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“Life at 23 Then and Now by NCVER”. What is in it for us?

NCVER is the National Centre for Vocational Education Research. They compile stats and figures and publish reports about the state of the country in relation to Vocational Education. There are many reports that tell us about the mix of our population and the studies that we have all been involved in over the years.

The reports can give us an insight to changes in the populace that have an impact on who might be candidates for us and help reduce our skills shortage. There is a recent report that has very significant insights that indicate we may have to change how we entice applicants for positions and also to change our thoughts on the age and background requirements.

There is a general observation that “the kids won’t leave home”. This is reflected in the research data with 52% of 23yr olds still living with the parents. The number of people buying a home has reduced (almost halved). The number of 23’s in full time work is down. 23’s in full time study has increased along with the numbers with degrees.

This information is a help for the Employer who is looking to add to the team or to gain more apprentices or trainees. This industry is tough, no doubt, but it is also rewarding there are jobs available and the industry can support us and our families and has done at a growing rate since the first production line rolled out the change that gave us the automobile… “goodonya!” Henry!

•    Change the target group
The ads must target advertising towards the 23 year old looking for a career and long term future. Adjust the recruitment process and the job functions so that the new employee is not treated like menial labour. Their age comes with the attitude that they will want to contribute straight away and not be treated as menial labour. The uptake of skills will be much quicker and they will be able to add valuable input into conversations.

•    Include the parents as a prime target for advertising and their perception of the positions that we need filled.
Many more of the applicants will still be living at home with their parents, therefore we must aim the advertising so that the parents will change their perception of the career prospects and conditions of employment. Show them that our industry IS high tech and requires a high degree of intelligence if the worker is to be successful. Tell them about the interesting changes in the vehicles that are hitting the road and being tested now. Let them know that there is full time employment and a future with us.

•    Build an environment that entices the new target group to join our team and Demonstrate the benefits of a long term career with us.

The information from this article is for employers within the industry as well as the workers within it. Our workforce is changing and if you look around you today there are several obvious indicators. The number of people starting in this trade at a senior age is increasing.

It is very apparent when we look at the demographics of the Student population here at MTA NSW Training. There are more than 350 students currently being trained with us in apprenticeships, traineeships or changing a trade that are over 30 years old.

If you want to find new apprentices and trainees to add to your business to either fill gaps or grow the capacity of you company, then change the target and what we expect the new workers to do when they start. We can expect that the older starters will contribute sooner and will learn the skills much quicker, but they will expect to be treated as an adult. This is a change that must happen.

Phillip Cue - MTA NSW Training

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The Australian Heavy Vehicle Repairers Association (AHVRA) represents the heavy vehicle accident repair industry at a national level.



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MTA NSW is an employers Association and registered training organisation, dedicated to representing business owners and business principals in the NSW automotive industry.



The Service Station Association (SSA) is a division of MTA NSW representing businesses within the petroleum industry.


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