Local talent

26 March 2021

Time to look closer to home

COVID-19 has thrown a curve ball at everybody, and business owners have been hit hard.

There are real challenges for the auto industry, particularly in skill supply.

Traditionally, the workforce of domestic labour and local apprentices in automotive businesses have been bolstered by international labour where there has been a gap.

Australia used to import about 160,000 – 190,000 workers per year, many of them skilled automotive technicians. This worked well in the past but there is a problem – that number now sits at zero.

We must adapt accordingly to this new world and fill the jobs that are available. So, with many people needing employment, it makes sense to turn our attention to the domestic workforce for our labour needs.

Basically, more apprentices need to be put on across all industries. And for many young people, apprenticeships are a fantastic career choice. Trade apprentices get paid while they learn and graduate with transferable skills that are at little risk of becoming obsolete. That’s a great thing to rely upon, especially in times like these. 

Australia’s skill shortage is a problem that everybody can help mend. Business owners can liaise with local schools and apprentice networks, including VACC Automotive Apprenticeships, in a bid to employ and foster an apprentice. Parents and teachers can also help by promoting trades to young people.

For the record, all apprenticeships have a job entry point and a job destination. It’s the best training model in the world. Let’s embrace it.

Don’t die wondering. Visit:

Words: VACC CEO, Geoff Gwilym. As featured in the Herald Sun 26 March 2021.

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