AISRAP report shows Queensland construction industry apprentices have high levels of suicidal behaviours

Posted 10th July 2020 in Research

MATES in Construction has provided life skills training to Queensland apprentices since 2008. In 2018 MATES in Construction, with support from Construction Skills Queensland, the Office of Industrial Relations and the Department of Employment, Small Business and Training, commissioned AISRAP to do a major study of mental health amongst Queensland apprentices. The online study was sent via SMS to all registered Queensland construction industry apprentices. A total of 1483 respondents (approximately 90 percent males and 10 percent females) completed the survey.

The results showed that 27.3 percent of Queensland construction industry apprentices have experienced workplace bullying (20 percent experiencing severe bullying), and that apprentices have high levels of exposure to suicidal behaviours. 

Three out of 10 of respondents reported having experienced some thoughts about suicide in the past 12 months. The findings reveal that 13 percent of respondents had high levels of psychological distress and nearly 30 percent had poor quality of life that may indicate depression. 

Common factors associated with bullying were being aged 18–25, working for a large employer, working for a group training organisation, not currently having an employer, or not currently in an apprenticeship. 

Apprentices identifying as LGBTI+ were also shown to be vulnerable to bullying. First year apprentices and those aged up to 17 years were significantly less likely to be bullied than the other age groups. 

The report makes eight recommendations for improvements. To view the full report visit the Life in Mind resources page.