We’re all aware of the labour shortage in the construction industry, partly due to the ageing workforce. However, we should also have in mind another important area impacted by the shift in population—the teachers who prepare our young counterparts for a career in the trades.
Tasmania has voiced concerns after claims that apprentices were being turned away because of a teacher shortage.
According to The Examiner, the CEPU Union have blamed both state and federal governments for “breaking the TAFE system.” It claimed a “resourcing crisis” had meant apprentices had been turned away from the institution.
A “resourcing crisis” had meant apprentices had been turned away from the institution.
However, TasTAFE chief executive Jenny Dodd told The Examiner that apprentices were not being turned away, and the TAFE was working with industry to meet the demands of the sector.
“Apprentice numbers in Tasmania, particularly in traditional trades, are increasing and TasTAFE is working to ensure we have the capacity to accommodate this increase in a number of ways, including recruiting additional teachers,” Ms Dodd said.
TasTAFE is set to receive $2.9 million in funds from the State Budget, per announced in June. The funds will be used to recruit more teachers in courses like construction, electrotechnology, plumbing and welding.
Education Minister Jeremy Rockliff said the commitment would help meet the future needs of the “booming construction sector” and address key skill shortage areas.
TAFE has always been the leading provider of trade-based courses so hopefully this ‘shortage’ is just temporary and will pass quickly. There are two reasons why TAFE has held its position as a leader in this field. It has strong industry links, and many of its teachers are established experts in their respective fields. Therefore, their teaching is not only consistent with current industry standards but TAFE also provides new apprentices with increased job opportunities thanks to its strong connections.
Their teaching is not only consistent with current industry standards but TAFE also provides new apprentices with increased job opportunities thanks to its strong connections.
With all this in mind, we hope TAFE continues to be a leading provider of training for the construction industry across Australia. And there might be an issue with finding qualified teachers, especially in Tasmania, the NSW State Government has embraced the digital revolution in its teaching methods.
Millions of dollars have been invested in the rollout of several new state-of-the-art TAFE Connected Learning Centres. These Centres give the local community access to digitally-enabled technologies, such as simulations and virtual reality experiences. With the latest technology, students can tap into the state-wide network of courses, campuses, and teachers,complemented by additional face-to-face and mobile learning.
Increasingly more digitally-enabled equipment is being implemented into most construction courses so that tradies are well prepared for the future of the building industry.
For those of you considering a change, teaching at TAFE might be the perfect option. To start a new career in teaching construction you will need:
- a current Certificate IV in Training and Assessment (or be willing to get one),
- vocational skills—at least to the level of those you want to teach,
- current industry skills—relevant to the subjects you want to teach.
A Certificate IV in Training and Assessment is a nationally-recognised qualification and is available for enrollment at most TAFE campuses and other registered training organisations.
TAFE also provides online education through TAFE Digital. The digital learning division is the country’s largest online provider of VET training, offering 24/7 education to nearly 100,000 students across 250 courses.
TAFE Digital employs offsite teachers to mark student assignments across a range of construction-related courses, such as Certificate IV in Building and Construction, Diploma of Building and Construction, Diploma of Building Design, and Advanced Diploma of Building Surveying.
This exciting role includes:
- giving constructive comments on students’ assignments,
- providing students with results and feedback about their progress,
- giving valuable feedback to the quality of our learning methodologies, technologies, assessments and resources,
- working remotely as all marking is undertaken online—you can be located anywhere in Australia.
For a role as a construction teacher with TAFE Digital you must meet the following criteria:
- A diploma or degree in a related discipline,
- Certificate IV in Training and Assessment,
- Current and relevant industry experience (minimum 5 years).
Research suggests that by 2020, 31 million skilled tradespeople will leave the industry, costing nearly $100 million in lost productivity over the next five years. Check out The Ultimate Guide to Beating Construction’s Skilled Labor Shortage ebook to get expert tips on how to survive —and thrive—during the labor shortage.