The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly disrupted the Australian job market, with many industries suffering losses and increased unemployment rates. However, the recent National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) Apprentices and Trainees’ report showed the number of apprentices and trainees in training has surged by 14% as of September 2022, marking a significant increase from the same period in 2021
Apprenticeships and traineeships have long been considered essential pathways to entering the workforce and gaining valuable skills and qualifications.
The figures also revealed a notable jump in completions, particularly in trade occupations, thus indicating that more individuals are taking up vocational education and training, and the industry is thriving.
Significant Growth in Apprentices and Trainees in Training in Australia
The most recent NCVER Apprentices and Trainees report revealed a significant surge in the count of apprentices and trainees currently receiving training in Australia, reaching 402,245 in the September quarter of 2022, representing a 14% increase when compared to the corresponding period in 2021. The data also showed a notable increase in completions, with 24,655 apprentices and trainees completing their training in the same quarter, reflecting a 33.4% increase from the previous year.
The report suggested the increase is primarily due to the high demand for skilled workers in various industries. With the ongoing pandemic, many businesses seek to upskill their existing workforce, and apprenticeships and traineeships are seen as an effective way to do so.
Trade Occupations Driving Increase in Completions
The NCVER report also showed a 33.4% increase in apprentice and trainee completions in the September quarter of 2022, with most growth driven by trade occupations.
There were 13,130 completions in trade occupations, a rise of 46.6% from the same quarter in 2021.
The trade occupations included in the report:
- Automotive and engineering trades workers
- Construction trade workers
- Electrotechnology and telecommunications trade workers
- Engineering, ICT, and science technicians
- Food trade workers
- Other technicians and trades workers
- Skilled animal, agricultural, and horticultural workers
In contrast, non-trade occupations increased to 11,505, up by 20.8%, an encouraging trend for the trade sector, which faces a shortage of skilled workers.
The non-trade occupations in the report include:
- Clerical and administrative workers
- Community and personal service workers
- Machinery operators and drivers
- Sales workers
Strong Employment Outcomes for Apprentices and Trainees
The NCVER Apprentices and Trainees’ report also highlighted strong employment outcomes for apprentices and trainees.
In 2022, the employment outcomes for apprentices and trainees remained strong, with a high proportion of them securing jobs after completing their apprenticeships or traineeships amidst COVID-19 challenges.
As of the end of May 2022, 94.9% of apprentices and trainees who completed their apprenticeship or traineeship in a trade occupation were employed after training. In comparison, 89.3% of those who completed non-trade fields were hired after an internship, 1.7 percentage points from 2021.
Interestingly, the report also included outcomes for apprentices and trainees who did not complete their apprenticeship or traineeship, with 84.2% of trade non-completers and 84.3% of non-trade non-completers employed after training.
Satisfaction with Off-the-Job Training Remained Steady
The NCVER Apprentices and Trainees’ report also included satisfaction rates for off-the-job training, which remained steady in 2022. 87.2% of trade completers and 89.3% of non-trade completers reported being satisfied overall with their off-the-job training.
The data indicated that the quality of the training delivered to apprentices and trainees meets their needs.
What the NCVER Report on Apprentices and Trainees’ Report Means to Your RTO
The latest NCVER report on apprentices and trainees has significant implications for Australian Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) like you. With the number of apprentices and trainees in training increasing by 14%, you can expect to see a higher demand for training and assessment services. This is particularly true for trade occupations, which saw a substantial increase in completions from the previous year. RTOs that offer training in these trades can expect a surge in enrolments and demand for their services.
The strong employment outcomes highlighted in the report are also good news. With such a high proportion of apprentices and trainees finding employment after completing their training, you can expect a boost in your reputation and demand for your services. Employers are more likely to choose RTOs with a consistent record of providing high-quality training that leads to good employment outcomes for their apprentices and trainees.
Adding an interactive 10-year time series chart to the report is also a valuable resource for you. It allows you to track trends in apprenticeship and traineeship data over the last decade and make informed decisions based on this data. This is particularly important if you want to develop new training programs or expand your services into different trades or non-trade occupations.
The NCVER Apprentices and Trainees’ report underscored that despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, Australia’s vocational education and training (VET) sector continues to provide critical skills and employment opportunities for individuals seeking to build their careers in various trade and non-trade occupations.
The rise in the number of apprentices and trainees in training, coupled with the significant increase in completions and strong employment outcomes, reflects vocational education’s crucial role in the Australian economy.
As the economy recuperates from the effects of the pandemic, investing in vocational education and training will be critical to meet the demand for skilled workers and ensure ongoing growth in the industry.
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