Apprentice and trainee numbers decline

Media release

5 September 2016

The latest release of apprentice and trainee data show that commencements in the March 2016 quarter decreased by 3.7% to 56 100 compared with the same period last year.

The data, published by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER), provides a picture of apprenticeship and traineeship activity nationally and by state and territory.

“Although there has been an overall decrease in apprentice and trainee commencements in the March 2016 quarter, a positive is a 4.6% growth in commencements in non-trade occupations. This is mainly due to increases in sales assistants and salespersons, and carers and aides workers” said Dr Mette Creaser, National Manager, Statistics and Analytics, NCVER.

The overall decrease can be attributed to a decline in the number of commencements in trade occupations, down 10.8% to 27 900 for the March 2016 quarter when compared with the March 2015 quarter.

In total, there were 286 500 apprentices and trainees in-training as at 31 March 2016, a decrease of 10.2% from 31 March 2015.

Copies of Australian vocational education and training statistics: Apprentices and trainees 2016, March quarter are available from

This work has been produced by NCVER on behalf of the Australian Government and state and territory governments, with funding provided through the Department of Education and Training.

NCVER is the national custodian of data about Australia’s VET system, including apprentice and trainee data. It is a not-for-profit, independent company owned by the Commonwealth, state and territory Ministers responsible for training.

Media enquiries: Rebecca Farrell, T: 08 8230 8418 M: 0407 608 409