Last week’s release of the December 2014 quarter apprenticeship and trainee data from the National Centre for Vocational Education Research, highlighting that apprenticeship commencements were down 21.9% on the corresponding quarter a year earlier are “a cause for concern and action”, says the CEO of the National Electrical and Communications Association, Mr Suresh Manickam.
“Figures showing a decline of 192,000 apprenticeship commencements and 157,100 less completions over the corresponding year clearly require attention,” Mr Manickam said.
“Whilst Electrotechnology apprenticeship commencements continue to strongly contribute to the overall take-up of Technical and Trade Workers apprenticeships, NECA notes the drop off in numbers over the past year which reinforces our concerns about the looking skills shortage.”
“A key challenge for the electrical contracting sector is the lack of supply of skilled electrical workers which is further exacerbated by the retirement of long term, highly skilled workers.”
“The current trajectory is concerning given the need for more skilled electrical workers given the upswing in residential and infrastructure related construction.”
“Skills shortages can only lead to higher business costs which in turn get passed on to consumers.”
Whilst NECA acknowledges the work the Government has undertaken in the Vocational Education and Training (VET) space to reduce red tape and deliver higher quality training outcomes, these figures indicate the need of governments across Australia to more heavily invest in skills and training initiatives, including more advice at school age level to inform students of industry needs and requirements,” said Mr Manickam.
Media enquiries and interviews
Barry Jackson – NECA National Marketing and Communications
D: 02 9962 6904
M: 0457 767 328