A new report from the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) shows a 16 per cent rise in apprentices and trainees in NSW this year against a national increase of 2.8 per cent.
The NCVER report on government-funded students and courses showed there are 74,300 apprentices and trainees doing off-the-job training in NSW, which is 34 per cent of the national figure and the highest in Australia.
Deputy NSW premier and skills minister John Barilaro said the the results reflected growth in the NSW economy and the importance of apprenticeships and traineeships to that growth.
“With our recent $285 million investment to make all apprenticeships fee-free over the next four years, we expect many more people to take up apprenticeships,” Barilaro said.
In NSW, construction (3,400 students), carpentry (7,800 students) and electrotechnology electrician (9,100 students) are in the top ten qualifications with the highest enrolments. They also experienced growth of 29 per cent, 15 per cent and 14 per cent respectively when comparing January to June 2017 with the same period in 2018.
The NCVER Report also showed a 9.5 per cent growth in students enrolled in government funded vocational education and training in the first half of 2018 compared to same period in 2017.
“These fantastic results mean we have 24,000 more students sign up to study government funded VET courses in NSW – a great result compared to a 1.4 per cent national decline,” Barilaro said.
“This latest data shows there are now over 277,000 government-funded VET students in NSW, which is more than any other state.”
Barilaro said the NSW VET system also continued to support disadvantaged students with the number Aboriginal students rising 7.5 per cent in the first half of 2018 compared with a national percentage decline of 1.7 per cent.
“NSW also has the highest number of students with a disability in government-supported VET training with 30,100 students or 42 per cent of the national total,” he said.
“The basis for a strong and prosperous economy is the skills and capabilities of its workforce. That’s why here in NSW we’re investing in developing the skilled workforce we need for the future, something the NCVER data confirms.”