There was a big rise in apprentice numbers during 2020, but on issuing the boom figures the National Centre for Vocational Education Research warned of the need to interpret the results with care.
NCVER reported that there were 297,920 apprentices and trainees in-training as at 31 December 2020, an increase of 13.9 per cent from 31 December 2019.
The December quarter 2020 figures even more bullish, with commencements up 141.6 per cent over the same quarter in 2019, from 28,700 people to 69,320.
Quarterly commencements exceeded the level they were in 2016 for the first time – apprentices and trainees have fallen every year since then.
NCVER commented: “Note that the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia has created uncertain times for individuals, businesses and governments.
“Governments have also implemented various stimulus packages for eligible employees, apprentices and trainees.
“Care should be taken when comparing 2020 data with data from previous years.”
Nevertheless with December quarter commencements up 10.6 per cent from 2019 to 167,240, there were 297,920 people in training, up 13.9 per cent on 2019.
Two point three per cent of all workers were employed as an apprentice or trainee, with 10.8 per cent of trade workers in training.
In the December quarter completions and withdrawals both decreased.
Full results here.
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