Apprenticeship numbers plummet, sparking job pain
THE number of young people completing apprenticeships has plunged by more than 20 per cent since Annastacia Palaszczuk came to power, new data reveals.
In a sign of a worsening skills crisis in Queensland, there are 11 per cent fewer students in training now than in 2015 when Labor formed government in the state.
Queensland also has the highest rate of unemployment in Australia for apprentices who have just completed training, with more than 15 per cent unable to find work.
Almost 9 per cent fewer students have commenced training this year compared to 2015 and the number of apprentices dropping out of training has increased by a similar rate.
The figures are contained in a report compiled by the National Centre for Vocational and Educational Research (NCVER).
Ms Palaszczuk has already identified the state's skills crisis as one of the Government's priorities for next year.
Minister for Training and Skills Development Shannon Fentiman said the decline in Queensland apprentices was in line with falls across the country.
She conceded the problem needed to be addressed but blamed Canberra for under-investing in training. "The Palaszczuk Government is committed to getting Queenslanders into work, which is why we have made creating jobs our number one priority. We acknowledge that we still have work to do," Ms Fentiman said.
"But let's get one thing clear: the dire numbers across Australia is because the Federal LNP Government has no meaningful plan to help get Queenslanders from training and into jobs."
Queensland is leading the nation on vocational education in schools, with the state accounting for half of Australia's school-based apprentices, she said.
Opposition training spokeswoman Fiona Simpson said the State Government should take responsibility for the decline in apprenticeships.
"Queensland's training industry is in crisis after five years of Labor," Ms Simpson said.
"There are fewer young people starting training, fewer completing courses, and a significant number of people cannot find a job once they get their qualification."