It’s the usual torrent of data releases from NCVER around this time (including VET in schools and Government funded training too), so we’ll spread it out a bit! Apprentice data are always of interest, though!

Completion rates for those commencing in 2016 are down from the 2015 level, a bit, but are still around the 56% mark. If they have more than one training contract, however, the rate drops to around 48%.

The data

The individual rates

Taking a look at the site where these data are reported we can see how occupational areas differ. The highest individual completion rates for those who commenced a trade in 2016 are around 64% for Engineering, ICT and Science Technicians and 62.0% of Automotive and Engineering Trades Workers. Lowest rates reported are for food trades workers at around 43%.

For those in non-trade areas, the highest individual completion rates were seen amongst Sales Workers (around 62%) and Professionals (about 60%). Lower rates were seen from those who are machine operators or drivers (56%), or labourers (about 53%).

Contract completions

As we noted above the overall completion rate is of the order of 48% (based on 2016 figures). However, contract completions are higher for those in non-trade occupations (54-55%) than for the trades (around 43 to 45%). In fact, and as you can see, they are around 10 percentage points higher in both 2015 and 2016.

When does contract attrition happen?

The quick answer is that the rate is quite high and cancellation is often in the early stages. The report shows that, overall, 47% of those commencing in 2016 were cancelled or withdrawn and that around 33% of apprentice and trainee contracts that commenced in 2015 were cancelled/withdrawn within the first year. The issue is complicated because even although a contract is cancelled, another might be taken up, and delays between all these processes can mean that completion rates are compromised.

Diving deeper

You can look at individual state and territory data here. The NCVER’s press release can be accessed here.