- New local training program has strong alignment with McGowan Government's WA Jobs Plan
- Positive initiative to reduce reliance on out-of-State workers and support local jobs
- McGowan Government continuing to address the State's skills needs
- Regional skills summits to be held in coming weeks to support workforce development
The McGowan Government has welcomed a BHP initiative to train and employ 200 train drivers over the next three years.
Premier Mark McGowan, Transport Minister Rita Saffioti and Pilbara MLA Kevin Michel met with recruits for the new Rail Academy Traineeship Program today at BHP's Nelson Point operations.
The program has strong alignment with the McGowan Government's WA Jobs Plan - which focuses on preferencing local jobs, reducing interstate FIFO, enhancing TAFE and training, and creating jobs in regional Western Australia.
COVID-19 has highlighted opportunities for a longer-term focus on developing the WA workforce - with the McGowan Government working with the mining industry to reduce reliance on out-of-State workers.
Over the past four years, the State Government has made major investments towards restoring and revitalising WA's TAFE and training sector - including slashing TAFE fees, introducing free short courses and delivering the biggest TAFE infrastructure build in WA history.
This work has delivered strong results, with 96,000 students now in vocational education and training courses - a 25 per cent increase compared to last year.
WA employers have also responded by taking on more apprentices and trainees in 2021, with apprenticeship and traineeship commencements up by 79 per cent in the past 12 months.
The State Government's series of regional skills summits will include Pilbara two events in Port Hedland and Karratha.
Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan:
"I commend BHP for investing in WA jobs with this local training program - which has strong alignment with my Government's WA Jobs Plan.
"WA jobs have been my number one priority from day one, and we are continuing to focus on reducing interstate FIFO, enhancing local training, and creating jobs in regional WA.
"We will continue to work closely with industry to develop opportunities to build Western Australia's workforce - to create local jobs and continue to support the growth of our resources sector."
Comments attributed to State Development, Jobs and Trade Minister Roger Cook:
"This training program that has been funded and initiated by BHP recognises the need for a reliable and sustainable local workforce.
"With a large number of women and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people completing this training, I would like to congratulate BHP for its commitment to diversity - we know that diverse workplaces are the most productive workplaces.
Comments attributed to Transport Minister Rita Saffioti:
"I applaud BHP for this initiative to train and upskill the local workforce, which in turn reduces the reliance on out-of-State workers.
"We welcome any efforts by the mining industry to extend the benefits delivered by the resources sector to provide jobs and training opportunities for more Western Australians."
Comments attributed to Pilbara MLA Kevin Michel:
"This program is a great initiative to boost local jobs and local skills in the Pilbara.
"The Pilbara's mining industry is critical to our region and Western Australia's prosperity - and this initiative will help deliver long term benefits for industry and local workers."
Premier's office - 6552 5000
State Development, Jobs and Trade Minister's office - 6552 6500
Transport Minister's office - 6552 5500