In Two Years Of Tony Australia Loses 100,000 Apprentices And Trainees

Since the election of Tony Abbott in September 2013, Australia has lost almost 100,000 apprentices according to the National Centre for Vocational Education and Research (NCVER) report released on Friday Australian vocational education and training statistics: Apprentices and trainees 2015 March Quarter report.

Apprentices and trainees in training in September 2013 totalled 417,700 compared to just 319,700 in March 2015.  This is a drop of almost 100,000 apprentices. 

“It is obvious that the $1 billion in cuts to apprenticeship support are having an effect on the number of apprentices in training,” Sharon Bird said. 

“Back in May when NCVER figures for the 12 months to 31 December 2014 showed that commencements and completions were down by approximately 20 percent, the Minister promised that he was desperately working on policies and strategies to address this problem. 

“what we’re desperately trying to do now is work on policies and strategies that can rebuild the system”

Minister Simon Birmingham, 2GB, 21 May 2015

 “Almost four months later and absolutely nothing has been done to help our apprentices – all we have seen is cuts to funding: 

  • $1 billion in cuts to apprenticeship programs such as mentoring, access and the Apprentice to Business Owner program  in the 2014-15 Budget;

  • Replaced apprentice support with apprentice debt by abolishing the Tools for Your Trade Program;

  • Rebadged and cut funding to Australian Apprenticeship Centres;

  • Abolished the Joint Group Training program;

  • Cutting support for adult apprentices; and

  • Put forward zero new ideas for training people for the jobs of the future.

“There has not been one policy put forward by the Abbott Government that increases investment in apprentices to help them start and complete an apprenticeship. 

“Before the election, Tony Abbott promised that the Coalition would provide better support for Australia’s apprentices - sadly they have cut funding and have defaulted to their fall-back position of relying heavily on 457 visas rather than investing in skills and training. 

“The figures released today should be a wake-up call for the Abbott Government to start investing in our Australian workforce of the future before it’s too late”.