Mallee tradies will be hard pressed to find apprentices to address a skills shortage due to a collapse in trade training under Labor, Member for Mallee Anne Webster says.
New data from the National Centre for Vocational Education and Research (NCVER) shows the number of apprenticeships and trainees in training fell by 12.63 per cent in Mallee after the Albanese Labor Government’s first year in office.
“Labor promised to skill more Australians than the Coalition, but unlike the Albanese Labor Government, the numbers don’t lie,” Dr Webster said, “A fall in trade training is an alarming sign that Mallee’s dire workforce shortages are actually getting worse, hurting productivity, housing availability and negatively impacting Mallee’s economy.”
Dr Webster said the apprenticeship downturn compounds the problems caused by Labor burying businesses in red tape with cumbersome new industrial relation laws and a ‘tradie tax’ driving up prices of tradies’ and farmers’ utes via a 2025 Fuel Efficiency Standard.
“Labor policies have been an unmitigated disaster for Mallee tradies and farmers, most of whom are small family businesses,” Dr Webster said, “The Albanese Government have abandoned their blue-collar roots to appease their union backers and exert control over crucial nation-building industries.”
In the final months of the Coalition Government, the number of trade apprentices in training hit record highs across Australia: 429,000 as of June 2022 – a 25 per cent rise on the same time in 2021. After just one year of Labor, apprentices and trainees have fallen to 377,645, a loss of one in 10.
“The Liberals and Nationals warned in early 2022 that it would not be easy under Albanese and for tradies, farmers and small business, that is absolutely true,” Dr Webster said.