The solution to Queensland’s youth jobs crisis

“Queensland is on the verge of a youth jobs crisis with the number of young people in work plummeting in 2019,” reads an article titled ‘Young and out of work’ on page six of the Courier Mail on Tuesday 26 November. Reports have shown that half the 25 year olds in Australia do not have full time employment, which has negatively impacted unemployment rates in Queensland, with Gold Coast, Ipswich, Brisbane, and Sunshine Coast regions taking a hit.

The Australian Industry Trade College achieved a 90% success rate for placing Year 12 graduates into full time apprenticeships and traineeships in 2018. This figure starkly contrasts with those listed above, particularly when this rate is full-time employment as soon as graduates complete year 12 – not at some point before reaching the age of 25.

Business owners report being unable to find young tradespeople who are up to the job, which has caused many businesses to omit apprentices from their staff. Chloe Knott, part owner of Pacific Power Cats, told the College that their family business had not taken on an apprentice for a decade previous to connecting with the AITC. “We have had a few apprentices that didn’t work out because they just weren’t the best match for the business,” Chloe said. They were recently paired up with AITC student Cooper Seagg, who was signed up as an apprentice after the team were impressed by his work ethic and preparedness.

“Cooper is a very hard-working and reliable young man. Because he came to us from the AITC, he already had the right attitude, and all the safety gear. He was ready to work,” Chloe says. “Cooper is well spoken, well put together, and very switched on and mechanically-minded.” After taking on Cooper, the team agreed to have another AITC student in for work experience, Slade Hoare, who was signed up as an apprentice just last week.

The AITC was built by industry, for industry, as CEO Mark Hands consulted with over one hundred industry leaders before opening the College’s doors in 2006. AITC graduates are prepared and ready for the work force, and the College puts a special focus on connecting with industry and businesses in the community in order to create mutually beneficial pairings for both the young apprentice and businesses. Young people at the college spend more than half their time each year in industry, either with training organisations such as TAFE Queensland or directly with employers.

The Australian Industry Trade College has campuses in the Gold Coast, Ipswich, Redlands, Sunshine Coast, and Toowoomba. For more information, or to apply, please visit aitc.edu.qld.au.