Search Advice
Career Advice » Job Hunting Strategy» Employment News » Urgent call for steel detail ...
Urgent call for steel detailer trainees

Urgent call for steel detailer trainees

Kate Southam, Editor

As job security goes, it’s hard to imagine anything more promising than becoming a structural steel detailer.

According to John Leworthy of the Australian Institute of Steel Detailers, there is not only a world wide shortage of detailers; they are also an endangered species.

The problem, explains Mr Leworthy is the “in house” apprenticeships started after World War II and abandoned in the 1970s have never been replaced.

Part of the reason the traineeships died out was due to the popularity of concrete over steel as a building product.

“Throughout the nineties, steel started coming back with a vengeance as not only a construction medium but also very largely in mining,” says Leworthy. “Those steel detailers still left found themselves unable to keep up with the demand.”

If a traineeship is not introduced soon, he warns, a valuable skill set will simply disappear.

Mr Leworthy knew the trade was in trouble when he attended the inaugural meeting of the Victorian Institute of Steel Detailers in 2000. (The Australian Institute of Steel Detailers was formed in 2007).

“I looked around the room and realised there wasn’t a person there under the age of 55,” he said.

“There are only about 80 detailers left in Victoria and about 80 per cent of those are aged 60,” said Leworthy who works from his Melbourne home.

Now after nine years of lobbying and with the support of Manufacturing Skills Australia, the institute has developed the course work for a traineeship program using Federal Government funding.

The 12-month Certificate III in Manufacturing Technology-Structural Steel Detailing and the two-year Diploma has also been added to the National Training Information Service register. Leworthy says all training courses would be funded by state governments.

The next step is to find a course provider and the AISD believe TAFE is the natural choice.

“The major hurdle with this stems from the frustration created by the good old catch 22. TAFE will not seek state government funds to run the courses without potential numbers of students to meet their minimum criteria.

“How can we know that when no one knows what steel detailing is?” says Mr Leworthy.

“Until the delivery exists, there is no promotion from within TAFE to attract students so what we need now is publicity,” he said.

If the Australian course is realised it will be one of the few in the world. At this point in time, a course exists on the West Coast of the US and a new training program was introduced for the first time in South Africa only last year. There are no courses available in Europe or the UK.

The global shortage of detailers has seen Australians work for clients in China, up and down the Eastern seaboard of the US and across Asia.

Mr Leworthy describes steel detailers as the draftsman behind “anything with a steel structure to it”.

“For example, in construction, the architect designs the skin of the building, the engineer then designs the means of supporting that skin and the roof and the steel detailer then takes the engineer’s information and creates detailed drawings to enable fabricators/manufacturers to make the steel product.”

Using computer programs such as AutoCAD detailers also produce the drawings used for the production of an array of steel products from water tanks, building materials and bridges to mining equipment.

Those suited to steel detailing include “people with an enormous sense of humour as no engineer churns out a drawing that you can work from without picking up a phone.”

“Also, it requires clear thinking and a good, basic grounding in maths particularly geometry and trigonometry at about Year 9 to Year 10 level.

“It could also suit a boiler maker who is in their 40s and starting to experience some issues with the physical nature of their job. They would be ideal because they already work with steel.

For more information on a career as a steel detailer go to, look down the left hand navigation column and click on “Careers”. To read what is involved in the courses go back to the home page and click on “Education”.

Anyone interested in becoming a steel detailer is asked to contact the AISD member in their state using the Contact Us section.

The AISD are hoping courses can start next year.

Latest Jobs

Queensland Government
Posted: 09/28/2016
Brisbane, QLD, 4000
Queensland Government
Posted: 09/28/2016
Brisbane, QLD, 4000
Flight Centre
Posted: 09/28/2016
Penrith, NSW
Flight Centre
Posted: 09/28/2016
Mackay, QLD

Want more personalised results?  Update Your Profile



Preparing for an interview
Follow these techniques which will not just
cool an applicant's nerves, but help dazzle the
selection panel.


How to negotiate for your pay rise
Having that discussion is never an easy task
however knowing what needs to be done helps
in making the process easy.


And the most sought-after skills are...
Hiring in many sectors is back to pre-GFC
levels leaving many employers "bracing for a
skills shortage".


Alt text
We have seen the recruitment market improve,
with online job listings growing by over 33 per
cent over the previous year.


Ten tips to hire the right candidate
You need to ask the right questions to see if the candidate has the attributes you need to grow your business.


Toolkit for employers
Our resource centre will you keep you informed on the latest industry trends and help you manage your workforce.


Advance your career
Higher education, vocational education and professional development.
Email me jobs
Save a customised job search and get new job alerts sent to your inbox.
High impact resume
Want a professional, keyword-rich resumes crafted by the experts?
Post your resume
Upload your resume for free and let employers come to you.
Job Seeker's Toolkit
All the tools and advice you need to start your job hunt.
Career Advice
Browse more than 20 specialised sections to get ahead in your career.
Create a Cover Letter
A cover letter is the best way to put a face on your resume.

>>More Career Advice


Post a job
Post your job in minutes. It's simple and affordable from $170.
Bundled Offers
Find the offer that's right for your business.
Resume Database
Access thousands of qualified candidates.
Optimise your ad
How to enhance the performance of your job posting.
Online Tutorials
Need help to post your job? See our online demonstations.
Resource Centre
Workforce management advice, labor trends, HR best practices and more.
Employer Toolkit
Most popular material for employers to get you started.

>>More Employer Advice


Interact with us, have your say or just get helpful career advice.
Watch our career advice videos and TV commercials.
Follow us to receive the latest employment and industry news.
Twitter InspireMe
Receive a dose of inspiration to start each working day.
Personality Profiler
Do the test to find out your personality and work style.
CareerOne iPhone app
Now you can search and apply for jobs anytime, anywhere.
Blog: Cube Farmer
Kate Southam gets to grips with the highs and lows of work.


Jobs and Career Resources
Find Jobs and Explore Career Resources
Company Profiles
Research companies, view company profiles and find thousands of recruiters.
Advance your career with higher education, vocational education and professional development.
What's new?
Take advantage of the new and improved features and functionality of our website.
Security Centre
Expert advice on avoiding online fraud.
Read our help topics, privacy policy and FAQs.
Search Jobs:
For Employers: Post Jobs | Search Resumes | Advertise
About CareerOne | Work for CareerOne | Partner with Us | Media
Terms of Use | Privacy Center | Accessibility Centre | Help | Security | Contact Us | Sitemap | Mobile
©2016 CareerOne - All Rights Reserved Australia.
- V: 2016.19.0.140-207