Labor fails trainees and apprentices at height of Victoria’s jobs crisis

Victorian apprentices and trainees are disappearing at an alarming rate under the Andrews Labor Government, at a time the state needs them most.

In fact, Victoria has experienced the largest decline in apprenticeship and traineeship commencements of any state in Australia over the last four years.

The startling figures from the June quarter have been released by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) today.

Since 2016, the number of Victorians wishing to commence or complete their traineeship has steadily declined year on year. In 2016 there were 44,035 commencements; in 2020 that number was 28,695– a 34.8 per cent decline.

In this COVID-affected year, the NCVER report also highlighted a dramatic decrease in people starting an apprenticeship or a traineeship compared with last year. The number of people in training this year dropped by 2,250 compared to last year.

Victorians should brace for worse to come. These figures do not take into account the devastating impact of the lockdowns and business closures caused by the Andrews Labor Government’s second wave.

The reduction of young Victorians in traineeships and apprenticeships will undoubtedly have a further negative impact on youth unemployment, which is already at a staggering 18.2 per cent – the worst in over two decades.

Boosting training and skills is a key element of the Liberal Nationals’ Back to Work plan, which unlike Labor policy, is designed to bring the employment rate back to pre-COVID-19 levels.

The plan delivers 57,000 apprenticeships and traineeships over the next year. It includes an expansion of pre-apprenticeship programs, encouraging greater participation of women, and the abolition of payroll taxes for small and medium sized businesses to encourage the hiring of staff.

The Liberal Nationals urge the Andrews Labor Government to implement the plan, to boost the numbers of apprentices and trainees and to get more Victorians into a job.

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Training and Skills, David Hodgett:

“Andrews has no plan to attract young Victorians into critical trainee and apprenticeship places.

“Without these vital positions, our economy will continue to fall behind the rest of the country and more Victorians will be without a job.”

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Jobs and Trade, Matthew Guy:

“Victorians face a major jobs crisis - we need more than debt fuelled government projects to get us out of this mess.

“Only investment to stimulate small and medium sized private business will create lasting job growth and only the Liberal Nationals have a plan to achieve this.”

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