A National Competition for tradies has kicked off in Brisbane with our best apprentices competing for a chance to go to an international competition in London next year.

It’s hoped the event will encourage more young people to take up trades.

Joshua Brockbank reports.

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Geoff Noble has been in the brick laying industry for years and he has grave concerns about it’s ageing workforce.

Geoff Noble, Bricklaying Training Foundation: “Across the country there’s 26,000 bricklayers and a quarter of them are over fifty so we’ve got a real problem when they leave we don’t have apprentices coming through.”

Australia’s skills shortage lost its bite during the global financial crises, but as our economy recovers it’s becoming an even bigger problem than before.

A report released earlier this year by recruitment company Clarius found the occupation with the highest skills shortage is chefing with construction trades not far behind.

Education Minister Geoff Wilson says parents seem to have a misconception about the merit of trades compared to university degrees.

Geoff Wilson, Queensland Education Minister: “One of the big challenges is raising awareness amongst parents and the broader community that trades and related occupations are absolutely worthwhile pathways to pursue.”

While the tradies are competing against each other, the real aim is to attract more young students to take up trades. Whether it works, only time will tell.

Vox one: “I’d rather do something with my hands than go to university and waste time.”

Vox two: “Three year bachelor of science.”

Vox three: “Once I leave school I want to be a vet.”

The WorldSkills competition coincides with the Careers and Education Expo at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre held across the weekend.

Joshua Brockbank QUT News