Skilling South Australia

We’ve unlocked more opportunities for students and career seekers to access training and build skilled careers.

Skilling South Australia is helping more people get skills and qualifications to build lasting careers and meet the needs of industry.

We know that many of the fastest growing jobs in South Australia will require technical skills that can be gained through vocational education and training (VET), traineeships and apprenticeships. These are jobs in:

  • defence and shipbuilding

  • healthcare and community services

  • food, wine and agribusiness

  • high-tech industries like cyber security, digital and ICT.

Skilling South Australia is made possible by the State Government’s partnership with the Commonwealth Government, which had enabled a $200 million investment to provide young South Australians with a range of pathways to secure the jobs of the future.

What problem are we solving?

Across Australia, participation in vocational education and training has been declining for years. The decline has been the most significant in South Australia, with the number of people doing apprenticeships reducing by more than half from 2013 to 2018.

This decline is creating skills gaps in industries that are vital to our economy.  

Why has VET participation been dropping?

We know people see an apprenticeship or skilled career as a second choice to a university pathway. In reality, five years after completing their education, VET graduates are 25% more likely than bachelor’s degree graduates to be in full-time employment and earning $2,000 more per year with no HECS debt.

Encouraging more people to consider pursuing a career through a technical qualification as a first option, not as a fallback plan, is going to require a cultural mind-shift both within the schooling sector and in the broader community.

To achieve this, we are running a multimillion-dollar marketing campaign to change perceptions of apprenticeships.

For more information on South Australians’ perceptions of VET, read the Changing attitudes towards skilled careers, October 2018 (PDF).

To find out how different the truth about VET is compared to perceptions, read the Skilling Australia Foundation’s 2017 report Perceptions are not reality (PDF).

How are we turning the system around?

To turn the training system around, we are approaching the problem from all sides.


National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) figures, released in September 2019 show that our efforts are being rewarded – despite the rest of the country continuing to trend downwards, South Australia saw an increase in apprenticeship commencements for the first time in seven years.

View the latest report and learn more about the reporting methodology.

Critical programs we're implementing to turn the system around

  • Skilling South Australia Projects have been expanded to address the current workforce needs as a result of impacts of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

  • A streamlined registration process makes it easier for businesses to hire and manage apprentices

  • A state-wide advisory service guides businesses from their first enquiry to their apprentice’s first day

  • Industry Skills Councils strengthen industry’s voice in skills and workforce development

  • Working with Group Training Organisations to increase commencements and completions under the group training model, which is known to provide excellent results

  • Increased investment provides more subsidised training places

  • More apprenticeship qualifications available on the Subsidised Training List addresses skills shortages

  • Piloting apprenticeship-style training in new industries creates new training products and pathways

  • Promoting the value and importance of pre-apprenticeship courses helps students prepare for their apprenticeship and increases retention and completion rates.

System reform
  • A marketing campaign challenges perceptions of apprenticeships

  • Signature Projects demonstrate the value of apprenticeships, particularly in industries or sectors that do no currently make significant use of apprenticeship or traineeship pathways

  • The Provider Development Program builds capability of training providers, trainers and assessors to enhance the delivery of high quality training and assessment

  • The Training and Skills Commission has been revitalised to provide a direct link between industry and government, ensuring funding for skills and training is directly aligned to industry priorities.

  • The Training and Skills Development Act 2008 has been updated to better reflect and underpin a contemporary training system.