Encouraging increase in traineeship and apprenticeship commencements

With businesses facing acute workforce shortages across industry, the significant increase in apprenticeship commencements shown in data released by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) today is a welcome sign. A continued commitment by the Federal Government and Opposition to the Boosting Apprenticeships Commencements (BAC) program will be crucial in maintaining the strong inroads made in growing the talent of our local workforce while providing businesses with access to much-needed skilled workers.

“The NCVER figures released today show that apprenticeship and traineeship commencements have increased by 114 per cent in the June quarter 2021 compared with the same period a year prior, with annual commencements the highest they have been since 2014,” ACCI chief executive Andrew McKellar said.

“The Federal Government’s Boosting Apprenticeships Commencements program has been instrumental in reversing the long-term decline in apprenticeship numbers. We hope to see these strong results continue but note that the BAC is due to expire in March with a replacement scheme yet to be announced.”

“It is critical that both the Federal Government and Opposition commit to locking in support through the continuation of the BAC program. With apprenticeships requiring a longer-term investment in skills development, the continuation of a wage subsidy will ensure that it is more viable for many employers to commit to developing local skills.”

“Through the COVID-crisis, business has suffered from acute skills shortages with approximately one in five skilled positions unable to be filled. As we begin our recovery, growing local workforce talent will ensure businesses can find the skilled workers they need, growing the economy and maximising our economic potential.”

“Similarly, the COVID-19 pandemic has also dealt a heavy blow on the youngest members of our workforce. Apprenticeships are a great pathway for younger workers to secure their first full time job. We must invest in skills and training to deliver the foundations for more productive and prosperous Australia.”

“With current Federal Government support paying clear dividends, continued investment is a must.”

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