The McGowan Government is taking swift action to progress strategies identified in partnership with Western Australian industry leaders at last Friday’s Skills Summit, announcing more priority initiatives to attract and retain skilled workers in WA.
More than 130 people attended the Skills Summit including Premier Mark McGowan, Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery, other members of Cabinet and business leaders across a range of sectors including the resources, defence, construction and healthcare industries.
The following key initiatives announced by Premier Mark McGowan and Minister for Education and Training Sue Ellery today build on announcements made on 5 July and 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.
The WA State Government will continue working with industry to identify priority areas and target market opportunities. We will bring you further updates on these and other initiatives and programs, as information becomes available.
Adult Apprentice Employer Incentive
Following the huge success of the $5.2 million Jobs and Skills WA Adult Apprentice Employer Incentive (AAEI), which has seen it reach its 100 place cap for 2021—22 in just over two weeks, the next 100 places are being brought forward from 2022—23.
This will ensure employers currently in the recruitment process for an adult apprentice will immediately be eligible for the financial incentive up to $26,800.
Additional places in State Nominated Migration Program
With onshore visa holders showing strong interest in filling skilled jobs in WA, the State Government is requesting an additional 5,000 places from the Commonwealth Government under the 2021—22 State Nominated Migration Program (SNMP).
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..
Targeted assistance for Aboriginal jobseekers
A new partnership with the Wirrpanda Foundation will provide Aboriginal jobseekers aged 15—24 years with targeted assistance to address specific barriers to employment.
Reducing barriers to drivers' licence for jobseekers
The State Government will introduce initiatives to help disadvantaged learner drivers obtain a driver’s licence — a significant barrier to employment for many.
Infrastructure projects brought forward
Following detailed consultation with industry, the State Government’s multibillion dollar infrastructure program to support COVID-19 recovery will be reviewed with a view to smoothing the pipeline of work to ease labour pressures.
This will include a review of the McGowan Government’s Asset Investment Program as part of the 2021–22 State Budget.
Targeted campaign to attract workers
Two targeted campaigns will be developed to attract interstate skilled 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.
Regional Skills Summits across WA
With regional WA having its own unique challenges, the State Government will hold a series of targeted Regional Skills Summits across WA in the next five months.
“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," said Mr McGowan. “We have come away from the Skills Summit with a range of tangible solutions and we are getting straight to work 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.”
Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery said “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.”