The National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) has published its recent research report on apprenticeships and training, which reveals a significant increase compared to September 2021. According to the NCVER apprentices and trainees report, there are now 402,245 individuals enrolled in vocational education programs, representing a remarkable 14% rise compared to the same period last year. This enrolment surge signifies a growing interest in pursuing trades and skills-based occupations.
The NCVER report shows that the number of apprentices and trainees who finished their vocational education programs increased by 33.4% in the September quarter of 2022 compared to the same quarter in 2021. There was a substantial growth in completions for trade occupations, which rose to 13,130 or 46.6% from the previous year’s September quarter. Completions in non-trade occupations also increased to 11,505, up by 20.8%.
NCVER Apprentices and Trainees Commencements
Despite the year-on-year increase, the number of apprentices and trainees in training has declined since 30 June 2022. This decrease is partly due to the decline in commencing apprentices and trainees in the September quarter, which was 29,420, down by 41.3% compared with the same quarter in 2021. This drop in commencement numbers was observed across all industry sectors.
According to Simon Walker, the Managing Director of NCVER, the drop in apprenticeship and traineeship commencements during the September quarter could be attributed to modifications made by the Australian government to the wage subsidies offered to employers of apprentices and trainees.
Over the past year, the number of commencements in vocational education programs increased by 6.1%, reaching 254,700 as of 30 September 2022. In addition, the number of completions rose by 20.9%, totalling 95,300.
NCVER Report Cancellations and Withdrawals
However, there was also a concerning increase in cancellations and withdrawals in the NCVER apprentices and trainees report, which surged by 34.3% to 127,510. While the rise in commencements and completions is certainly a positive trend, the increase in cancellations and withdrawals is a cause for concern.
It’s essential to understand why apprentices and trainees may cancel or withdraw from their training programs and what can be done to address the underlying issues. While some factors may be outside anyone’s control, such as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, efforts should be made to minimise cancellations and withdrawals and ensure that individuals who enrol in vocational education programs can successfully complete their training.
According to the NCVER report, the in-training trade and non-trade occupations with the largest enrolment numbers are Automotive and Engineering and Clerical and Administrative Workers, respectively.
In-Training Trade Occupations
|Automotive and Engineering Trades Workers
|Construction Trades Workers
|Electrotechnology and Telecommunications Trades Workers
|Engineering, ICT and Science Technicians
|Food Trades Workers
|Other Technicians and Trades Workers
|Skilled Animal, Agricultural and Horticultural Workers
In-Training Non-Trade Occupations
|Clerical and Administrative Workers
|Community and Personal Service Workers
|Machine Operators and Drivers
It is important to note that while the enrolment numbers for certain occupations have increased, other factors, such as cancellations and withdrawals, have also increased. This indicates a need for further investigation into why some individuals may withdraw from their training programs and what can be done to support their success.
Implications and Opportunities for RTOs
The recently released NCVER report on apprentices and trainees has important implications for Registered Training Organisations (RTOs). RTOs that offer training in these popular occupations will likely see a surge in enrolments and service demand.
With more individuals seeking out trades and skills-based occupations, there is an increased demand for training and education programs. This presents an opportunity for RTOs to expand their offerings and cater to the needs of these individuals.
Another positive finding of the NCVER report is that many apprentices and trainees find employment after completing their training. However, RTOs must also be aware of the challenges and take steps to address them to ensure the success of their apprentices and trainees.
Read our other blogs and stay updated on the latest news and trends in the Vocational Education Training (VET) Industry.