Values Reboot

The future tradie needs to excel in resilience, integrity, adaptability, professionalism, dedication and empathy.

Trust, focus and respect help them to navigate change and to connect with those from different generations and backgrounds.

Video credit:

Bricks By Ty

  • WNW (6,b)
  • ESE (4,a)

Dodgy practitioners, changing building codes, and ambitious climate and housing targets are piling pressure on the new generation of tradies, who have Millennial and Gen Z values.

Hard work and relationship-building are essentials, however a broader approach to knowledge, embracing change and welcoming new thinking means future tradies are adaptable and open-minded.

  • WNW (4,c)

They grew up in an era of constant change and are ready to move with it. Resilience, integrity, adaptability, professionalism, dedication and empathy all play a huge part in them succeeding.

Photo credit:

Zadie Workwear

What is influencing this trend?

Generational switch-up

Four million baby boomers will achieve retirement eligibility within five years—most of them will exit the workforce in just over a decade. That means 16% of the current workforce calling tools down between now and 2033, when 75% of the workforce will be Millennials and Gen Z.

Australian Bureau of Statistics (2021) Engagement in Employment, Education and Training and 4-digit OCCP Occupation By Age [Census TableBuilder], accessed 01 November 2023.

Learn more

Speed of change

Tech, building codes, new ways of doing things, new client expectations: there is a lot of change happening within the industry, and tradespeople don’t expect it to slow down. Tech and smart home solutions are expected to almost double in importance in the next five years.

Future Tradie Report 2024 survey, Oct-Nov 2023

Emerging leaders are rebuilding trust through radical transparency and personal integrity.

Public perception won’t change overnight, but ongoing commitment to transparent communication, improving workmanship standards and leading by example is shifting the needle.


of surveyed tradies mentioned work ethic, professionalism and integrity as important for future tradies.

  1. Skills,
knowledge, & continuous learning (24)
  2. Work ethic, professionalism,
& integrity (18)
  3. Customer focus & Service focus (15)

% of total respondents.
Future Tradie Report 2024 survey, Oct-Nov 2023

Rebuilding trust when taking over a job started by a different business is the toughest type of relationship repair.

Individual businesses that take the time to understand a client's experience with other trades, then build honest 1-1 relationships are changing perceptions of the industry.

Photo credit:

Elite Building Services

Female tradie in RU OK? Day shirt
Rebuilding trust post covid bankruptcy

What are your biggest challenges in the next 5+ years?

  1. Cost of doing business (853)
  2. Finding Skilled Labour (731)
  3. Navigating New Legislations (309)
  4. Lack of Governance (229)

Number of total respondents.
Future Tradie Report 2024 survey, Oct-Nov 2023

a team painting Professionals
James sells the value of
A Team Painting Professionals painting service through professionalism, patience and integrity.

In his trade, quality and finish can be seen with the naked eye—but at the same time, everyone thinks they could do your job.

To gain trust, he invests in calmly answering clients' and team members' questions on the phone, providing detailed quotes and explanations of the end-to-end process, and having a high-quality presence online. As a result, everyone learns and buys into A Team Painting Professionals’ expertise.

Photo credit:

A Team Professional Painting

The power of professionalism

“Rather than having to do research or asking questions, customers have got to judge you on your online presence.”

James wilkinson, A Team Painting Professionals
The definition of success is changing to be more about personal growth, individual goals and work-life balance.

Being able to run a business and maintain work-life balance, with a focus on family and self-set goals, makes future tradies feel successful.

Apprentices and older tradespeople have more in common than they think. Confidently managing money and connecting with what personally fulfils them, links these two groups.

Photo credit:



of surveyed tradies aged 45-54 listed happiness and fulfilment as their definition of personal success.

  1. 18-24YO (13)
  2. 25-34YO (13)
  3. 35-44YO (14)
  4. 45-54YO (28)
  5. 55-65YO (18)
  6. 66+YO (14)

% of respondents in age bracket.
Future Tradie Report 2024 survey, Oct-Nov 2023

“People are so much more woke about where they want to work. They want to work somewhere that has some way of making a difference.”

Matt Zubrinich


Flexible hours, making space for family, pets and hobbies, commitments, and encouraging diversity and individuality come as standard to emerging leaders.

Younger employees are proud to work for businesses that uphold these values and will commit to workplaces that help them find their sense of purpose.

Photo credit:

Zadie Workwear

Young female tradie in overalls leans against wall
Redefining a successful career

of surveyed tradies under 35YO view happiness and personal fulfillment as the definition of success.

% of respondents in age bracket.
Future Tradie Report 2024 survey, Oct-Nov 2023

How are future tradies responding?
All Mindsets

Pairing ability & aptitude

Having the skill to do what you say you do is at the core. Future tradies need to be skilled and open to learning ways of doing things as the world around them changes.

All Mindsets

Leading with empathy

Empathy shows up when connecting with other tradies 1-1, working with team members from a different background or generation, or putting themselves in the shoes of their customer so they can answer questions.

All Mindsets

Prioritising professionalism

This impacts how tradespeople feel about the work they do, as well as impacting clients' service experience.


What can you do?

Start Doing

Highlight tradies rebuilding trust and professionalism

Stories of integrity, professionalism and transparency, why these qualities are important for the future of the trade and how they give businesses a competitive edge in market.

Plan For

Systems that enable transparency and build trust

Systems for quoting and invoicing that have a focus on transparency to clients and support conversations with clients on what’s involved to complete a job.

consider in future

Training in ethical and respectful business practices

This training could cover things like diversity and inclusion, transparent communication, fair pricing, and respectful customer interactions.

Start Doing

Support tradespeople to define success

This can be a hard question to answer. Help tradies to define success for themselves, and for their business, through frameworks and access to experts.

Plan For

Define what good values look like with an industry code of ethics

Set clear standards for professional behaviour, pricing transparency, and client relations. Encourage tradies to opt into these standards through certifications and commitment to adhering to this code.​

consider in future

Create a community of values-led business that provide support and mentorship

Connect experienced tradies with newcomers, to guide them in ethical business practices. This network becomes a support system to maintain professionalism across the industry.

Start Doing

Define your business vision and values

Creating a vision with your team, supporting it with values that help you get there, and then committing to live by them gets everyone on the same page.

Plan For

Prioritise honesty, transparency, and respect

Whether its pricing transparency, clear updates for customers, or communication between team members, keeping people informed solves many challenges.

Coach your team to deal with any questions or misunderstandings respectfully, so everyone leaves the job happy.

consider in future

Equip yourself and your team through further education and training

This could look like training for working with diverse teams, ethical business decision making, or creating your own standards of professional conduct, such as how to greet clients and team members.

Download the full report to explore all themes and mindsets for 2024.