NSW leads nation in apprenticeship results

Media release | 4 September 2018

Deputy Premier and Minister for Skills John Barilaro welcomed research released today by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) showing NSW experienced a 4.3 per cent increase in the number of apprenticeship and traineeship commencements, against a national downturn.

NSW saw commencement figures in the March quarter grow 6.8 per cent compared to the same time last year. Apprentices and trainees ‘in training’ in NSW increased by 2.6 per cent, compared to a national decline of 3.7 per cent over the same period.

Mr Barilaro said he was not surprised to see the NSW Government’s $2.2 billion commitment to skills development initiatives translate into higher commencement figures.

“NSW is in the midst of a skills boom - more than ever we need skilled workers for our record $85 billion infrastructure spend. That’s why we’ve made all apprenticeships fee-free over the next four years,” Mr Barilaro said.

“This year has seen the most apprentices beginning their trade for over ten years – these are our future carpenters, plumbers and electricians, all crucial parts of the state’s workforce,” he said.

NCVER data showed NSW remains the largest state in terms of government-funded vocational education and training delivery with 234,300 students in training in the first quarter of 2018, which is 38.5 per cent of all students in Australia.

NSW also has the highest participation rate of young people (24 years and under) studying in government-funded training, with 44.3 per cent of national enrolments - a figure that increased by 4 per cent.

“Since coming to office, improving the vocational education and training sector has been a priority for the NSW Government and for me personally. We’ve made a lot of improvements, all with the intention of delivering the best possible vocational training that places students and their careers at its centre,” Mr Barilaro said.

“Today’s apprentice is tomorrow’s tradie, and a future small business owner employing others. It’s great to see students and parents recognising vocational education and training as the pathway to a well-paying, quality job.

“There has never been a better time to start an apprenticeship.

“After 20 years of working in a trade that I love, owning my own business and building a great life for my family, I can honestly say following my gut and doing a trade was one of the best decisions I have ever made.

“To every student in NSW wondering what to do when they leave school I want to say to them; be brave, follow your gut and remember doing a trade is a pathway to a great life,” he said.