Latest apprentice figures show continuing decline

Apprentice and trainee numbers continue to fall under the Turnbull government, with no national agreement in place to arrest the precipitous decline.

The latest figures from the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) show that since the government took office:

  • The number of people completing an apprenticeship or traineeship has halved.
  • Close to 25 percent fewer people are completing trade apprenticeships.
  • 67 percent fewer Engineering, ICT and Science technicians are completing an apprenticeship or traineeship qualification, with a 20 percent drop in the last year alone.
  • 40 percent fewer community and personal service workers are graduating from an apprenticeship or traineeship, while jobs in the sector continue to grow.
  • There has been a 90 percent drop in the number of people completing a Diploma or Advanced Diploma as part of an apprenticeship or traineeship, including a 25 per cent drop in the last year.

“TAFE is a trusted institution which delivers quality training, ensures inclusion and helps to build the skills that our workforce needs to increase participation and productivity,” Federal Member for Hunter Joel Fitzgibbon said.

“TAFE provides access to training for people in the Hunter electorate and helps the disadvantaged in our community gain access to training and the workforce. It also provides a second chance for many students who were unable to complete their schooling.

“The Turnbull  government has been watching the number of apprenticeships and traineeships fall year on year – yet they have done nothing to stop the continuing decline.

“It has been eight months since Commonwealth National Partnership funding for skills ended. There is still no funding agreement with the states and territories.

“The government should guarantee funding for skills and rebuild confidence and capacity in our vocational education and training system.

“The longer they take to act, the deeper the skills shortages will become.”

Only Labor has a plan to arrest the decline in our skills base.
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