According to recent data from the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER), Australia saw a 14% increase in the number of apprenticeships and traineeships in-training on 30 September 2022, reaching 402,245, compared to the same period in 2021. However, despite this overall growth, the quarterly and annual data reveal some challenges within the sector.
Quarterly Training Activity for Apprenticeships and Traineeships</2>
In September 2022, commencements of apprenticeships and traineeships fell significantly by 41.3%, down to 29,420, compared to the same period in 2021. The cancellations and withdrawals increased by 28.1% to 32,950. The completions, on the other hand, increased by 33.4% to 24,655.
Training activity: 12-month ending series
In the 12 months ending 30 September 2022, the commencements increased by 6.1% to 254,700. Meanwhile, the completions rose by 20.9% to 95,300. However, cancellations and withdrawals increased by 34.3% to 127,510.
According to NCVER Managing Director, Simon Walker, the decrease in commencements reflects changes to wage subsidies provided to employers of apprentices and trainees through the Australian government. This may have led to some employers delaying new hires, while others may have opted for short-term contracts to reduce costs.
Likewise, the increase in cancellations and withdrawals was primarily due to economic uncertainty and the impact of the pandemic. In contrast, the increase in completions was mainly driven by the rise in trade occupations, which saw a 46.6% increase in the September quarter, while non-trade occupations saw a rise of 20.8%.
Simon Walker further stated that while the overall increase in apprenticeships and traineeships was positive, the sector still faces several challenges. “The increase in cancellations and withdrawals highlights the need for employers and training providers to continue to support apprentices and trainees through their training journey and ensure they are equipped with the skills and knowledge needed for the workforce.”
The data comes as the Australian government is expected to release its budget for the 2022-23 financial year, which will include further investments in vocational education and training.
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