Apprenticeships and Training Rise in Record Numbers as Economy Strengthens
(News4us.com) December 3, 2010
A record number of Australians are undertaking apprenticeships and training which will continue to drive productivity as the economy strengthens, Minister for Skills, Senator Chris Evans said today.
The June quarter estimates of apprentice and trainee activity in Australia, released by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) today, show a strong increase in trades commencements.
“The Government’s $4.8 billion investment in apprenticeships is delivering results,” Senator Evans said.
“The NCVER report shows there has been a 16.9 per cent increase in trades commencements in the past 12 months, while the number of people enrolling in non-trade occupations has also risen by 6.2 per cent.
“The other really good news is that not only have overall commencements increased, but completions have increased by almost five per cent.”
Senator Evans said the June quarter 2010 commencements are now on par with the June quarter 2008, when the economy was at a peak.
In total there were 440, 600 apprentices and trainees in-training as at the end of June 2010, an increase of 3.2% from the previous year.
“The Gillard Government has made record investments in apprentices and training and through programs like Apprentice Kickstart we reversed the decline in apprenticeship numbers which has traditionally followed an economic downturn,” he said.
All states and territories recorded increases in all commencements in the 12 months to 30 June, 2010. The largest increases recorded were:
- Queensland +12.6%
- Northern Territory +11.2%
- New South Wales +9.1%
- Victoria +9.1%
“Developing a highly skilled and educated workforce is at the very heart of the Government’s plan to build an economy that will meet the challenges of the future,” Senator Evans said.
“Neither background nor age should be a barrier to success. Every Australian should be able to open the door to new opportunities through skills training and education at every age and every stage of life.”
The Australian Government is investing more than $4.8 billion over the next four years, working together with industry, employers, the states and territories and Australian Apprenticeships Centres to support Australian Apprenticeships and related programs.
The Government’s four-year Skills for Sustainable Growth package includes $200 million for the new Critical Skills Investment Fund to deliver up to 39,000 additional training places in sectors facing high skills demand.
The first funding round for the Critical Skills Investment Fund will be in early 2011. Draft guidelines for the fund are available at www.deewr.gov.au/criticalskillsinvestmentfund.
The NCVER’s Australian vocational education and training statistics: Apprentices and trainees, June quarter 2010 are available from www.ncver.edu.au/publications/2326.html.
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