The WA State Government is hosting a Regional Skills Summit in Geraldton today – the third of 10 skills summits to be held in Western Australian regional centres this year — with more than 30 government and regional business leaders from a range of sectors including the agriculture, construction, education and training, healthcare, hospitality and tourism, mining and retail industries are attending. The Geraldton-Mid West Regional Skills Summit will generate practical actions and new and innovative ideas that will form the basis of a local action plan to meet the region’s unique workforce needs.
Recognising the importance of access to training to build a skilled workforce and retain people in regional areas, the State Government has been working to ensure its investment in training initiatives reaches all corners of WA. Student course enrolments in the Mid West have increased by 23 per cent in the past year, driven by affordable training opportunities through the Lower fees, local skills program and strong growth in employment-based training. Mid West employers have responded by taking on more apprentices and trainees in 2021, with commencements up by more than 86 per cent in the year to 31 July 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 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 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 experiencing disadvantage to obtain a driver’s licence.
The State Government is also progressing targeted advertising campaigns to attract interstate workers, and increase participation of under-represented groups in WA.
“Building a sustainable Mid West workforce that can support the region’s pipeline of economic activity requires industry and government to work together.“ said Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery. "Today’s summit is an opportunity for the region’s business leaders and government to identify and progress practical actions to meet the immediate and long term skills needs of the Mid West region. Insights from the summit will inform a local action plan to address changing workforce needs in the Mid West, with a focus on local solutions to local issues.”.