Apprentices and trainees 2020: September quarter - Australia

By NCVER Statistical report 30 March 2021 1440-0359


Note that the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia has created uncertain times for individuals, business and governments, which have affected apprentice and trainee numbers in 2020.  Care should be taken when comparing 2020 data with data from previous years.

This infographic provides a snapshot of apprenticeships and traineeships across Australia. It presents statistics on commencements, completions, cancellations and withdrawals and those currently in training. Unless stated otherwise, data are derived from the latest National Apprentice and Trainee Collection (no. 106, December 2020 estimates), which is compiled under the Australian Vocational Education and Training Management Information Statistical Standard (AVETMISS) for Apprentice and Trainee Collection Specifications, Release 7.0, October 2015.

Due to the delay in time between an event (commencement, completion, etc.) occurring and the reporting of that event to NCVER, NCVER estimates the most recent figures. The estimation method involves weighting recently processed numbers based on average reporting lags. As estimates are revised for up to seven quarters, figures for the last two years may differ from those published in earlier or in subsequent reports. The final counts are those submitted by jurisdictions. Further details on the methodology can be found in the Estimation of apprentice and trainee statistics technical paper.

More information, including longer term trends, detailed data and explanatory notes, is available from the Apprentices and Trainees Collection page.

The states and territories are diverse in terms of economies, industry and VET policy and this needs to be considered in any detailed analysis.


In-training as at 30 September 2020

There were 264 425 apprentices and trainees in-training as at 30 September 2020, a decrease of 4.2% from 30 September 2019.

Quarterly training activity

In the September quarter 2020, compared with the September quarter 2019:
  • commencements decreased by 23%, to 26 585
  • completions decreased by 17.2%, to 16 845
  • cancellations and withdrawals decreased by 21.4%, to 16 990

Training activity: 12-month ending series

In the 12 months ending 30 September 2020, compared with the 12 months ending 30 September 2019:
  • commencements decreased by 18.8%, to 126 665
  • completions decreased by 9.8%, to 80 200
  • cancellations and withdrawals decreased by 14%, to 73 205

State and territory data

Select an option below to see data related to a specific state or territory and their comparisons (opens on a new page).


The DataBuilder tool allows users to quickly create customised tables using the latest Apprentice and trainee data, filter by a selection of variables and compare training activity over time. Users can view quarterly and annual data for commencements, completions, cancellations/withdrawals and in-training.


Apprentices and trainees 2020 - September quarter - Australia .pdf 679.3 KB Download
Adjustment notes - September quarter 2020 .xlsx 62.7 KB Download
Terms and definitions - September quarter 2020 .pdf 194.8 KB Download
Terms and definitions - September quarter 2020 .docx 64.4 KB Download

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