The National Centre for Vocational Education and Research (NCVER) report shows 107,845 people were in-training across NSW, a 29 per cent increase on the year before.
“The last 18 months have been a rollercoaster for businesses and their employees, especially when it comes to recruiting (and keeping) the people that businesses need,” sad Business NSW Chief Executive Daniel Hunter.
“It wasn’t that long ago that in our report Skilling Australia for a Better Future: supporting apprenticeships through COVID-19, we forecast 54,000 fewer commencements across Australia in 2020 and a cancellation rate of around 20 per cent,” Mr Hunter said.
“Without significant intervention, Business NSW estimated that only around 180,000 apprentices would have been in training in 2021, reducing Australia’s skilled workforce pipeline to levels not seen since 1998.
“This potential shortfall has been addressed through a significant commitment by the NSW and Federal Governments, however Business NSW has called for an indefinite extension of subsidies for employers of apprentice and trainees in next week’s Budget.
“Whenever asked at any stage during the pandemic, access to workforce skills has been at the very top of business concerns, whether it has been trying to keep them engaged or trying to find employees as restrictions eased.
“The theme that is consistently raised by business is that access to skills will be the biggest handbrake on growth as businesses recover from the last couple of years.
“We know that the combination of paid workplace training and formal theoretical learning results in the best outcomes for employers and students.
“With a $225 billion infrastructure pipeline across the country, existing workforce shortages in the infrastructure sector are likely to be challenged further,” Mr Hunter said.