Latest apprentice data no cause to celebrate

04 Dec 2018 |

Australia’s largest and most representative business network, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, has renewed its call to accelerate action through the Skilling Australians Fund (SAF) to boost falling apprentice and trainee numbers, following the release of the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) latest results today.

Apprentices and trainee commencements fell by 3.3 percent to 35,280 in the June quarter 2018, compared to the same quarter in 2017, according to the Apprentices and Trainees 2018 June quarter estimates.

The year ending 30 June 2018 saw a decrease in commencements of 0.6 percent compared with the previous year.

“The business community remains very concerned by the steady decline in the number of apprentices and trainees being trained,” Australian Chamber CEO, James Pearson, said today.

“We welcomed the Prime Minister’s announcements last week to review and reform the Vocational Education and Training system. Today’s figures underline the need for further, urgent action to turn things around.

“There has not been enough progress through the Skilling Australians Fund, which has yet to make much impact 18 months after it was announced.

“We are pleased South Australia is the first state to commence projects but there is still a long way to go. Between 2014 and 2018, in-training figures as at 30 June for South Australia fell by over 40 percent. There are similar stories to tell in other states and territories.

“We need action from the Commonwealth and all States and Territories; and we need it now.

“Business is ready, willing and able to work with governments to get projects off the ground.

“Business faces pressing skill shortages. We know what many of the problems are with apprenticeships and we have good ideas on how to solve them. Government should bring industry to the table immediately, alongside state and territory governments, so we can get on with the job together.”

Duncan Bremner

Director - Public Affairs and Advocacy

P  |  0448 822 666

E  |  [email protected]

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