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Following the release of the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) latest results, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Australia’s largest and most representative business network) has made its call to accelerate action through the Skilling Australians Fund (SAF) to boost falling apprentice and trainee numbers.

Australian Chamber CEO, James Pearson, said “The business community remains very concerned by the steady decline in the number of apprentices and trainees being trained,”.

“Business faces pressing skill shortages. We know what many of the problems are with apprenticeships and we have good ideas on how to solve them. Government should bring industry to the table immediately, alongside state and territory governments, so we can get on with the job together.”

These figures indicate the need of action from the Commonwealth and all States and Territories urgently to turn things around.




In-training as at 30 June 2018

There were 269 720 apprentices and trainees in-training as at 30 June 2018, a decrease of 1.0% from 30 June 2017.

Quarterly training activity

In the June quarter 2018, compared with the June quarter 2017:

  • commencements decreased by 3.3%, to 35 280
  • completions decreased by 7.8%, to 20 065
  • cancellations and withdrawals increased by 4.8%, to 23 660.


Training activity: 12-month ending series

In the 12 months ending 30 June 2018, compared with the 12 months ending 30 June 2017:

  • commencements decreased by 0.6%, to 161 720
  • completions decreased by 7.1%, to 89 695
  • cancellations and withdrawals increased by 1.4%, to 92 850.


107 080 Males

(up 1.9% from 2017)

54 640 Females

(down 5.1% from 2017)


74 375 Trades

(up 4.6% from 2017)


87 350 Non-trades

(down 4.6% from 2017)


Statistical report

4 December 2018