- WA's first Regional Skills Summit is being held in Bunbury today
- More than 40 business leaders, peak bodies, unions, government agencies and training representatives attending
- State Government supporting unique workforce development needs of regional WA
- Student course enrolments up by 14 per cent in WA's South-West
The first of 10 Regional Skills Summits the McGowan Labor Government is hosting to ensure sustainable local workforces continue to grow and meet skill needs across Western Australia is being held in Bunbury today.
Building on the success of the Perth Skills Summit in July, the Bunbury Skills Summit will generate further practical actions and new and innovative ideas to meet the unique workforce needs of the South-West region.
More than 40 government and regional business leaders from a range of sectors including resources, construction, agriculture and healthcare industries are attending.
Outcomes from the Bunbury summit will help the State Government inform a local action plan to address the South-West region's skills needs.
Recognising the importance of access to training for building a skilled workforce and retaining people in regional areas, the McGowan Government has been working to ensure its investment in training initiatives reaches all corners of the State.
Student course enrolments in the South-West have increased by 14 per cent in the past year, the increase driven by affordable training opportunities through the Lower fees, local skills program and strong growth in employment-based training.
Western Australian employers have responded by taking on more South-West apprentices and trainees in 2021, with more than 2,300 commencements in the year to June 30, 2021.
Several initiatives are already progressing from the Perth Skills Summit to attract and retain skilled workers and continue our State's strong economic growth.
These initiatives include attracting onshore skilled migrants to fill jobs in demand in WA; supporting mature age apprentices; promoting the tourism and hospitality industry to school students to grow the workforce; extending the Apprenticeship and Traineeship Re-engagement Incentive; freezing regional Government rental accommodation to attract public sector workers to the regions; boosting Aboriginal youth employment opportunities; and providing support for jobseekers to obtain a driver's licence.
The State Government is also progressing targeted advertising campaigns to attract interstate and New Zealand workers and increase participation of under-represented groups in WA; smoothing the pipeline of construction work; and promoting the series of Regional Skills Summits kicking off today.
Comments attributed to Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery:
"As our Government and industry leaders continue to work together to build a strong Western Australian workforce, it is critical to recognise that the skills and training needs of each region are unique.
"Today's Regional Skills Summit, along with a series of others to be held across Western Australia in coming months, will provide a complete picture of the opportunities and challenges being experienced across industries and the State."
Comments attributed to Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Education and Training Terry Healy:
"The information and insights gathered today will be considered by the State Government to inform a local action plan to address the South-West region's skill needs.
"Making local training available is an important part of retaining workers and building a skilled workforce in Western Australia's regional communities."
Comments attributed to Bunbury MLA Don Punch:
"The South-West's workforce is experiencing a high demand for services and workers across a range of industries, as well as increased consumer demand for quality local products. Our Government is focused on finding local solutions to local issues.
"The Regional Skills Summits will ensure our regions continue to benefit from the State's economic prosperity and investment in training initiatives, and that the region's workforce remains adaptable to changing needs as it navigates through the pandemic."
Minister's office - 6552 5700