It’s a stigma that continues to grow as more and more students flock to university after school finishes. Parents, teachers and careers advisors push trades to the backburner, thinking for some completely unfounded reason that trades are a lesser option. The opportunities aren’t discussed and university is pushed as the “correct” path for your post-school endeavours. All of those people who would potentially thrive in a trade environment end up being steered directly away from it.

It’s kind of messed up, right? And what’s worse is that all this negativity has caused the number of apprentices and trainees in Australia to drop by up to 50% in the last three years.

But the truth that all those careers advisors don’t want you to know is that trades are actually pretty awesome. They are a fantastic option for the right mind and they’ll provide a lot of benefits that universities can’t. Here are some reasons why the hate needs to stop when it comes to tradies.

They actually get paid to learn

What those students up on their bachelor’s-degree-high-horses don’t realise is that while they’re racking up thousands of dollars in debt to get their qualification, tradies are actually being paid to complete their training. Four years of an apprenticeship means that aspiring tradies are working in hands-on roles, gaining plenty of on-the-job experience and earning all the while. Many people in apprenticeships also have access to a number of Government subsidies for tools, as well as assistance if they have to move away from home to complete their apprenticeship.


Trades are not an indication of intelligence

One of the worst stereotypes attached to tradies has to do with their intelligence. But the truth is that the two really have nothing to do with each other. Some of the smartest, most creative people I know are tradies. Plus they get to exercise a bunch of varied skills and knowledge on a daily basis, testing themselves creatively, logically, mathematically and problem-solving…ly. Tradies need to have a wide range of knowledge on a lot of different subjects, so where the heck is this myth even coming from?!

Their jobs are in demand

As more people attend university and the jobs market becomes saturated by young people with degrees, graduates are having to battle it out for roles in their chosen field. Meanwhile, trades jobs are desperate for workers. Most of the popular trade jobs are actually listed on the Australian National Skills Needs list. This means that tradies are more likely to end up in the role they actually trained for, as opposed to many uni grads who find it difficult to find a job in the area they studied.

Trades kind of end up seeming like the smart option, don’t they? So, maybe it’s time we all drop this bad attitude and embrace trades as not just a viable choice for post-school life, but an awesome and totally commendable choice at that. The first step to breaking the stigma is overcoming your own fears and diving in anyway – so don’t let negativity get in your way.