Thinking about a career in construction?

Be part of something big.

Choose a career in building and construction and you’ll be part of one of the biggest contributors to the QLD economy. With new buildings, new bridges, new houses and renovation opportunities, there’s never been a better time to join this ever-growing industry.

The industry is the perfect place to build your career and there’s so much to like. You can:

  • Learn on the job, not just in the classroom
  • Earn while you learn with an apprenticeship or traineeship (with no HECS debt!)
  • Feel a sense of achievement watching plans come to life as you build something
  • Benefit from heaps of different career pathways – choose from over 70 job types and maybe even have your own small business one day
  • Enjoy a change of scenery – different job sites mean no staring at the same walls week after week
  • Stay in demand – we’ll always need houses, buildings, roads and bridges.

What is VET?

VET stands for Vocational Education and Training, which is an education pathway that’s focused on gaining practical skills and providing you with a nationally-recognised qualification, ranging from a Certificate I to Certificate IV, to a Diploma, Advanced Diploma, Graduate Diploma and Graduate Certificate.

A VET course is similar to a university degree in that you spend a chunk of your time getting qualified for a real-world career, but it’s generally shorter, less theoretical and more hands-on, and more work-focused. You can complete a VET course at TAFE or another registered training organisation (RTO).

Some quick info:

  • VET is the best way to get practical skills that lead to nationally recognised qualifications and real jobs
  • anyone over the age of 13 can become an apprentice or trainee
  • apprenticeships and traineeships involve both on and off-the-job training with an employer and through a Registered Training Organisation (RTO)
  • an apprenticeship or traineeship can take between 2 and 4 years to complete – but because it is a competency based system you progress as you become competent (skilled and knowledgeable) and completing a pre-vocational or pre-apprenticeship course can reduce the time of your apprenticeship or traineeship.

Still at school? Choosing between uni and VET

There’s a lot to consider when choosing a career and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the choices —and the pressure to make the right one.

Over half of all high school students haven’t decided what to do after finishing school. While uni is right for some people, it’s not for everyone, so find the path that’s right for you. To find your right path, choose something you’re passionate about and can succeed at.

Did you know?

  1. 62% of uni students have considered dropping out and 1 in 5 university students drop out in their first year^
  2. 1 in 3 university students fail to complete their degrees within 6 years^
  3. 4.7 average years it takes uni grads to find full time employment^

Myth: VET graduates earn low wages

Reality: 1 in 3 people think that the gap between uni and VET grads is more than $20,000. The reality is that the median full time income for a VET grad is $56,000 which is just above the median uni grad wage of $54,000.

Myth: VET graduates have trouble finding work

Reality: As university enrolments increase, the rate of grads in full-time employment continues to fall and is currently at 69% (the lowest in three decades) while the grad employment rate of VET students who train as part of a trade apprenticeship is as high as 92%.

Learn more

How do you start an apprenticeship or traineeship?

Another great thing about the industry is that almost anyone can get a start – and there’s no saying where you might finish. Some of our major construction companies are run by past apprentices.

  • If you’re still in school talk to your school’s VET co-ordinator about programs available to you in years 10-12 and the option of a school-based apprenticeship or traineeship (SAT)
  • If you’re out of school, the first step (after deciding which apprenticeship to do!) is finding an employer to take you on. The best way to do this is through word-of-mouth: asking people you know if they know of anyone looking to take on an apprentice
  • The Queensland Government’s website has heaps of helpful tips and details of Apprenticeships Info – a help centre for all things apprenticeship and traineeship.

^After the Atar: Understanding how Gen Z transition into further education and employment

#Perceptions are not reality: myths realities & the critical role of vocational education & training in Australia, May 2017