South Australia continues to lead the nation in growth in apprentices and trainees, with the latest national training data for the year to March 2020 showing an 11.9 per cent increase in paid training commencements compared to the same period a year earlier.
SA recorded the highest percentage increase of all states and territories, while nationally commencements declined by 7.7 per cent, according the latest release from the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER).
This puts South Australia nearly 20 percentage points above the national average in terms of growth in commencements for apprentices and trainees, qualifications which are linked directly to rewarding jobs and careers through a contract of training.
South Australia is also ranked first in terms of apprentice and trainee percentage growth in a number of key areas and demographics including people aged 45 years and over, women, indigenous, and higher qualifications.
“The Marshall Liberal Government’s Skilling South Australia program is working, and these results show the resilience of the state’s training system, and augurs well for our economic recovery out of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Minister for Innovation and Skills David Pisoni said.
“These figures translate into jobs and lasting careers in new and expanding industries such as defence, space, cyber security, and industries requiring a higher apprenticeship – highlighted by a 209.6 per cent increase in higher qualifications, Certificate IV and above.
“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.
“To maintain this success, we need to continue to drive reform of our training system through the Training and Skills Development (Miscellaneous) Amendment Bill 2020 – which will create an expanded, modern and accessible skills training system for South Australians.
“The Bill has passed the House of Assembly, but not before Opposition leader Peter Malinauskas failed his first test as the new Shadow Minister for Jobs, by voting against this important legislation.”
The latest NCVER figures also show that for the first time in four and a half years, the number of apprentices and trainees in South Australia in-training is above 18,000.
“As the old adage goes, a rising tide lifts all boats, and Skilling South Australia’s bespoke programs are delivering nation leading results across many key areas and demographics,” Minister Pisoni said.
• 45 years and over age group increased by 83.3 per cent
• Women apprentices and trainees increased by 22.6 per cent
• Indigenous apprentices and trainees increased by 18.8 per cent, and
• Apprentices and trainees identifying as having a disability increased by 13.1 per cent.