The number of people starting apprenticeships or traineeships have decreased in the September quarter, according to new findings released by the National Centre for Vocational Education and Research (NCVER).


The Apprentices and trainees 2012 early trends estimates shows that the number of trainee commencements declined in the September quarter 2012, following three consecutive quarters of strong growth.


Trainee commencements in the September quarter 2012 were 52 700, compared to 77 900 in the June quarter 2012.


Trade apprentice commencements slowed to 22 600 in the September quarter 2012, from 26 000 in the June quarter 2012.


Commencement figures are currently fluctuating as a result of changes to Commonwealth incentive payments for existing workers which came into effect on 1 July 2012.


“The impact of changes to apprentice and trainee incentive payments will more clearly emerge in forthcoming quarters,” said Ms Sandra Pattison, General Manager, Statistics, NCVER.


“It remains to be seen whether commencements return to previous levels.”


NCVER will release detailed apprenticeship and traineeship information in December, with the release of the June 2012 quarterly data. This information will include national and state/territory level in-training, completion, and cancellation and withdrawal data.


Copies of Apprentices and trainees 2012—early trend estimates, September quarter are available from: