Release type: Media Release


More Australian apprentices are finding jobs than pre-pandemic


The Hon Stuart Robert MP
Minister for Employment, Workforce, Skills, Small and Family Business
Acting Minister for Education and Youth

Australia’s official skills and training data institute the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) has today confirmed that despite COVID headwinds, Australian apprentice and trainee graduates are finding work at higher rates than pre-pandemic and remain satisfied with the training they are receiving.

The NCVER Apprentice and trainee outcomes 2021 report found: 

  • 94.0 per cent of trade apprentice graduates were employed after training, up 2.5 percentage points from 2019
  • 88.4 per cent of traineeship graduates were employed after training, up 3.5 percentage points from 2019.

Encouragingly the overwhelming majority were happy with the skills learnt on the job, with 93 per cent of trade apprentices were satisfied with their on-the-job training.

The higher rates of trade apprentices and trainees gaining employment is further evidence of the ongoing strength of the Vocational Education and Training (VET) and TAFE system under the Morrison Government which has invested $13 billion in the skills system through the pandemic. This record investment, targeted at skilling Australians, has delivered the highest number of trade apprenticeships on record—220,000.

This latest report comes as NCVER recently found more than a quarter of Australian employers (27.4 per cent) currently have an apprentice or trainee, the highest rate since 2011. 

Minister for Employment, Workforce, Skills, Small and Family Business, Stuart Robert, said the report was the latest demonstration that the Morrison Government’s targeted skills policies backed with record investment had secured a generation of Australian workers from COVID-19. 

‘More Australians apprentices and trainees are getting into a job today than before the pandemic, while other countries shed their apprentice workforce we stepped in and put record funding in place, those apprentices are now graduating and getting onto worksites across the country,’ Minister Robert said. 

‘JobKeeper, our apprentices wage supports, and JobTrainer have helped Australian businesses put on, and keep on, the next generation of Australian workers,’ he said.   

‘When Labor was in government they presided over generational scarring of the workforce, the Morrison Government is delivering generational skilling.’

In January 2022 NCVER also found apprentice and trainee numbers were surging across Australia, up 27 per cent over the past year. NCVER also found annual apprentice and trainee commencements are at their highest level since 2014 with numbers increasing in all states and territories and across nearly all industry sectors.

NCVER attributed the surge in businesses taking up apprentices and trainees to the significant supports put in place by the Morrison Government noting JobKeeper, the Infection Control Training Fund, Supporting Apprentices and Trainees Wage support, the Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements wage support, and JobTrainer.

The current surge in apprenticeships contrasts with the experience of the final year of the former Labor Government, which according to official NCVER data saw the number of apprentices and trainees in-training collapse by 22 per cent, or 111,300 from June 2012 to June 2013. This was as a direct result of policy changes introduced by the Gillard Labor Government in 2012 aimed at addressing widespread rorting of incentive payments to employers, which led to the sharp decline in traineeships witnessed from 2013.

For more information on the Australian Government wage subsidies on offer, visit: 

To view the report in full, visit: