MOTORING ON: Apprentice bus painter Dimitria Klokas enjoys the challenge of difficult repairs.
MOTORING ON: Apprentice bus painter Dimitria Klokas enjoys the challenge of difficult repairs. Dominic O'Brien

Auto sector a big driver

AUSTRALIA'S trades and services industry was among the strongest employers last year, with a 23.3 per cent increase in job ads on SEEK.

Research from the job site reveals more than 33,000 new roles were listed in 2017 and the average advertised salary was $64,227.

Automotive trades drove the growth, experiencing 4.8 per cent more jobs. They were followed by fitters, turners and machinists (3.3 per cent growth), welders and boilermakers (3.3 per cent), labourers (2.7 per cent), electricians (2.7 per cent), technicians (2.3 per cent), security services (0.7 per cent) and building trades (0.7 per cent).

Hays Trades and Labour senior regional director Adam Shapley says he expects a jobs boost in the national construction sector for the next eight to 10 years.

The Hays Jobs Report for the first half of 2018 forecasts continuing demand for bricklayers as a lack of new apprentices creates a skills shortage, as well as increased demand for concreters because large commercial and residential builds are getting under way.

"Heavy diesel mechanics are in short supply, as are mechanical fitters,” Shapely says. "Boilermakers are also in demand in response to activity in the manufacturing industry.”

Despite most of the growth being for traditional trades, they were not the roles attracting the most new attention from jobseekers last year.

Floristry jobs experienced an 83.7 per cent increase in applications year-on-year to top the list of popular trades and services roles, with an average advertised salary of $49,955.

Locksmiths followed, with 59.7 per cent more applications than last year, and an average salary of $52,845, while nannies and babysitters recorded 42.9 per cent growth and an average salary of $57,661.

Apprentice spray painter and panelbeater Dimitria Klokas says anyone considering a trade like hers should stop thinking about it and just do it.

"Background knowledge in the industry would be helpful, but it's not necessary,” she says.

"If you have a passion for it you will be fine because you will give 110 per cent effort.

"It's important to be able to work as part of a team and on your own; you have to be able to take constructive criticism; and you also need to show patience.”