Hon Mark McGowan BA LLB MLA

Hon Mark McGowan BA LLB MLA

Premier; Treasurer; Minister for Public Sector Management; Federal-State Relations

Hon Sue Ellery BA MLC

Hon Sue Ellery BA MLC

Minister for Finance; Commerce; Women's Interests

    New Skills Summit to strengthen Western Australian workforce

    20/05/2021 9:30 AM
    • McGowan Government to hold "Skills Summit" with WA's industry leaders
    • Skilled workers critical to keep supporting Western Australia's economy
    • Fast-track program for aspiring tradies also announced to help boost jobs and skills

    The McGowan Labor Government has today announced new initiatives to maintain Western Australia's strong economic growth and strengthen its local workforce.


    Premier Mark McGowan and Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery have convened a "Skills Summit" for June 30 to meet with leaders across a number of sectors including the resources, defence, construction and healthcare industries.


    Already the McGowan Government has invested heavily into training, including cutting TAFE fees to make re-skilling more affordable, and is delivering the biggest TAFE infrastructure build in Western Australian history.


    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 McGowan Government has also announced a new program offering a fast track to an apprenticeship for local construction workers.


    The pilot Construction Accelerated Apprenticeship Program offers construction workers without formal qualifications the opportunity to have their existing skills recognised and therefore cutting the time required to get an apprenticeship.


    WA TAFEs will assess the skills of applicants to confirm suitability for the program.


    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 Western Australian TAFE colleges, as part of the WA Recovery Plan; 
    • introduced free TAFE 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.

    For more information about the new apprenticeship program or any other initiative visit the Jobs and Skills WA website http://www.jobsandskills.wa.gov.au/pathways


    People can register their interest in the program by emailing CAAP@dtwd.wa.gov.au


    Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan:


    "We have the track record to deliver on our comprehensive WA Jobs Plan, which will benefit Western Australians across our suburbs and our regions.


    "Our management of COVID-19 has provided confidence throughout our economy, which now presents short-term challenges associated with workforce pressures.


    "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.


    "We know many companies have policies to ensure jobs are provided to Western Australians first and want this to continue right across a range of sectors and big employers.


    "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."


    Comments attributed to Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery:


    "As a Government we want to be proactive in ensuring we have enough skilled workers in the State so we can continue to advance our world-leading economy.


    "The COVID-19 pandemic has provided us with many challenges and this skills summit will help us better understand how we can produce enough skilled workers to meet increasing industry demand.


    "Initiatives like this and the accelerated apprenticeships program show we are committed to making sure the WA workforce can keep the State moving forward."


    Premier's office - 6552 5000

    Minister's office - 6552 5700