"The Decline in Apprenticeship Training in the Electrical Industries in Victoria"

Worland, David and Doughney, James (2002) "The Decline in Apprenticeship Training in the Electrical Industries in Victoria". Working Paper. Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia.


A nation that pursues a knowledge-based approach to economic growth might be expected to view its skill base as an important component of this strategy and the rate of accumulation of trade skills as an important part of the skill formation story. Australia, in common with many other countries, has experienced an uneven rate of trade skills formation over time. This paper identifies the emergence of a skills shortage in the electrical and associated occupations in Victoria over the last decade. The first part of the paper presents a literature review and a discussion of the issues surrounding this shortage. A downturn in the number of apprentices in training provides a possible explanation of the shortage and contemporary data for electrical apprenticeships in Victoria are presented, analysed and discussed. Three key issues emerge. The first is the downward trend in the number of apprentices being trained in Victoria. The evidence shows that the accumulation of electrical trade skills in Victoria is occurring at a much slower rate than in other states. State specific factors provide at least part of the explanation for this. On the question of whether apprenticeship training is becoming more equitable by being more accessible to minority groups, the evidence shows that women and other disadvantaged groups are not becoming better represented within the apprentice population. Finally, the paper presents arguments about the nature of the skills shortage and provides an estimate of the size of this shortage.

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Item type Monograph (Working Paper)
URI https://vuir.vu.edu.au/id/eprint/165
Subjects Historical > RFCD Classification > 350000 Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services
Historical > FOR Classification > 1301 Education Systems
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Management and Information Systems
Keywords apprenticeship; decline; training; electrical industries; Victoria; trade skills; knowledge-based; economic growth; skills shortage
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