Apprentices, trainees on the rise

Public news

More than 3,500 apprentices and trainees were in-training in automotive and engineering trades in South Australia as at 31 March 2021, an increase of 6.5 per cent compared to the end of March 2020.

That is according to the latest data from the National Centre for Vocational Educational Research, released on 19 October.

This includes automotive electricians, mechanics, panel beaters, vehicle body builders, trimmers and painters.

This is a positive result, and speaks to the strong demand in the automotive sector and how well South Australia has weathered the COVID-19 storm.

The Marshall Government is building a skilled workforce to provide businesses with a pipeline of workers and grow job creation.

The quality of our Vocational Education and Training (VET) system is key to this success.

An apprenticeship or a traineeship is a pathway to a rewarding career while offering the opportunity to earn while you learn.

Employers across South Australia provide valuable on-the-job experience for the next generation of automotive tradespeople, passing on their knowledge and expertise.

Training providers also play a crucial role in delivering accredited training and ensuring their students remain focused on completing their apprenticeship or traineeship with skills that will set them up for success.

It is pleasing to see that the number of apprenticeship and traineeship completions for automotive and engineering trades in South Australia increased by 13.5 per cent between 31 March 2020 and 31 March 2021.

This is a sign that apprentices and trainees received the support needed to complete their training, during the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the most recent Labour Force survey from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, almost 10,000 people were employed in our state’s automotive trades sector in August this year.

This was a rise of more than 500 people compared to August 2020.

Demand continues to be strong, with an average of almost 270 job vacancies for automotive trades in South Australia over the three months to August 2021.

This is 77 per cent higher than a year earlier, and close to the highest number in this sector in the past 16 years.

To meet this demand, the automotive trades sector has been an active partner in our $200 million Skilling South Australia program, with the Marshall Government working with industry and training providers to develop projects that equip jobseekers with new skills or upskill existing workers.

This has played a pivotal role in South Australia’s success of achieving almost 48,000 new apprenticeship and traineeship commencements since 2018, while close to 3,000 businesses have employed an apprentice or trainee for the first time.

There has never been a better time to for employers to take on an apprentice or a trainee with the significant financial incentives currently available.

The Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements wage subsidy, supported by the Australian Government, provides a 50 per cent wage subsidy to a new or recommencing apprentice or trainee for the first 12 months, to a maximum of $7,000 per quarter, while the time-limited Completing Apprenticeship Commencements subsidy provides subsidies for the second and third years of an apprenticeship.

For more information on what’s on offer in the skills and training system visit

Hon David Pisoni MP
Minister for Innovation and Skills