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Australia hit by the biggest skills shortage in a decade

Natalie Peters and Erin Molan
Article image for Australia hit by the biggest skills shortage in a decade

Australia is facing a growing skills shortage as apprenticeship and traineeship numbers fall to a 10-year low.

Australian Industry Group has written to the Prime Minister with concerns employers won’t be able to meet an increasing demand for skilled workers as apprenticeship and traineeship numbers have fallen from 446,000 in 2012 to 259,385 last year.

In response, the Prime Minister has called on the states to agree to a $500 million plan to reform the TAFE sector.

Australian Industry Group Head of Workforce Development Megan Lilly tells Steve Price the efficiency of the apprenticeship system is not consistent.

“We’ve got this huge pipeline of work coming ahead of us and we need to prepare ourselves to deliver on that effectively right now.

“We really need a focused attention by both the Commonwealth and state governments… to actually commit to working hard on the VET system, to actually make it fit for purpose going forward.”

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Natalie Peters and Erin Molan
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