By Jason Foster - General Manager Apprenticeships and New Business

Picking the right career is a big decision. When you’re in your final years at school, the options can seem endless; one of the huge benefits of today’s technology-driven, fast-paced world. With so many options, however, comes the pressure to pick the right one. 

Often the pressure comes to choose a certain path, such as a university degree. There’s been plenty written about the perceived university ‘bias’ in our education system, and that, in itself, can put pressure on students to make a decision that leads down this path.

Apprenticeships have sometimes been seen as the poor cousin to university, however, the reality couldn’t be further from the truth. With the skills shortage facing us, apprenticeships are absolutely crucial to a solution. And given that scenario, it can often mean better opportunities and wage conditions as well!

Given our work with apprentices and the employers that employ them, we see this on a daily basis. Being an apprentice provides you with so many opportunities and, as a career option, is second to none. Here are my top three reasons why you should consider an apprenticeship:

1. A lifetime of opportunities

Completing an apprenticeship gives you a formal qualification and a career path for life. Regardless of which apprenticeship you choose, the ability to build a career across a trade or specific occupation is something that is not always available on other paths. 

It provides you with a formal qualification, with study forming a part of your working life. These qualifications are recognised nationally and internationally, opening up a huge range of possibilities. It’s also worth noting that many trades and occupations where apprenticeships are available are not tied to our major cities, giving you a range of lifestyle options. As your qualifications are internationally recognised, you can still use your skills if you’re looking to do a stint living overseas too. 

If you do decide to change paths later in your career, it's something you can always fall back on if required. For example, if you qualify as an electrician that skillset stays with you, even you decide to try your hand at something else. It’s something you can always return to and find employment opportunities.

2. There’s a skills shortage…we need you! 

As mentioned above, Australia is in the grip of a skills shortage and it’s getting worse. It’s a fact that 9 out of 10 occupations that face a skills shortage require a Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualification. It’s vital to our country's economic future, and in some industries, their viability long term, that we address this shortage. 

The upshot of a skills shortage means that there’s a huge demand. That demand means that wage growth in a number of these industries is strong, giving you great future employment and earning potential. Many trades and VET occupations also give you the opportunity to run your own business, something that is quite unique. 

3. You’re part of a community 

While it may not be the most obvious point, something I’ve always found rewarding in this space is the community that exists in many of these industries.

By completing a VET qualification, you’re often joining a community that provides huge opportunities. The networking and friendship opportunities are fantastic and become a really attractive part of working in these industries. These bonds often extend for the life of your working career.

In the end, there are so many positives to a VET career path that it really pays to take a look. At VERTO, we provide many opportunities to test the water, from our online CareerGate tool to our “Meet the Tradies” open days. If you would like to see what a VET career could do for you, contact us to discuss your specific options