The latest report on the number of apprentices and trainees currently in training provides some encouraging signs but still confirms the need for the full implementation of the Turnbull Government’s strategy to boost Vocational Education and Training (VET).
Figures released today by the National Centre for Vocational Education and Research (NCVER) found there were 261,900 apprentices and trainees in training as at 30 September 2017, which continues the decline that began in 2012 under the former Labor Government.
Assistant Minister for Vocational Education and Skills, Karen Andrews, said there are some positive signs in key skills areas.
“Commencements of trade apprenticeships increased by 4.2 per cent in the September quarter, the number of construction trades workers in training jumped by 3 per cent, and machinery operators and drivers increased by nearly 18 per cent,” Assistant Minister Andrews said.
“However, overall the figures show how important the Coalition Government’s $1.5 billion Skilling Australians Fund is to arresting the decline and providing thousands of new opportunities for Australians in apprenticeships and vocational education.
“The Fund will create an extra 300,000 apprenticeships and traineeships over the next four years, and when combined with our $60 million Industry Specialist Mentoring service we will ensure the skilled workforce Australian industries need for future growth,” Assistant Minister Andrews said.
“The Federal Government has funding available right now for states and territories to sign up to the Skilling Australians Fund and submit projects so we can work together to address looming skills shortages in priority industries.
“When combined with our real skills for real careers initiative, this work represents a multi-pronged approach to elevate the status of VET, create opportunities for apprentices, and providing the support they need to successfully complete their training.”