• Sandra Rossi.
    Sandra Rossi.

Remember when the plantroom was home to sweaty ass cracks, occasional bullying and the kind of wise cracks that weren’t very welcoming to young women?

Thankfully that is no longer the norm. Instead cultural diversity is celebrated and female apprentices are wearing makeup as well as their PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) in the plantroom.

Who would have thought? The Australian tradie is undergoing a radical makeover.

The stereotype of a rugged Aussie male wearing Stubbies is long gone but even today Australia remains a nation of tradies.

They make up a significant proportion of the Australian workforce and are critical to the national economy.

Figures from the Future Tradie Report released last month details this changing workforce.

By 2033 most baby boomer tradies will have retired and 75 per cent of the workforce will be made up of millennials and Gen Z tradies.

This is a very different breed. The modern tradesperson is well-educated and a true professional - punctual, polite and well-spoken.

Thankfully, they have retained the one quality that sets them apart from the rest of the workforce – their skilled craftsmanship.

This has been enhanced by technology. According to the Australian Industry Group (Ai Group) report on Future Skilling our Workforce today’s technician integrates digital tools increasing efficiency and precision.

They blend the latest AI and IoT tools with a deep respect for the environment, using renewable materials and energy-efficient practices.

For the tradie of the future, continuous learning and adaptability will be key. Tradies will collaborate closely with architects, engineers, and data analysts, fostering community and shared purpose in every project.

This collaborative spirit, coupled with a commitment to sustainability and technological advancement, will define the tradie of 2050. This tradie is a guardian of both craftsmanship and the environment. 

Beyond manual labour, tradies are also renowned for their problem-solving prowess. The practical application of critical thinking and on-the-spot decision-making.

The Gen Z tradies who will be 45 in 2050 are likely to be in positions of leadership bringing heightened mental health awareness to the industry.

Their experiences, particularly in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, will drive the implementation of mental health monitoring and support initiatives in the tradie workplace.

By prioritising mental wellbeing, the trade industry can create a healthier and more resilient workforce, ensuring a bright future for all its members.

Future trade work in 2050 holds significant economic and entrepreneurial promise.

This is the new breed, the net zero technician, the tradie of the future, the next generation.