REVEALED: Australia's most future-proof tradie jobs
BLUE collar workers are in high demand, with fifteen trade and technician occupations forecast to experience particularly strong job growth.
The highly-sought workers are in industries from construction and horticulture to science and animal care.
SkillsOne chief executive Brian Wexham said there will always be a need for tradespeople, even as technology changes the way we work.
"There is always going to be a need for apprenticeships too as they are the basis of learning and learning well," he said.
"Apprenticeships have been in decline but I think we are now starting to see an upturn in that because of the number of jobs that are becoming available, whether in building and construction or in hospitality."
Between 2018 and 2023, the Federal Government's Job Outlook data predicts "very strong" future growth for chefs (up 17 per cent in five years, creating 16,700 new jobs), information and communication technology support technicians (18 per cent, 12,100 jobs) and "other" technicians and trades workers, such as divers and interior decorators (18 per cent, 3200 jobs).
It also predicts "strong" future growth for gardeners (14 per cent, 10,900 jobs), cooks (14 per cent, 6300 jobs), animal attendants and trainers (13 per cent, 2000 jobs), glaziers (13 per cent, 1300 jobs), bakers and pastry cooks (12 per cent, 4300 jobs), plasterers (12 per cent, 4200 jobs), plumbers (11 per cent, 10,500 jobs), science technicians (11 per cent, 2500 jobs), greenkeepers (10 per cent, 2000 jobs), veterinary nurses (9 per cent, 1100 jobs), electrical engineering draftsmen and technicians (9 per cent, 1000 jobs), and shearers (8 per cent, 400 jobs).
Craig Knight, Queensland manager for group training organisation WPC Group, said there are many ways to enter these lines of work but vocational education is often the best option.
"Many careers in the industries that are forecast for future growth are hands-on roles, therefore vocational education and training is an ideal way to enter the industry," he said.
"Apprenticeships and traineeships provide the opportunity for passionate entry-level talent to gain hands-on supervised experience and develop the skills and industry knowledge that they need to become qualified in their chosen occupation - plus they get paid to train.
"Upon completion, the apprentice/trainee also gains a nationally-recognised qualification, which is usually transferable across Australia."
Nationally, WPC Group has more than 100 vacant apprenticeships and traineeships available in growth industries such as automotive, horticulture, IT, hospitality, engineering, electrical and carpentry.
WPC Group apprentice gardener Jessie Roy is being hosted by Greenworx to complete his Certificate III in Parks and Gardens.
He chose his line of work after four years of gardening during high school.
"My dad is an arborist (and) I've been working outside since I was a little kid," he said.
"The best part of the job would be seeing what it looks like at the end of the day - the finished product."
He said finding a job was not difficult.
"There is always the need for people."
"Anyone interested in gardening should go for it because the job is about more than it looks like … it's not just ground maintenance.
"There is designing and all that kind of thing. It's great fun."
Wexham said people who are considering a trade career but unsure of the best job for them should begin by thinking about their passions, talking to career advisers, visiting websites such as SkillsOne.com.au and myskills.gov.au, and attending TAFE open days.
SkillsOne is also hosting free Skills and Thrills showcases that combine film and live Q and A to present industry trends and vocational pathways to high school students.
Shows are so far confirmed across NSW between May 1 and June 25, including in Parkes, Forbes, Dubbo, Kiama, Shellharbour, Warrawong, Goulburn, Port Macquarie, Bathurst, Muswellbrook, Parramatta, Campbelltown and at the Central Coast Careers Expo.
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Kirstin Casey on 0420 652 558.
Read more employment news in the Careers section of Saturday's Courier Mail, Advertiser, Herald Sun and Daily Telegraph.