The State’s peak business organisation, the NSW Business Chamber, says that data released today by the National Centre for Vocational Education and Research (NCVER), which shows an increase in the number of people commencing apprenticeships and traineeships, is a testament to the strength of the NSW economy and the resulting lift in business confidence that leads to more job opportunities.
“Without a doubt, NSW is bucking the national trend when it comes to enrolled apprentices and trainees,” said Mid North Coast NSW Business Chamber Regional Manager, Kellon Beard.
“NSW’s record public infrastructure pipeline and strong private sector investment is encouraging more and more people to look towards apprenticeships and traineeships as a positive pathway to not only a qualification but a quality job and career,” Mr. Beard said.
“We’ve welcomed the NSW Government’s recent commitment to offer 100,000 fee-free apprenticeships and to ensure 20% of all workers on major public infrastructure projects are in training, but with a forecast skills shortage of 300,000 in the construction industry alone we need to be doing more to skill NSW for the future and reduce stubbornly high levels of youth unemployment.
“While NSW is leading the nation in terms of apprenticeship and traineeship enrolments, we are well behind Queensland and Victoria when it comes to school based apprenticeships.
“Young people looking to explore vocational education shouldn’t have to wait until the end of their schooling to attain the skills they need to commence their career of choice.
“Further investments to improve the quality, consistency and availability of school based training, along with measures to incentivise employers to engage new apprentices and trainees, need to be key priorities to address skill shortages and tackle youth unemployment.
“With the NSW Government setting itself a 65% apprenticeship completion target by 2019, we need to re-focus efforts on translating apprenticeship commencements into completions, and on providing more young people with access to relevant training and skills before they complete their secondary education,” Mr. Beard said.