Fall in ACT apprenticeship numbers exposes lack of investment in skills and training


Data released last week by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) revealed that the ACT has had the slowest apprenticeship and training growth in Australia.

Canberra Liberals Leader Elizabeth Lee said the figures from the report come as a result of the Labor-Greens Government’s lack of funding for skills and training.

“Industry has been calling on the Labor-Greens Government to invest in local skills and local jobs for years, but it has fallen on deaf ears," Ms Lee said.

“The data released by the NCVER shows that every other state and territory has seen massive growth in the number of people starting vocational training, but the ACT has fallen far behind.

"If we don't invest in local skills now, ACT construction businesses won't be able to compete with larger interstate corporations.

“There has been a chronic underfunding of skills and training in the ACT and in this year’s budget, there is no material commitment to improving and boosting skills and apprenticeships to deliver on infrastructure projects.

“Getting more Canberrans into jobs and more tradies on the tools will strengthen our economy recovery and deliver on an ambitious infrastructure plan for the future.”

Shadow Minister for Vocational Training and Skills James Milligan said the ACT Labor-Greens Government needs to start pulling their weight when it comes to training subsidies in the construction sector.

“This government offers one of the lowest training subsidies for construction trades in Australia,” Mr Milligan said.

“Canberra businesses want to employ apprentices but for many it is not financially viable until they are a few years into their program; not to mention the initial cost for first year apprentices to get started.

“More investment from the Labor-Greens Government would mean more apprentices on the tools and more Canberrans in jobs,” Mr Milligan concluded.


The NCVER data for the ACT is available here: https://www.ncver.edu.au/research-and-statistics/publications/all-publications/apprentices-and-trainees-2021-march-quarter-australia/apprentices-and-trainees-2021-march-quarter-state-and-territory-comparisons