More Australians taking up government-funded training

Media Release
  • Assistant Minister for Vocational Education and Skills

A report by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research has found 1.3 million Australians were enrolled in government-funded vocational education in 2016, an increase of 3.3 per cent compared to 2015.

Assistant Minister for Vocational Education and Skills, Karen Andrews, said the report, ‘Government-Funded Students and Courses 2016’ is an excellent snapshot of Commonwealth, state and territory government-funded vocational education

“It shows while overall our policies to increase training opportunities are working, there is more work to do,” Minister Andrews said.

Key findings of the report include:

  • 21 per cent of 15 to 19 year old students participated in government-funded VET in 2016.
  • The number of Indigenous students increased by 12 per cent.
  • The number of students with a disability increased by almost 8 per cent.

Minister Andrews said while an increase in students on a vocational pathway was welcomed, it’s clear we need to do more to ensure Australians can meet the rapidly changing needs of our economy.

“We announced the $1.5 billion Skilling Australians Fund in this year’s federal budget which is targeted towards apprenticeships and traineeships,” Minister Andrews said.

“It will encourage more people than ever to consider an apprenticeship or traineeship and provide the skilled workforce industry and employers are looking for, not just now, but in the years ahead.

“With an emphasis on strong accountability, transparency and the delivery of clear outcomes, the Fund will prioritise projects from the states and territories that support apprenticeships and traineeships in high demand occupations, trade apprenticeships, future growth industries, and rural and regional areas.”

“The Fund will create 300,000 apprenticeships and traineeships over the next four years with federal, state and territory governments working together, as well as industry.”

The Coalition Government has also recently approved over 100 high quality VET providers for the VET Student Loans program. “This program is focused on delivering accountability, and ensuring Australian students are offered the opportunity to undertake high-quality courses,” Minister Andrews said.

NCVER produces research reports on behalf of the Commonwealth, state and territory governments and is funded by the Department of Education and Training.

The report can be found at:



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