APPRENTICE NUMBERS DROP YET AGAIN – TURNBULL GOVERNMENT HAS NO PLAN TO HALT THE DECLINE

8 Jun 2017

Latest quarterly figures from the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) show once again that apprentice numbers have fallen on the Turnbull Government’s watch.

SENATOR THE HON DOUG CAMERON

SHADOW MINISTER FOR HOUSING AND HOMELESSNESS
SHADOW MINISTER FOR SKILLS AND APPRENTICESHIPS

SENATOR FOR NEW SOUTH WALES

 APPRENTICE NUMBERS DROP YET AGAIN – TURNBULL GOVERNMENT HAS NO PLAN TO HALT THE DECLINE

Latest quarterly figures from the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) show once again that apprentice numbers have fallen on the Turnbull Government’s watch.

The number of apprentices is down by 148,400 since the Coalition came to government.

The government’s promise to increase apprenticeships by 300,000 is in tatters, and the Budget papers reveal that a further $600 million has been cut from apprenticeship support.

The NCVER figures show there was a 4.5% decline in the number of apprentices and trainees in-training at 31 December 2016 compared to 31 December 2015. There are now 265 000 in training, compared to 413,400 in September 2013.

Overall trade and non-trade commencements in the December 2016 quarter were down 6.5% compared with the December 2015 quarter. Trade apprenticeship commencements alone decreased by 9.1%. Non-trade commencements also declined, down 4.6%.

The Coalition’s response has been to promise 300,000 new apprenticeships, but this Budget promise simply doesn’t stack up, as noted by independent commentators. Answers at Budget Estimates last week revealed that the number was ‘indicative’ only. It has been further downgraded to a hope – it’s now ‘up to 300,000’ apprentices.

The target also relies entirely on insecure funding that depends on fees from foreign workers. If the demand for temporary work visas goes down the Turnbull government will reduce funding for apprenticeships.

Labor will return the $600 million to the skills budget and ensure stable funding for TAFEs and apprenticeships, working directly with employers and unions to create skilled jobs in local communities.

 

The latest disappointing figures highlight the Turnbull Government’s wasted four years of cuts and neglect on skills and apprentices. Their latest empty promises offer no hope of arresting the decline.

THURSDAY, 8 JUNE 2017