The first of 10 Regional Skills Summits the WA State Government is hosting across regional WA is being held in Bunbury today, to ensure sustainable local workforces continue to grow and meet skills needs across the state.
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 Skills 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.
Great outcomes to date
- 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.
- WA employers have responded by taking on more South West apprentices and trainees in 2021, with more than 2,300 commencements in the year to 30 June 2021.
A range of initiatives are already progressing from the Perth Skills Summit, to attract and retain skilled workers and continue our State’s strong economic growth. These include:
- supporting mature age apprentices;
- attracting onshore skilled migrants to fill jobs in demand in WA;
- promoting the tourism and hospitality industry to school students to grow the workforce;
- extending the Apprenticeship and Traineeship Reengagement 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, and smoothing the pipeline of construction work.
“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," said Mr McGowan. "Today’s Regional Skills Summit, along with a series of others to be held across WA in coming months, will provide a complete picture of the opportunities and challenges being experienced across industries and the State. The information and insights gathered today will be considered by 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 WA's regional communities.“ added Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery. "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 Summit will help to ensure the South West region continues 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.”