SA skills state

South Australia’s nation-leading status as the ‘State-of-Skills’ has continued, according to today’s report from National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER).

South Australia has outpaced the nation in the number of people taking up an apprenticeship or traineeship – up 51.5 per cent under the Marshall Government in the 3 years to 31 March 2021 – almost 28 percentage points ahead of second-placed Tasmania.

By way of comparison the number of people taking up apprenticeships and traineeships in the last four years of the former Labor Government fell by 48.2 per cent.

There were also 22,720 apprentices and trainees in SA in training as at 31 March 2021, the highest level since 30 September 2014.

Minister for Innovation and Skills David Pisoni said the huge increase in commencements is a testament to South Australia’s strong economic performance and the willingness of employers to take advantage of the growing opportunities.

“The Marshall Government is committed to working with industry and businesses to create more jobs and career pathways for all South Australians,” Minister Pisoni said.

“The NCVER stats are very positive for South Australia, hitting heights not seen for more than seven years.

“In the year to 31 March 2021, the number of apprenticeship and trainee commencements in South Australia increased by 35.6 per cent to 12,455 – the first time since 2014 that year to March commencements were above 12,000.

“This put the state at second overall – behind only Western Australia – and shows that our efforts to encourage more South Australians of all ages into a skilled career is paying dividends.

“At a sector level we have seen a substantial uptick in the number of people starting in a construction trade occupation, up by 55 per cent compared with the same time last year.

“And a crucial part of learning a trade is completing an apprenticeship or traineeship – it is great to see completions are up by 8.7 per cent.”

South Australia is also leading the nation with the percentage increase in the number of apprentice and trainee commencements by Aboriginal Australians with 33 per cent more starting in the 12 months to 31 March 2021 compared to the same period in 2020.

The NCVER also revealed that South Australia is leading the nation in the percentage increase of new apprenticeships or trainees in the 25 to 44 years and 45 years and over age groups, up 52.7 per cent and 83 per cent respectively compared with last year.

“The percentage increase in the number of Aboriginal Australians taking up an apprenticeship or traineeship in the state is particularly pleasing and SA is now leading the nation in this regard,” Minister Pisoni said.

“SA is also leading the nation in Aboriginal students completing their training, with a 15.8 per cent increase in completions compared to a national decline of 13 per cent.

“The South Australian Government’s $200 million Skilling South Australia program has been a huge success, delivering over 290 bespoke projects that support employment outcomes, including projects that specifically support Aboriginal learners.”

Indigenous trainee Tyson Dolby had been looking for work for the past two years before he signed up for the Housing Industry Association (HIA)/Stratco – Patio Installers Pre-Apprenticeship Program in August, funded through Skilling South Australia, a joint initiative of the South Australian and Australian Governments.

After completing five weeks of theory training with Carey Training and a two-week work placement, Mr Dolby secured a traineeship in the Certificate II in Construction with HIA hosting him out to All Type Roofing, Gutters and Verandas.

“This traineeship has boosted my confidence and self-esteem,” Mr Dolby said.

“I was a bit hesitant at first, but I work with a great bunch of lads who have made it really easy for me to settle in.

“Once I complete the 12-month traineeship, I’m really keen to stick this out and continue to gain more experience constructing patios, verandas and roofing.”

Other Skilling South Australia projects which have supported Aboriginal learners include:

  • Health Industry Training – supporting existing Indigenous works in health services.
  • Fulton Hogan/Ngopamuldi Aboriginal Corporation – apprenticeship placements in civil construction to upskill existing employees.
  • Iluka Resources – upskilling existing employees with a qualification not previously available in South Australia.

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