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Joint media release with The Hon Stuart Robert MP
Minister for Employment, Workforce, Skills, Small and Family Business

The number of women taking up training as an apprentice or trainee has surged past pre-pandemic levels as the Morrison Government’s policies have delivered the opportunity for hundreds of thousands of women to upskill and get into a job.

The Morrison Government is focused on increasing opportunities for women to participate in training, apprenticeships, and traineeships, including trade-related apprenticeships. The Government is investing in a range of initiatives to support women to access skills for jobs available now and into the future.

The latest data from the Department of Education Skills and Employment shows that in the 2021 September quarter, there were 102,000 female apprentices and trainees in training across the nation, 60 per cent higher than before the pandemic hit Australia.

According to National Centre for Vocational Education and Research, in June 2021 women in the apprentice and trainee workforce increased by:

  • Electricians – up 45%
  • Auto electricians and mechanics – up 53%
  • Hospitality – up 57%
  • Personal carers and assistants – up 75%
  • Child carers – up 40%

The Morrison Government’s investment has helped encourage a significant number of women to take up an Australian apprenticeship, with more than 70,000 women supported under the Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements program since it was launched 18 months ago, or 36 per cent of all participants.

Nationally, the proportion of female apprentices and trainees in training is now at 28 per cent, with 102,000 female apprentices and trainees in training being the highest number since 2014, at which time numbers had collapsed as a result of policy changes made in 2012-13 to address rorting of incentive payments under the previous Labor Government.

The Morrison Government’s $2 billion JobTrainer Fund is targeting fast-growing industries that need skilled workers, such as aged care, disability support, childcare and digital skills. The focus is on the care workforce and includes people already employed within these industries, who are predominantly women. Over 55 per cent of all enrolments in the JobTrainer Fund are women and with 170,000 plus enrolments, thousands of women are benefiting from free or low-fee courses to help plug skills gaps.

Minister for Employment, Workforce, Skills, Small and Family Business, Stuart Robert, welcomed the surge in female apprentices getting skills or taking on a trade.

‘Getting more women into trades and skilled up is a key part of our plan to secure Australia’s economic recovery, while we are supporting more women get into a trade or upskill Labor are proposing to cut skills funding and have no plan for apprenticeships’ Minister Robert said.

‘The Morrison Government is providing a record $7.8 billion this financial year to the vocational education and training sector, and it is clear women are benefitting from this investment in skills with hundreds of thousands of women taking up valuable opportunities in vocational education and training.’

Minister for Women’s Economic Security, Jane Hume said increasing women’s workforce participation is an economic and social priority.

‘From skills to childcare, leadership to board appointments to – most importantly – job opportunities, we are backing Australian women to get the choices and chances they deserve.

‘By supporting women to build financially secure futures, and breaking down barriers to female participation in VET, we are helping to deliver the highly-skilled workforce our nation needs for the future. It’s good for women, good for families, and good for Australia,’ Minister Hume said.

For more information about the Morrison Government’s investment in skills or to find out more on how you can get skilled, visit the myskills website.