McGowan Government puts Skills Summit ideas into action

  • New post-summit initiatives to support Western Australia’s skilled worker needs
  • 100 places for local mature-age apprentices brought forward
  • Work underway to attract up to 5,000 onshore skilled migrants from interstate to WA
  • State Government’s multibillion dollar infrastructure program will be reviewed with a view to smoothing pipeline of work to ease workforce pressures
  • Targeted advertising campaign to attract interstate and New Zealand skilled workers and increase participation of under-represented groups in WA
  • Boost to Aboriginal youth employment opportunities and enhanced support for jobseekers to obtain driver’s licences
  • Regional Skills Summits set to take place throughout WA 
  • The McGowan Labor Government is taking swift action to progress ideas identified in partnership with Western Australian industry leaders at last Friday’s Skills Summit.

    The State Government today announced more priority initiatives to attract and retain skilled workers in Western Australia as part of its continuing work with industry and training providers to address the State’s skilled worker needs.

    These key initiatives are immediate actions the State Government will take to bolster the State’s workforce, while work is undertaken to convert concepts from the summit into additional initiatives.

    Following the huge success of the Jobs and Skills WA Adult Apprentice Employer Incentive – which has seen it reach its 100-place cap in just over two weeks – the State Government has brought forward the next 100 places from 2022-23.

    This ensures employers will immediately be eligible for the adult apprentice financial incentive – up to $26,800.

    With onshore visa holders also showing strong interest in filling skilled jobs in WA, the State Government is requesting an additional 5,000 onshore places from the Commonwealth Government under the State Nominated Migration Program.

    The addition of 134 occupations to the program last month prompted thousands of expressions of interest from skilled onshore migrants who are living interstate to secure work in WA.

    Following detailed consultation with industry, the State Government’s multibillion dollar infrastructure program will be reviewed with a view to smoothing the pipeline of work to ease workforce pressures across the economy.

    This will include a review of the McGowan Government’s Asset Investment Program as part of the 2021-22 State Budget.

    A targeted advertising campaign will also be developed to attract interstate and New Zealand workers and increase participation of under-represented groups in WA. The State Government will continue working with industry to identify priority areas and target market opportunities.

    A new partnership with the Wirrpanda Foundation will provide Aboriginal jobseekers aged 15-24 with targeted assistance to address specific barriers to employment.

    The State Government will also introduce initiatives to help disadvantaged learner drivers obtain a driver’s licence – a significant barrier to employment for many.

    With regional WA having its own unique challenges, the State Government will also hold a series of targeted Regional Skills Summits across WA in the next five months.

    More than 130 people attended the Skills Summit, including Premier Mark McGowan, Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery, Cabinet members and business leaders across a range of sectors.

    As stated by Premier Mark McGowan:

    “The Skills Summit was a valuable opportunity for government and industry to work together to address immediate workforce challenges to support our thriving economy – while enhancing our ongoing commitment to local training and local jobs.

    “We have come away from the Skills Summit with a range of tangible solutions and we are getting straight to work on implementing them.

    “Our economy is strong and together we have defied the economic turmoil seen throughout much of the world. We will continue to be agile and responsive to industry’s needs as we address our workforce challenges and deliver continued strong results for the WA economy.”

    As stated by Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery:

    “With low unemployment and international border restrictions, we are experiencing growing demand for skilled workers to fill local jobs and support our businesses.

    “As well as these immediate actions, the concepts that came from the Skills Summit will shape further planning, strategy and decisions to assist WA’s workforce needs.

    “I am thrilled to also announce the Skills Summit initiative will be expanded to our regional communities.”

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