SA has yet again recorded nation leading growth in apprentices and trainees, with the latest national training data for Dec quarter 2019 showing a 13.8 per cent increase in paid training commencements for year ending 31 Dec 2019, compared to a year earlier.

SA recorded the largest percentage increase in the nation, while nationally commencements declined by 3.6 per cent for the same period, according to the latest release from the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER).

For the quarter ending December 2019, SA achieved a 9.3 per cent increase in apprentices and trainees, while every other state recorded a decline, illustrated by a 14.8 per cent decrease nationally.

South Australia also recorded the largest increase of any state or territory for the number of apprentices and trainees in training as at 31 December 2019, with a 9.1 per cent increase compared to a national decline of 1.6 per cent.

The Apprentices and Trainees – December quarter 2019 release from the NCVER released today shows nation leading growth for SA in commencements as well as the ‘in-training’ figures, in percentage terms.

Other highlights for South Australia in the NCVER release include:

  • A 114 per cent increase in commencements for mature age apprentices and trainees (aged 45 and over) – demonstrating a transition to new roles and sectors as older workers upskill or retrain
  • A 22 per cent increase in female commencements in apprenticeships and traineeships
  • A 90.8 per cent increase in apprentice and trainee commencements who are existing workers – showing that Skilling South Australia is allowing people to upskill for their existing roles or re-train for roles in other growing sectors of our economy.

“The Marshall Liberal Government’s Skilling South Australia program is delivering these results,” Minister for Innovation and Skills David Pisoni said.

“These figures translate into jobs and lasting careers in new and expanding industries for South Australians, while meeting the needs of industry as our economy continues to transition to the high growth sectors of defence, space, advanced manufacturing, hi-tech, and the health and medical industries – highlighted by a 407 per cent increase in commencements for higher level qualifications at Diploma or Advanced Diploma level.

“The success of Skilling South Australia has been built by Government working with industry, through the reestablishment of Industry Skills Councils to shape the bespoke projects which employers and industries want to meet their skills needs.

“We’ve also expanded the Subsidised Training List to include more apprenticeship and traineeship qualifications and courses, giving employers and providers flexibility and students more choices when it comes to courses leading to careers.

“The state’s training providers are open for business and continue to offer high quality training including access to around 700 courses on demand supporting Skilling South Australia objectives connecting training directly to jobs.

“Key projects reflecting this effective new approach include paid traineeships in the care sector, a new vocational pathway for cyber security jobs, and the Advanced Diploma in Applied Technologies, reflecting the need for skilled workers in the hi-tech sector.

“With the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic hitting economies hard the world over, it’s been critical to support the South Australian training system, and that’s why we’ve stepped up with a $16 million VET Market Continuity Package in SA, as well as extra support for employers.”

These supports include:

  • The Group Training Boost – reducing the cost for employers to take on an apprentice through Group Training. The Group Training Boost will also support the charge-out rate for a first-year apprentice, and provide further support to Group Training Organisations (GTOs) to encourage them to move into new markets, increase their business development capacity and deliver the skills needs of industry.
  • The Skills for Business scheme – which offers small businesses up to $5,000 for every new apprentice or trainee hired in SA on a paid training contract.
  • Equipped for Work – providing up to $1,500 to be reimbursed for equipment and services.

“South Australia’s economic prosperity will rely on our ability to adjust to new challenges and opportunities by ensuring we have a workforce skilled for today and tomorrow’s industries,” Minister Pisoni said.

“We’re also pleased to see the Prime Minister put reform of the country’s skills and training sector on the national agenda – much of what the Marshall Government has done in terms of fixing our training system is strongly aligned to this national reform process, in terms of greater choice, flexibility, and value for money for employers, training providers, students and industry sectors.

“We know that the impacts of COVID-19 continue to present significant challenges for our economy and the training sector, but we are resolute in ensuring SA’s training sector emerges from this stronger than before, so that our reforms of skills training continue to deliver strong results for apprentices and trainees in the years ahead.”

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