As Grade 12 students celebrate their first week as ‘school leavers’ and wait for their exam results, the 2018 CSQ Apprentice Annual suggests uni and OP scores may not always deliver superior employment and earning outcomes.

The report is CSQ’s annual health-check of Queensland’s construction apprenticeship pipeline. It records intake and completion rates of construction apprenticeships across Queensland and also presents new modelling to measure the benefits of doing a trade apprenticeship as compared with other training and study pathways.

CSQ Chief Executive Officer Brett Schimming said the research showed that construction apprentices are generally achieving better outcomes than any other group by age 25, both in pay and likelihood of being employed.

“Someone who completed a trade apprenticeship earned, on average, $70,000 compared to $63,000 for university graduates at age 25, and were 19% more likely to be employed full-time by age 25,” Mr Schimming said.

“These findings should be encouraging to those school-leavers who have decided to not follow a university pathway – there are many different training and career options available to help you achieve your goals.

“Greater emphasis should be placed on helping young people who do not take the university path to engage with the labour market as soon as possible after leaving school.
“An apprenticeship, which allows you to earn while you learn, is an excellent option.”

Mr Schimming said the Apprentice Annual shows that completion rates of construction apprentices are also strong.

“Our latest estimates suggest around 68% of people who begin a construction apprenticeship in Queensland will complete a construction apprenticeship in Queensland.

“These completion rates compare favourably to undergraduate university students, with completion rates of around 67% within a six-year study window,” he said.

Mr Schimming said the 2018 Annual found that the Queensland construction apprenticeship system is in good shape and delivering an ample supply of trades to meet future industry needs.

“There are currently 20,000 Queenslanders engaged in a construction apprenticeship and this number has been stable over the last decade, despite changes in construction activity.

“While the mining boom years saw a surge in civil sector apprenticeships, the residential sector is now dominating new apprentice commencements once again.

“Queensland’s construction apprentice workforce reflects a more balanced post-mining boom construction industry, with two thirds of apprentices belonging to the typical construction trades of carpenters (30%), electricians (23%) and plumbers (13%).”

“At CSQ, we will continue to monitor these trends as we work to ensure the pipeline of construction trades meets the needs of industry into the future,” he said.