Statistics from the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) showed an increase of 4.2 per cent in apprentice and trainee commencements for the 2017 September quarter.
The rise occurred in spite of a 3.2 per cent decrease in trade commencements for the 12-month period ending 30 September, 2017.
The biggest trade commencement increases were seen in the automotive and engineering and construction trades – by 16.8 per cent and 5.5 per cent respectively.
Overall, there were 261,925 apprentices and trainees in learning as of 30 September 2017, a decrease of 5.6 per cent when compared to the corresponding period (September 2016).
The report also offered statistics on apprenticeships and traineeships being undertaken in the resources and infrastructure sector. When the 2016 and 2017 quarter figures were compared, there was an increase from 8246 to 9341.
NCVER’s report also showed that those training in a surface extraction operations certificate or diploma increased from 2003 to 2873 – a 1.4 per cent increase on the corresponding period.
More stability, fewer entrants
Graham Terrey, the director of training organisation Mine Resilience, offered his thoughts on the latest figures.
“From my perspective, I’ve certainly noticed a drop-off in numbers for mining and quarrying qualifications that aren’t funded by governments, especially for qualifications that are not required by law,” Terrey said. “I also think that the quarrying industry has stabilised considerably and doesn’t have the same level of mobility, hence fewer new entrants and/or apprentices.
“Interestingly, I’ve seen a rise in Certificate IV to Advanced Diploma qualifications. It’s about even, participants funded by their companies as there are for personal development reasons and at their own cost over the same time,” he added.
At the end of September 2017, there were 18,075 students undergoing training in machinery operation and driving. This increased from 15,353 in the previous year’s corresponding period.
Apprentices and trainees engaged in mobile plant operations increased from 3975 to 4693, while earthmoving plant operators also increased from 3449 to 4182.
The full report can be read here.