Apprentice numbers stabilising after major drop
APPRENTICE numbers in the region of Flynn dropped about 36 per cent between 2013-2018 data has shown.
A report from the National Centre for Vocational Education Research showed there were 3970 apprentices in the region in September 2013.
By September 2018 numbers had dropped to 2530.
Gladstone Area Group Apprentices Ltd interim CEO Michael Walz said he'd observed the drop.
Mr Walz said across Rockhampton, Gladstone and Biloela, GAGAL had gone from 200 apprentices to 120 in that time.
He said Gladstone and Rockhampton saw most of the decrease while Biloela's numbers had remained "pretty steady".
Mr Walz said it wasn't a lack of interest that caused the drop.
"There's more than enough applicants," Mr Walz said.
"Just not enough positions."
Mr Walz said the end of the building boom was one reason the region had fewer apprentices.
"Some of our clients don't operate in Gladstone anymore," he said.
"They were builders in other areas that had local apprentices."
Mr Walz said a business confidence issue could also be behind the drop.
"Businesses aren't hiring as many apprentices," he said.
"They're busy or have work on but just aren't confident to put that extra person on."
Mr Walz said GAGAL was there to assist businesses looking to hire apprentices.
He said the organisation employed apprentices directly and moved them from company to company over the four-year period.
"Whatever it takes to get a full apprenticeship," Mr Walz said.
He said while GAGAL had seen a decrease in apprentices and trainees between 2013-2018, numbers had stabilised in the past 12 months.
"The number of people finishing apprenticeships and starting are about the same," Mr Walz said. "We're not seeing that continual drop now."