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ERIC Number: ED528497
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 42
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 21
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-9219-5550-1
Attrition in the Trades. NCVER Monograph Series 07/2011
Karmel, Tom; Lim, Patrick; Misko, Josie
National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER)
Shortages in the trades are again becoming a prominent issue as Australia emerges from the Global Financial Crisis. The existence of shortages puts the immediate focus on the apparent inability of the training system to supply sufficient skilled tradespersons, but shortages in an occupation are as much related to the rate at which individuals leave the occupation as the rate at which the occupation attracts new entrants. Hence, this paper which focuses on attrition in the trades, using professional occupations as comparators. The analysis is restricted to males in order to abstract from the impact that family responsibilities have on women's labour mobility, noting that the trades are dominated by men, apart from hairdressing and, to a lesser extent, the food trades. While attrition has a negative connotation, it may be positive for the individuals leaving a trade if they are moving to something better. Thus, by looking at the occupations ex-tradespersons move to, the paper also examines whether a trade offers a good start to a career. Findings include: (1) Job and occupational mobility in the trades is not particularly different from that experienced in the professions, although there is considerable variation across the trades (and across the professions); (2) The rate of attrition in the trades is remarkably similar in good times and in bad times, although the balance between job losers and job leavers is affected by economic conditions. However, job churn within a trade is higher in good times, and this gives the impression to employers that attrition is higher; and (3) The one trade occupation that stands out as good foundation for a future career is electrotechnology and communications. Appended are: (1) Model parameters for logistic regression (1 = exit job within 12 months), males; (2) Distributions of ages for those who exit "their jobs" for ANZSCO sub-major group professional and trade occupations; (3) Summary of logistic regressions used to determine gross attrition; (4) ANZSCO occupation by average cash weekly earnings, 2008 and AUSEI06 prestige measures; and (5) Destinations of occupational movers in the trades, 2008. (Contains 3 figures, 23 tables and 10 footnotes.) [For "Attrition in the Trades. Research Overview. Monograph Series 07/2011," see ED528498.]
National Centre for Vocational Education Research Ltd. P.O. Box 8288, Stational Arcade, Adelaide, SA 5000, Australia. Tel: +61-8-230-8400; Fax: +61-8-212-3436; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Australian Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations
Authoring Institution: National Centre for Vocational Education Research
Identifiers - Location: Australia