Apprenticeships and traineeships continue to be valued pathways

Victoria needs more apprentices and trainees to meet its economic and social agenda.

Apprenticeships and traineeships

Apprenticeships and traineeships are a time-honoured approach to delivering the skills needed for Victoria’s economy. Around 35,000 employers of apprentices and trainees help to deliver these skills (Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority (2023), Regulating apprenticeships and traineeships(opens in a new window), February).

As of September 2022, Victoria had more than 85,000 apprentices and trainees including an increasing number of female apprentices (National Centre for Vocational Education Research, Apprentices and trainees 2022: September quarter). The latter increased by 27.5% over the 12 months to September 2022 (National Centre for Vocational Education Research, Apprentices and trainees 2022: September quarter(opens in a new window)).

Apprenticeships and traineeships offer ’earn and learn’ opportunities – earning a wage, while learning the skills needed for a rewarding career. In 2019, nearly 90% of those completing their apprenticeship or traineeship continued in employment with a median annual income of $59,600 (National Centre for Vocational Education Research, Apprentice and trainee experience and destinations 2019(opens in a new window)). Workers who have completed apprenticeships and traineeships also have the highest average weekly wages at the age of 25 (Australian Industry Group (2023), Connecting the dots: Exploring young Australians’ pathways from education and training into work(opens in a new window)).

Victoria needs more apprentices and trainees to meet its ambitious economic and social agenda, which includes the Big Build(opens in a new window) and Housing Statement(opens in a new window). Boosting the number of apprentices and trainees and supporting them to complete their training will be critical to Victoria’s continued success.

The Victorian Government recognises the apprenticeship and traineeship impact of non-completions and the need to close the supply gap in the economy. Apprenticeships Victoria has Apprenticeship Support Officers to provide guidance and pastoral support to apprentices – particularly first year apprentices – to support their course continuation and completion. Trades and technician workers – the product of an apprenticeship – are expected to comprise around 25% of clean energy jobs under a step-change scenario forecast by the Clean Energy Council to meet renewable energy targets.

The government has several initiatives to improve take-up of apprenticeships and traineeships.