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Strength in apprentice numbers, but commencements drop – NCVER

Manufacturing News

The numbers of apprentices and trainees in-training in Australia remain high, according to the latest data from the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER).

The centre said there were 349,235 apprentices and trainees in-training as at 31 December 2021, 16.8 percent higher than at the same time in 2020 and only slightly lower than at the end of the September quarter 2021.

In trade occupations, numbers were up 12.0 percent to 216,265 in-training, while numbers in non-trade occupations were up 25.3 percent to 132,905.

NCVER Managing Director Simon Walker said: “The number of apprentices and trainees in-training remain higher than in recent years largely as a result of the Australian Government’s Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements wage subsidy.

“This scheme, introduced in early October 2020 to help recovery from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, lead to a notable increase in commencements over the past four quarters to September quarter 2021.”

However, the level of commencements is not so positive, especially in manufacturing.

While the number of commencements in the December quarter 2021 is down 32.2 percent from the the previous corresponding period, it is still well above the levels recorded before the onset of the pandemic.

Compared with December quarter 2020, commencements in trade and non-trade occupations were down 31.1 percent and 32.9 percent respectively.

Manufacturing was one of the industry sectors with largest absolute decreases in commencements – down 48.5 percent.

Image: NCVER

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