A generation of school leavers could miss out on learning the crucial skills to build Australia’s economic capabilities.

Only 468 apprenticeship vacancies were advertised across Australia in April, a drop of two-thirds from April 2019 and almost 75% from January [dataset attached].

The biggest drop from January was in hospitality, travel and tourism, with vacancies down over 97%, while vacancies in the sports, recreation, hair and beauty services categories fell 94%.

Concerningly for Australia’s aspiration to build its advanced manufacturing capability, vacancies in manufacturing and production were down 92% and metal and engineering had 60% fewer advertised vacancies.

“The fall in vacancies is bad news for kids starting out in their careers as well as terrible news for Australia’s economic prospects. Apprenticeships and traineeships are needed to ensure that businesses can access a skilled workforce and contribute to our national prosperity,” said Gary Workman, Executive Director of the Global Apprenticeship Network (Australia).

“This drop will leave a generation of young people struggling to get a foot on the employment ladder and result in recession-extending skills shortages as industry struggles to find qualified workers in the years to come.”


Australia’s most populous states, NSW and Victoria, were advertising 75% and 80% fewer vacancies respectively.

The ACT had the smallest drop, with a decline of only 50%, while Tasmania had a 100% drop in vacancies, with none advertised throughout April.

State % Drop vs Jan 2020
ACT 50.0%
NSW 66.9%
NT 75%
QLD 70.7%
SA 80.3%
TAS 100%
VIC 79.8%
WA 82.1%
National Total 73.0%

View the full dataset using the interactive Apprenticeship Vacancy Index.

Gary Workman, Executive Director of the Global Apprenticeship Network, is available for comment.

Media contact: Parnell McGuinness, 0412 22 82 82, parnell@agendac.com.au