Premier Mark McGowan and Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery have today announced a Western Australia 2021 Skills Summit for June 30, to meet with leaders across a number of sectors including the resources, defence, construction and healthcare industries. The aim of the summit is to hear from some of WA’s business leaders on what more can be done collaboratively, and more immediately, to address existing skills needs across sectors to ensure the WA workforce can continue to advance the State and keep WA globally competitive in the coming years.
The WA State Government has already invested heavily into training, including cutting TAFE fees to make re-skilling more affordable, and is delivering the biggest TAFE infrastructure build in WA history. “Our management of COVID-19 has provided confidence throughout our economy, which now presents short-term challenges associated with workforce pressures.“ says Premier Mark McGowan. "Building a sustainable local workforce that can meet our immediate and long term skills needs, and support our big pipeline of economic activity, is a key issue that required industry and government to work together. Creating high quality jobs and training Western Australians to do them is the centrepiece of our State’s strong economic recovery and I am looking forward to sitting down with leaders from a range of areas to make sure we can continue to do this.”
Also announced today is a new program offering a fast track to an apprenticeship for local construction workers. The pilot Construction Accelerated Apprenticeship Program (CAAP) offers construction workers without formal qualifications the opportunity to have their existing skills recognised, cutting the time required to get an apprenticeship. It is the latest in a number of McGowan Government measures ensuring WA has a pipeline of skilled workers, including:
- Lower fees, local skills – slashed TAFE fees by up to 72 per cent on 180 courses;
- a record $167.4 million investment in upgrades to TAFE infrastructure across the five WA TAFE colleges as part of the WA Recovery Plan;
- free skill set short courses to upskill thousands of Western Australians; and
- $4.8 million for the Apprenticeship and Traineeship Re-engagement Incentive, providing financial support to employers who take on a displaced apprentice or trainee.