Release type: Media Release


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


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

The Morrison Government has delivered the highest number of Australians in trade apprentices on record. New department program data demonstrates Australian in-training trade apprenticeships reached 217,400 in July 2021, the highest number since records began in 1963. 

Evidencing the positive impacts of the Morrison Government’s record funding of skills and training the number of Australians undertaking skills and training has surged with total in-training apprenticeships and traineeships for June 2021 at 347,266 up from 268,215 in June 2020.

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.

This contrasts with the former Rudd-Gillard-Rudd Labor Government that cut incentives to employ apprentices nine times between 2011 and 2013, totalling $1.2 billion. National Centre for Vocational Education Research data also shows apprentices and trainees in-training collapsed by 22 per cent, or 111,320 through 2012-13. Departmental evidence provided at Senate Estimates attributed this to the tightening of policy measures to address the widespread transfers of existing workers into traineeships and apprenticeships to gain easy access to government supports.

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,’

‘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.’