Morrison Government’s record funding for skills and training delivers trade apprentices at highest levels ever

Federal Member for Wide Bay and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives Llew O’Brien has welcomed new figures that show the highest number of Australians in trade apprentices on record.

New program data from the Department of Education, Skills and Employment demonstrates Australian in-training trade apprenticeships reached 217,400 in July 2021, the highest number since records began in 1963.

The total number of in-training apprenticeships and traineeships for June 2021 was 347,266 up from 268,215 in June 2020.

“These figures show the Liberal and Nationals Government’s record funding of skills and training has delivered a surge in the number of Australians undertaking skills and training, giving hundreds of thousands of people new opportunities and future-proof careers,” Mr O’Brien said.

Apprenticeship commencements have risen significantly across all states and territories since the Morrison Government’s $3.9 billion Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements wage support was introduced in October 2020 which has recently been backed in by the $716 million Completing Apprenticeships Commencements wage support.

“The Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements program is already supporting almost 500 trainees in Wide Bay, and an extension through the Completing Apprenticeship Commencements program is helping local businesses to create even more jobs for local trainees,” Mr O’Brien said.

Minister for Employment, Workforce, Skills, Small and Family Business Stuart Robert said the milestone cemented the Morrison Government as the best friend tradies have ever had.

“It is clear Australia is in the midst of an apprenticeships boom, there has never been as many Australians having a crack at a trade apprenticeship than today,” Mr Robert said.

“Our record funding of $6.4 billion in skills and training funding alongside billions in wage supports secured a generation of Australian apprentices through the greatest shock since the Great Depression.

“With the economy firing again, hundreds of thousands of jobs available and billions of dollars of skills funding on the table this is a once in a generation opportunity for Aussies to get into a career that will last a lifetime.

“In decades to come, whether it is when we open the Western Sydney Airport, Snowy 2.0 or indeed finish one of the millions of home renos over that time, we will look back at this period as critical in securing Australia’s workforce—a workforce built on Aussie tradies and their apprentices.”