The latest figures from the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) show South Australia has had a massive 21.5 per cent decline in apprentice and trainee commencements.
“At a time when WA, Tasmania, the ACT and the Northern Territory have shown increases it is alarming that South Australia has had such a large drop in training commencements,” said David Pisoni Shadow Minister for Employment, Skills and Training.
“I’m concerned that the huge decline in apprentice and trainee commencements during the last 12 months is a sign that South Australia’s depressed jobs market is set to decline even further.
“These figures show many South Australian businesses have lost the confidence necessary to employ and train the next generation of skilled workers.
“The Weatherill Government’s punishing tax regime – we have the highest taxes in the nation - is a huge drag on businesses’ ability to employ and train additional workers.
“These figures represent the lowest number of apprentices and trainees in training in South Australia since 2009.
“In the three months to June this year there was a further decline of 3, 200 apprentices and trainees in training.
“This comes as the Labor Government is cutting tens of millions from VET spending and hacking another 500 staff out of TAFE making future prospects for many unemployed South Australians looks particularly bleak.
“Under Labor South Australia has had six training Ministers in six years and has delayed the review of its poorly planned and problem plagued Skills for All program for 18 months.
“Jay Weatherill has abandoned young people seeking employment and is creating a dangerous skills gap that will damage the longer term health of our state’s economy.”