New research released today demonstrates the Gillard Government’s record investment in skills is paying dividends and providing more Australians than ever before with the opportunity to get an apprenticeship and the skills they need to get a job.
A report by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) reveals the number of apprentice and trainee commencements increased by 15.7 per cent to 314,000 for the 12 months to 31 December 2010.
Trade commencements increased by 21.9 per cent and non-trades commencements were up by 13.1 per cent over the year.
“This is a great result and reflects the importance of the Gillard Government’s record investment in skills,” Senator Evans, Minister for Skills and Jobs said.
“In this year’s budget the Government announced one of the biggest skills packages in our nation’s history – a $3 billion investment over six years to ensure that industry has the skilled workers it needs to grow and prosper. As a result of this investment more Australians than ever before will be able to access training and the life opportunities that come through having a job.
In addition to achieving an increase in apprentice and trainee commencements, reforms introduced by the Gillard Government have also resulted in an additional 100,000 students having the opportunity to attend university.
“Our priority is to ensure Australians have the opportunity to get the education and the skills they need to access the high skilled and high paid jobs in our economy,” Senator Evans said.
“The Budget’s Building Australia’s Future Workforce package builds on the incentives for apprentices and their employers that totalled a record $1.1 billion in 2010-11,” Senator Evans said.
“The new package will drive productivity through new direct partnerships with industry to deliver an estimated 130,000 high quality training places.”
The NCVER report shows the number of apprentices and trainees in-training at the end of 2010 was 440,700, an increase of 6.3 per cent from the previous year.
Other key findings include:
• completions increased by 5.4 per cent to 168,400;
• trade occupations accounted for 30.4 per cent of all apprentice and trainee commencements; and
• Commencements in trade apprenticeships and traineeships were almost exclusively at Certificate 3 level.
Trade commencements, on the whole, have shown a strong recovery from the economic downturn, with 95,300 trade occupation commencements in 2010 compared with a previous peak of 86,600 in 2008.
Automotive and engineering trades workers are the only trade occupation yet to return to pre-downturn levels of commencements with 20,100 in 2010, compared with 22,400 at the previous peak in 2008.
NCVER’s Australian Vocational Education & Training Statistics: Apprentices & Trainees 2010 Annual report is available at http://www.ncver.edu.au/publications/2387.html