A sobering one-third decline in apprenticeship and trainee commencements highlights the ongoing skill shortage that continues to hold back economic growth, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry says.  

Figures released today show that the number of apprentices and trainees commencing in the final quarter of 2022 was down 33.5 per cent on the previous year.  

“This massive downturn can be linked to the end of the incredibly successful Boosting Apprenticeships Commencements program last June. The program has ended but the skills shortage has not,” ACCI chief executive officer Andrew McKellar said.  

“The replacement program, the Australian Apprenticeships Incentive System has a significantly lower rate of incentives and, as a result, there have been fewer commencements. Incentives play an essential role in the apprenticeship model, providing necessary support for both apprentices and employers.  

“There has not been commencement figures this low in a December quarter since 2019, this troubling decrease in apprenticeship commencements shows the need for subsidies at a sufficient rate is ongoing.  

 “A new subsidy scheme will strengthen the business case for employers to hire apprentices and give young Australians the opportunity to kickstart their careers and contribute to Australia’s skilled workforce.  

 ”The apprenticeship model plays a vital role in skills development and successful transitions from education to employment. To ensure those looking for work have the skills and training required for the jobs of today and tomorrow, we must get the incentives right.

“ACCI will continue to work closely with industry partners and the government to ensure Australia maintains a strong and dynamic workforce for the future.”  

Ashley Gardiner

Director - Media and Communications

P: 0262708020
E: media@acci.com.au

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