Boom times for NSW apprentices and trainees

Media release | 1 November 2018

Deputy Premier and Minister for Skills John Barilaro has welcomed a new report revealing a continuing rise in people taking on apprenticeships and traineeships in the first half of 2018.

Mr Barilaro said the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) report on Government-funded Students and Courses showed a 16 per cent rise in apprentices and trainees against a national increase of only 2.8 per cent.

“We have 74,300 apprentices and trainees doing off-the-job training which is 34 per cent of the national figure and the highest in the nation,” Mr Barilaro said.

“The results reflect growth in the NSW economy and show that employers see apprenticeships and traineeships as critical to that growth, while students see them as a pathway to valued employment.

“With our recent $285 million investment to make all apprenticeships fee-free over the next four years, we expect many more people to take up apprenticeships,” he said.

In NSW, construction (3,400 students), carpentry (7,800 students) and electrotechnology electrician (9,100 students) are in the top ten qualifications with the highest enrolments. They also experienced growth of 29 per cent, 15 per cent and 14 per cent respectively when comparing January to June 2017 with the same period in 2018.

Mr Barilaro said the NCVER Report also showed a 9.5 per cent growth in students enrolled in government funded vocational education and training in the first half of 2018 compared to same period in 2017.

“These fantastic results mean we have 24,000 more students sign up to study government funded VET courses in NSW - a great result compared to a 1.4 per cent national decline,” Mr Barilaro said.

“This latest data shows there are now over 277,000 government-funded VET students in NSW, which is more than any other state.

“In our latest Budget we committed $2.2 billion to skills development initiatives. Our ongoing investments in our Smart and Skilled VET system are paying off as more students realise vocational education can get you into a fantastic career.”

Mr Barilaro said the NSW VET system also continued to support disadvantaged students with the number Aboriginal students rising 7.5 per cent in the first half of 2018 compared with a national percentage decline of 1.7 per cent.

“NSW also has the highest number of students with a disability in government-supported VET training with 30,100 students or 42 per cent of the national total,” he said.

“The basis for a strong and prosperous economy is the skills and capabilities of its workforce. That’s why here in NSW we’re investing in developing the skilled workforce we need for the future, something the NCVER data confirms.”