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The Occupational Career Paths of Australian Tradesmen

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  • Elizabeth Webster

    () (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne)

  • Kelly Jarvis

    (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne)

Abstract

This paper asks whether the high rates of both unqualified tradespeople and attrition of qualified tradespeople from trade work necessarily represent inefficiencies in the skill acquisition process for the skilled trades. We argue that it is possible that there are three streams of trade workers - a lower stream, which requires the least academic and vocational skills and embodies short and flat experience profiles; a higher stream which demands more academic and vocational expertise and steeper experience profiles and a third, more traditional trade stream which lies in-between. This view is supported by persistent patterns in tradesmen's career paths. Polarisation into the highest and lowest streams appears to be increasing over time. If valid, these findings suggest that there should be several tiers of training for the trade labour markets.

Suggested Citation

  • Elizabeth Webster & Kelly Jarvis, 2003. "The Occupational Career Paths of Australian Tradesmen," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2003n14, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
  • Handle: RePEc:iae:iaewps:wp2003n14
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    File URL: http://melbourneinstitute.unimelb.edu.au/downloads/working_paper_series/wp2003n14.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Christine Greenhalgh & George Mavrotas, 1996. "Job Training, New Technology and Labour Turnover," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 34(1), pages 131-150, March.
    2. Booth, Alison L, 1991. "Job-Related Formal Training: Who Receives It and What Is It Worth?," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 53(3), pages 281-294, August.
    3. Greenhalgh, Christine & Mavrotas, George, 1994. "The Role of Career Aspirations and Financial Constraints in Individual Access to Vocational Training," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 46(4), pages 579-604, October.
    4. Greenhalgh, C & Longland, M & Bosworth, D, 2001. "Technological Activity and Employment in a Panel of UK Firms," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 48(3), pages 260-282, August.
    5. Stephen Nickell, 1982. "The Determinants of Occupational Success in Britain," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(1), pages 43-53.
    6. Greenhalgh, Christine & Stewart, Mark, 1987. "The Effects and Determinants of Training," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 49(2), pages 171-190, May.
    7. Webster, E, 2001. "The rise of intangible capital and labour market segmentation," Australian Bulletin of Labour, National Institute of Labour Studies, vol. 27(4), pages 258-271.
    8. Green, Francis, 1993. "The Determinants of Training of Male and Female Employees in Britain," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 55(1), pages 103-122, February.
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