Apprenticeships are often hard to come by these days, and picking up a trade is nowhere near as simple as it once was. Apprenticeships have dropped between 40 and 50 per cent across Australia since 2013 as more young people steer away from trade work in favour of university, and fewer employers are willing to take on apprentices for financial reasons.  The trade industry is becoming an increasingly unstable market due to Government cuts to funding support for apprenticeships, and many apprentices are being taken on only to be dropped half-way through their training when their employer can no longer afford to keep them on.

If you have been thinking about pursuing a trade, or you are already plugging away at an apprenticeship, then you have probably thought about getting a job in a trade you’re passionate about. You don’t want to settle for second best, but you feel like you might have to if you’re ever going to get your hands on that qualification.

Well, there is one way to get the qualification you’re looking for in the trade you want. Not only that, but you’ll be earning far more than your average apprentice, and you’ll have the job security that many employers can’t promise.

The Australian Defence Force (ADF) offers trade-based roles across the Navy, Army and Air Force in a variety of different specialisations. From electronics, mechanics and carpentry, to cooking and plumbing, every role comes with job security, a great salary plus benefits and a supportive team environment.

In fact, many of these jobs don’t require you to have a qualification to apply. You could be fresh out of high school with nothing but passion on your resume, or you could be half way through your apprenticeship. There are qualified positions available as well, but most roles only need you to have completed Year 10 or an equivalent qualification, with passes in English and Mathematics.

For someone who is keen to work in a trade, the benefits of undertaking a career in the Australian Defence Force are numerous. For starters, you will be guaranteed a job at the end of your training, with a nationally recognised qualification that you can take with you throughout your career. You will also be provided with various opportunities to grow and advance your skills, whilst working in a unique environment. Imagine working on advanced aircraft where the quality of your work is relied upon to keep everything in working order and the aircraft where it belongs – up in the air. It’s no ordinary mechanic job.

So how competitive is it to join? Let’s break it down: your average first year vehicle mechanic apprentice will be earning around $11.34 an hour according to Fair Work Ombudsman, which equates to $861.84 a fortnight if you’re working full time. However, if you’re training to be a vehicle mechanic in the ADF, you’ll be earning closer to $1,576 per fortnight in your first year of training, which equals around $20.70 per hour, plus an additional $388 per fortnight Trainee Allowance. That is over double the usual apprentice earning, and your wage only goes up after your first 12 months.

It almost seems like a no brainer. If you want to feel secure in your apprenticeship or trade, be paid a good wage and have the opportunity to follow your passion without concern for whether you can find a job at the end of your training, then check out the variety of trade roles available in the Australian Defence Force. If you want more information, don’t be afraid to get in contact and make an enquiry by visiting the Defence Jobs website, or by calling 13 19 01.