The number of Australians taking up skills training is in free fall under the Albanese Government. The latest data from the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) confirms today that over its first year of government Labor have presided over a 37.4 per cent decline in new training starts. Worryingly, NCVER found a 42.9 per cent decline in commencements for female trainees and apprentices.

This means there are around 37,225 less Australians commencing training as an apprentice today, such as an electrician, or as a trainee, such as a childcare worker, than when Labor took office. This has dire consequences for the training pipeline and our economy.

The freefall in apprentice and trainee starts follows a steady decline in the number of Australians in-training under Labor. Trade apprentices in-training hit record highs in the final months of the Coalition Government and as of June 2022, there were 415,240 apprentices and trainees in-training, which was 21.6 per cent higher than at the same time in 2021. Under Labor, this number has now fallen to 387,505.

Labor came to power promising it would solve skills shortages and deliver more opportunities for Australians to get into training. But the reality is they have delivered a collapse in apprenticeship and traineeship starts and a decline in the number of Australians in-training. This will hit the Australian economy hard.

Deputy Leader of the Opposition and Shadow Minister for Industry, Skills and Training Sussan Ley said NCVER’s official update sounded the alarm over Labor’s approach to skills.

“Today’s data demonstrates that while Anthony Albanese talks a big game on skills, he just isn’t delivering, in fact he has overseen an almost 40 per cent decline in new training starts in his first year alone” the Deputy Leader said.

“I am shocked by the collapse in women taking up training opportunities, especially given Labor said this was a key priority for them.

“Labor’s skills record is already in tatters, as the cost-of-living crisis worsens I am deeply concerned their failures will only worsen and everyday Australians will pay the price.”