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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Mallee Apprenticeship Slump

Mallee tradies are facing an uphill battle finding apprentices due to a drop in trade training under Labor, according to Member for Mallee, Anne Webster.

Fresh stats from the National Centre for Vocational Education and Research (NCVER) paint a bleak picture, showing a whopping 12.63 per cent plunge in apprenticeships and traineeships across Mallee in the wake of the Albanese Labor Government’s first year in power.

“Labor talked big about skilling up Aussies, but the numbers don’t lie,” Dr Webster said. “A decline in trade training is a red flag that Mallee’s already dire workforce shortages are worsening, putting a dent in productivity, housing availability, and taking a toll on the local economy.”

Dr Webster pointed out that the apprenticeship nosedive compounds the issues stemming from Labor’s red tape and clunky industrial relation laws, along with a ‘tradie tax’ that’s hiking up prices for utes, impacting both tradies and farmers through the 2025 Fuel Efficiency Standard.

“Labor’s policies have been nothing short of a disaster for Mallee’s tradies and farmers, many of whom are running small family businesses,” she added. “The Federal Government seems to have forgotten its blue-collar roots, opting to please union cronies and tighten the reins on crucial industries that drive our nation’s growth.”

In the Coalition’s final months, trade apprenticeships hit record highs nationwide, with 429,000 budding apprentices as of June 2022 – a whopping 25 per cent jump from the previous year. Fast forward just one year under Labor, and the numbers have plummeted to 377,645, losing one in ten.

“The Liberals and Nationals warned us in early 2022 that it wouldn’t be smooth sailing under Albanese, and for tradies, farmers, and small businesses, that’s proving to be spot on,” Dr Webster concluded.

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