The Tasmanian Government has hailed the progress being made in the state’s vocational education system, with data showing strong growth above the national rate.


State Minister for Education and Skills, Nick McKim, said the results showed the state was progressing strongly towards building a sustainable, hi-tech economy.


"In a modern, sustainable, hi-tech economy, we know quality skills are the crucial commodity," Mr McKim said.


"We need to equip Tasmanians for the new jobs of today and tomorrow - and a strong, modern vocational education system plays a crucial role.


"In a time of relative skills shortage, it's very encouraging to see apprenticeships and traineeships increasing well in Tasmania.


The figures from the National Centre for Vocational Education Research's report Australian Vocational Education and Training Statistics: Apprentices and Trainees March Quarter 2012 shows:

  • The number of trainee and apprenticeships commence increased by 2.8% (from 8024 to 8252) in the year to March 2012 - above the national commencement rate of 2.5%
  • There were significant increases in some occupational groups - including managers and professionals (up 27.1 %) community and personal service workers (up 11.1%) and clerical and administrative workers (up 37.7%).
  • Commencements increased significantly for higher level qualifications - particularly Certificate IV, but also Diplomas (32 % boost from 2,010 to 2,654) in the year to March 2012, compared to the previous year.
  • There was a large rise in commencements for apprentices and trainees aged 25 and over (and particularly aged 45 and over) which is positive news for Tasmania.