Apprenticeship and Traineeship Number Continue to Rise

The number of apprentices and trainees in jobs across the state increased 11 per cent in the year to December 2021, off the back of the NSW Government’s unprecedented investment in fee-free training.

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke said the National Centre for Vocational Education and Research (NCVER) report shows NSW continues to lead the nation, with more apprentices and trainees than any other state or territory.

“The NSW Government is investing in fee-free apprenticeships and traineeships to create a pipeline of skilled workers for jobs in industries that are experiencing high demand for employees,” Ms Cooke said.

“It’s great to see the number of apprentices and trainees continuing to grow in NSW, but we want more people to make the most of free training so that they can get a first job, a new job or a better job.”

The report shows that 106,445 apprentices and trainees were in training at the end of 2021, with both commencements and completions up overall on the year before.

The number of women undertaking apprenticeships and traineeships in NSW continues to surge, with a 21 per cent increase in 2021 compared with the year before.

Minister for Skills and Training Alister Henskens said the NSW Government is removing barriers to vocational education and training and creating more opportunities than ever before for people to get skilled or upskill.

“The NSW Government’s push to turbocharge the take-up of vocational education and training is securing a brighter future for NSW, with more people getting skilled, finding jobs and growing the economy,” Mr Henskens said.

“Our record skills investment is helping people boost their budget through free training, allowing them to find in-demand jobs and contribute to historically low unemployment rates in NSW.”

More information about the report is available here: Apprentices and trainees 2021: December quarter (

Supporting Local Jobs with Record Apprentice Intake

The NSW Government has announced it will hire a record number of new apprentices and trainees to work on vital road and transport infrastructure in regional New South Wales.   

Member for Cootamundra, Steph Cooke said applications are now open for new apprentices and trainees in Gundagai and Narrandera. 

“This is a very welcome opportunity to train up locals and develop the next generation of skilled workers in the region,” Ms Cooke said. 

“I encourage anyone in Gundagai or Narrandera who may be interested in developing their skills or seeking a new career path working on road and transport infrastructure to take up this opportunity.” 

“It is great the NSW Government is continuing to provide these employment opportunities in regional NSW to support the significant amount of construction, upgrades and maintenance required across the regional transport network.” 

Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Sam Farraway said the program will provide more career opportunities and encourage more people to work in the regions.  

“By investing in our people now, we will attract and develop the next generation of skilled workers to keep NSW moving well into our future,” Mr Farraway said.  

“Applications are now open for 135 placements – an 80 per cent increase on last year – with last year’s intake made up of 46 per cent women and 24 per cent of Aboriginal people, and we’re eager to attract more. 

“We are very proud of this program – while we continue to build and maintain vital infrastructure for customers, it’s critical that we build a skills legacy to meet future needs.” 

Opportunities will be available across 10 disciplines including civil construction, bridge construction, painting and blasting, electrical, heavy diesel mechanic, business administration, project management and three news programs in marketing and communications, finance and safety, environment and quality. 

Currently 76 per cent of apprentices and trainees go on to secure permanent employment at Transport for NSW. 

Applications are open today and close midnight 7 August.  

For more information: 

Applications Now Open For Apprentice Scholarships

Local first year apprentices facing financial or personal hardship will be supported with a $15,000 scholarship to undertake their trade and study through a NSW Government scholarship program.

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke said applications are now open for the Bert Evans Apprentice Scholarship which will support 120 people to either start, change, or further their career. 

“This scholarship program offers a great incentive for eligible locals to kick-start their career. Whether you need to purchase new tools, cover fuel or car maintenance, or pay for additional study, these scholarships have helped people overcome personal barriers to finish their apprenticeships and follow their trade calling,” Ms Cooke said.

“We have seen a lot of success from the program in our region, with residents being able to upskill and gain employment, whilst also boosting the local workforce of our small businesses.”

“Under the last round, five scholarships were awarded to students across a number of industries including hairdressing and electrotechnology.”

The NSW Government will invest $1.8 million in the program, which provides $5,000 over three years to support apprentices who demonstrate a high aptitude for vocational education and training and are committed to their on the job and formal training.

Minister for Skills and Training Alister Henskens said there were more than 107,000 people in-training across NSW, a 29 per cent increase on the year before.  

“Apprenticeships are a critical part of ensuring NSW has a pipeline of skilled workers, but we also understand the financial limitations and challenges that arise for apprentices while completing their trade,” Mr Henskens said.

“As NSW has seen through bushfires, floods and the pandemic, apprentices remain a vital part of the economy and make a strong contribution to local businesses and communities.”

“The Bert Evans Apprentice Scholarships are in addition to the 100,000 fee-free apprenticeships and 70,000 fee-free traineeships and other low-fee courses funded by the NSW Government.”

The scholarship program is named in honour of the late Bert Evans AO, a passionate advocate of vocational education for more than 30 years.

Applications are open and will close Friday, 27 May 2022.

For more information and to apply visit or phone 13 28 11.