News

Shortage of skilled tradies spells trouble for Coffs future

DEMANDING TIMES: Ben Johnston (centre) has taken on apprentices James Carr and Tyson Nelson in preparation for Coffs Harbour's predicted population boom.
DEMANDING TIMES: Ben Johnston (centre) has taken on apprentices James Carr and Tyson Nelson in preparation for Coffs Harbour's predicted population boom. Contributed

COFFS Harbour construction insiders are warning locals that a shortage of skilled people is threatening to derail the construction boom that apparently lies ahead for Coffs Harbour.

Coffs Harbour City Council is predicting a 30% growth in population over the next 20 years.

This means the demand for tradespeople will be more urgent than ever in order to keep up with needs for new housing and infrastructure, according to the construction insiders.

But North Coast TAFE Plumbing head teacher Rob Gilman says that the demand for tradespeople is not being met today, let alone in the future.

"Recent figures from the Department of Employment show the increasing demand for skilled tradespeople across NSW, including the Coffs region, is not being met,” he said.

"Employers are reporting they can't fill their vacancies because applicants have a lack of skills, experience and a variety of trade-qualifications.”

Apprentices and the variety of skills through different qualifications will be crucial for the local construction industry in the coming years, Mr Gilman said.

Ben Johnston, owner of local business Pure Flow Plumbing, says since he started his business eight years ago he's expanded from a one-man van operation to a business of more than 10 staff and eight service vans.

He says he's employed a further two plumbing apprentices and a trainee in preparation for the boom.

"Apprentices have been integral to the growth of my business and will be critical as we service the growth in construction in the Coffs area,” Mr Johnston said.

"Business will only get busier and the only way I can keep up is to employ skilled tradies and train up my apprentices, in fact I plan to take on another apprentice next year.”

North Coast TAFE is encouraging anyone interested in joining forces with local tradies to attend the Glenreagh St campus during the TAFE NSW Open Week, which begins January 16.



Coffs tourism overhaul announced

NEW FACE FOR TOURISM: The visitor centre at the Big Banana will soon be closing its doors.

Coffs tourism undergoes a facelift as part of new council strategy.

A special kind of love

Petbarn Coffs Harbour store manager, Adam Rose.

Find unconditional love this valentines day in a four legged friend.

Is alcohol advertising in sport influencing our children?

There are calls today for a national conversation on the impact of alcohol advertising in sports like cricket.

Royal College of Physicians opposes alcohol advertising

Local Partners

Coffs tourism overhaul announced

The tourism sector of Coffs is undergoing a facelift as part of Coffs Council's new tourism strategy, with a variety of new developments announced today.


Fans invited to meet Jets at training session

FLYING IN: Catch the Newcastle Jets at the free training session at the international stadium on Thursday.

Catch up with the Newcastle Jets at the free training session

Legendary batsman opens up

STAR: Sir Viv Richards.

Cricket hero Sir Viv Richards will tell his tale at Coffs race club

Puppetry of the Penis secrets revealed ahead of show

The famed Puppetry of the Penis is coming to the Sunshine Coast for shows in Noosa and Caloundra.

WARNING: This interview contains adult themes and traces of nuts

Nicole reveals her biggest parenting challenges

Actress Nicole Kidman.

Nicole Kidman says her kids are ‘deeply attuned' to her moods.

Suicide Squad director reveals his regrets about the film

Margot Robbie in a scene from the movie Suicide Squad.

DIRECTOR of superhero flick on what he’d change about ‘flawed’ film.

Meet the new Marco on MasterChef Australia: Yotam Ottolenghi

Israeli-born, London-based chef Yotam Ottolenghi will be a guest chef for a week on the 2017 season of MasterChef Australia.

AFTER Marco’s defection to Seven, MasterChef signs a true food hero.

Big Bang spin-off to be about kid Sheldon

Jim Parsons in a scene from the TV series The Big Bang Theory.

Actor Jim Parsons has dished on an upcoming Big Bang Theory spin-off

How Adam Brand’s Nashville dream fell apart

Country music singer Adam Brand talks about how heartbreak stopped him chasing his Nashville dream.

SINGER reveals how heartbreak stopped him from chasing his dream.

What's on the small screen this week

Grant Denyer will host Channel 10's Australia Day concert from the Sydney Opera House.

STAR-studded Australia Day celebrations and fascinating docos.

Stockland's $150m pitch: Build it and they will come

Gladstone Marina. The Gladstone Regional Council offers a range of exciting job opportunities. Photo Contributed: Murray Ware.

Here's why we need to see Stockland upgrade start soon.

Steady growth in a Coffs buyer's market

Boambee stood out as the region's most expensive suburb for houses with a $650,000 median sale price.

Lower price ranges stand out as Coffs property best sellers

Thousands of jobs part of $1b retirement village project

THIS YEAR: An artist impression of the new Aveo retirement village in Springfield.

Aveo Springfield unveiled this month, homes ready by July

Our coastline suburbs offer cheapest beach living in NSW

GOING CHEAP: You can snap up a property at Nambucca Heads for as little as $95,000.

Could you imagine buying a beach property for less than $100,000?

KNIFE-EDGE: The housing tightrope we now face

Even the smallest interest rate rise will be hard for some to handle.

One if five home owners at risk, according to new analysis

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!