Old news is good news on training numbers

Last year was bad but got better

There’s good news in a new analysis of the impact of COVID-19 on apprentice and trainees last year.  “The disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic had (and still has) the potential to cause large-scale job losses among apprentices and trainees. However, this is not reflected in the data to date,” Michelle Hall writes in a new analysis for the estimable National Centre for Vocational Education Research.

Active trainee and apprentice contracts collapsed last year as COVID-19 crunched the economy, with suspensions up 650 per cent in March-April and 300 per cent in May on 2019. But cancellations and withdrawals “were less pronounced” due to government job support and apprentices and trainees not quitting for other, non-existent, jobs.  Commencements went down and then up – in June they were higher than 2019, before the long Victorian lock-down.  But in October they rose “dramatically, due to a Commonwealth apprentice wage subsidy, plus “an underlying employer need for apprentices and trainees to avoid future shortage.” Overall, December-quarter commencements were up in all industry sectors – although suspensions were up in some – including food services.

Good-o but while the past is no predictor of the future what happened in response to COVID-19 in 2020 may be way better than what happens now NSW and Victoria are locked down again.