South Australia continues to outperform the nation in Vocational Education and Training (VET), recording strong growth in government-funded VET activity, including significant increases in student numbers, hours of training delivered, and subject enrolments.

The latest national training stats released today by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) show SA recorded strong increases in school-enrolled VET students, apprentices and trainees, Aboriginal students, and both female and male students in 2019.

The NCVER’s Government-funded students and courses 2019 release has SA ranked first in terms of the largest percentage increase of all states in hours of delivery (total of 17 million hours – an increase of 1.5 million hours compared to 2018), as well as subject enrolments and program enrolments delivered by non-government providers.

The stats also show that SA had the largest percentage increase in government-funded apprentices and trainees, with growth of 14.7 per cent in 2019, while nationally there was an increase of 2.5 per cent.

Highlights for SA from today’s NCVER government-funded VET stats include South Australia ranking at number 1 in terms of percentage change from 2018 to 2019 in:

  • Total hours of delivery
  • Hours of delivery by non-government training providers
  • Total subject enrolments with non-government training providers
  • Total program enrolments with non-government training providers

Minister for Innovation and Skills David Pisoni said the State Government’s $200 million Skilling South Australia program has been critical to delivering these results and supporting jobs, by delivering the skilled workforce that industry needs, including in the civil construction sector.

“We are working directly with industry to deliver our record $12.9 billion infrastructure program over the next four years, and the jobs that will flow from this investment will require large numbers of skilled workers,” Minister Pisoni said.

“Organisations like the Civil Construction Federation and their registered training arm, Civil Train, which we’re seeing first hand today, are delivering world class training to young South Australians to prepare them for jobs on the massive pipeline of major infrastructure projects being rolled out across our state.

“We’re focused on growing all sectors of the South Australian economy as we navigate the greatest economic challenge of our time, which is why we continue to partner with industry to deliver more skilled pathways into jobs in defence, space, cyber security, health and medical technologies, and the creative industries.”

Minister Pisoni also acknowledged the civil construction sector as the industry responsible for the infrastructure we rely on every day.

“It’s absolutely vital that we have the right people with the right skills to deliver our infrastructure program, and I commend the CCF and Civil Train on developing the next generation of civil contractors who will help shape our state’s future economic prosperity,” Minister Pisoni said.

“Under our Skilling South Australia program, we have worked with Civil Train and many other training providers to deliver these very positive results and increases in apprentices and trainees borne out in today’s stats.

“While there is much more work to be done to ensure our state emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic stronger than before, it’s encouraging to see a 40 per cent increase in apprenticeship and traineeship commencements in the civil construction sector compared to the previous 12 months.

“Civil Train has a strong focus on encouraging more women to enter the industry through its Skilling South Australia project – ‘Women in Civil’.

“The Marshall Government has also developed a new apprenticeship for the civil construction sector at a time when this record infrastructure spend is occurring, to deliver paid pathways into this exciting and growing industry.

“This Government will continue to support the sector to ensure we deliver more opportunities to build upon the current 99 apprentices and 173 trainees in civil works training.”

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