
Whether it’s on-the-job apps such as measuring tools and levels or business-related tech like tax and invoice tracking, technology is become more and more integral to the average tradies life.
Apps such as hipages allows tradies to take advantage of the demand for their work. Apps like these connect tradespeople to home improvement jobs, allowing them to take advantage of the work available for their skills and giving them flexibility that the traditional workplace doesn’t allow.
- Investing in the future
Another way tradespeople are setting themselves apart from other industries is through the use of apprentices.
An apprentice is a long-term investment but one that can ultimately boost a business’s bottom line. Data from NCVER has shown that 77.7% of VET graduates were employed after training and hiring apprentices can reduce staff turnover and improve retention rates.
Taking on an apprentice allows tradespeople to teach their skills to someone who is eager to learn. This allows for the sharing of highly relevant knowledge and this sort of mentorship has a variety of long term benefits.
- Utilising vocational education
A key issue for employers is employees who are not fully proficient at their job. A NCVER survey outlines how 33.8% of employers surveyed reported not having employees who were fully capable within their role and this can have negative effects on business.
Increased operating costs, increased workload for other staff and difficulties in meeting customer service objectives are all issues that come from inept staff however, tradies are combating this by utilising VET. NCVER research reveals that businesses that invest in VET can reap a variety of benefits.
These benefits include increased job satisfaction, reduced labour turnover and absenteeism, developing employees who can progress within the company and producing fully trained workers who are aligned with the values of the business. These positives can translate into market benefits, improving the bottom line of a business.
Examples of high returns on investment were found, especially in businesses focused on manufacturing where training is often highly specific. In terms of non-market benefits, international research likened organisations, or workplaces, to small societies in which the social benefits from VET can be experienced. Other commonly reported benefits of VET to businesses include reduced labour turnover and less absenteeism.
- Training pathways
Another distinguishing factor of working in a trade is the opportunity to complete pre-apprenticeships before committing to a full apprenticeship. Unlike other industries, these training programs allow people to explore their preferred trade and decide whether the career pathway is right for them.
These programs clearly have their benefits. Giving people (especially young people who may be unsure about what direction they want to take with their career) the chance to interact with the industry before fully committing can reduce staff turnover and increase productivity.
A NVCER survey revealed how those who had done a pre-apprenticeship were significantly more likely to be planning further study than those who had not, suggestion a stronger attachment to the occupation and greater prospects of retention.