Teenager Apprentices Pulling the Plug on Plumbing & Heating Trades

Plumbing Apprenticeship

Teenagers are turning away from many of the traditional trades such as plumbing, because of low wages that are forcing them to live at home for the duration of their apprenticeship. The amount of young apprentices that complete an apprenticeships is set to hit an all time low, with nearly one out of every two students dropping out before finishing their apprenticeship program.

A shift in attitude by this generation of school leavers is behind this incline. Many of the students finish Year 12 before starting to learn a trade only to find they are not able to survive on the pay, and are forced to live at home longer then they initially planned.

The governments expert panels final report, titled Apprenticeships For The 21st Century, found that only 48% of apprentices completed their apprenticeship.

"There is a range of issues that commonly emerge from the research about reasons for non-completion, including workplace or employer issues, lack of support, low wages and not liking the work," they wrote earlier this year.

It is very hard to attract and retain apprentices when they are getting paid a quarter of what they could get in other industries. The rates of pay haven't kept up with the fact that most apprentices are no longer 15 years old, and most are required to have a driver's licence. Improving wages and conditions in the first two years would make a difference


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