On Thursday 21 May 2020, Premier Mark McGowan and the Minister for Education and Training Sue Ellery jointly announced the establishment of an urgent review of skills, training and workforce development (the review) in response to COVID-19’s impact on the workforce in Western Australia. A review team was established:
- Ms Anne Driscoll, Director General, Department of Training and Workforce Development;
- Ms Michelle Hoad, Managing Director, North Metropolitan TAFE; and
- Ms Terry Durant, Managing Director, South Metropolitan TAFE.
The review team was asked to engage with industry and business to identify practical and responsive training solutions for the post COVID-19 recovery period; and over the review period met with over 238 stakeholders in 70 meetings.
The response from stakeholders was overwhelmingly positive, with industry and business acknowledging the State Government’s proactive handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and its recovery packages. Stakeholders also indicated their appreciation in being able to participate in the review and to work with Government to enhance the training system and address the skills and workforce needs of the State.
The review report
The report on the review is now available. It sets out a targeted training and skills roadmap for Western Australia's economic recovery, and outlines the observations and recommendations of the review team under five key themes:
- New futures for Western Australians;
- 21st Century Apprenticeships;
- Maximising skills from Government investment;
- Live-learn-work in regional WA; and
- Next generation training.
The report details a total of 46 recommendations.
The recommendations from the review have been considered by the WA State Government, and their response to the recommendations is available.
Who the review team spoke to
- 70 meetings
- 238 business, industry and community stakeholders
- 74 written submissions
- 10 Ministerial Roundtable meetings
- 5 Directors General of State recovery areas – Health, economic and infrastructure, social, industry and regions
- State Recovery Controller
- Members of the State Recovery Advisory Group
What the review team found
Strong agreement for rapid and targeted training responses to address skill and workforce needs of the State in five key areas with 46 recommendations.
- New futures for Western Australians – Help people into new careers (14 recommendations)
- 21st century apprenticeships – Reform apprenticeships and traineeships to create trades for the future (8 recommendations)
- Maximising skills from Government investment – Lift the number of apprentices and trainees employed through Government projects (3 recommendations)
- Live-learn-work in regional WA – Train locals and attract more skilled workers to the regions (7 recommendations)
- Next generation training – Repositioning TAFE sector capability to meet the needs of WA industry and community (14 recommendations)
How the State Government is responding
The WA State Government has committed $229.2 million in funding for the Rebuilding our TAFEs plan. The plan includes the following measures.
- $57 million recovery package for WA TAFE colleges and the WA training sector
- $167.4 million investment in capital works programs for state of the art TAFE teaching and learning around the State, creating around 1,000 jobs
- $4.8 million Apprenticeship and Traineeship Reengagement incentive to encourage employers to engage apprentices and trainees who have been displaced due to COVID-19
When the recommendations will be implemented
- 6 recommendations implemented on 1 July 2020
- 37 recommendations to be progressed in the first phase of recovery – July to December 2020
- 3 recommendations to be considered through the State Recovery Plan’s Reforming and Transforming phase
- 14 capital works projects approved and progressing
Initiatives already implemented
- 15 free job ready skill set courses
- 6 free infection control skill set courses
- 39 more Lower fees, local skills courses with fees slashed by up to 72%
- Apprenticeship and Traineeship Reengagement incentive for employers ($6,000 for apprentices; $3,000 for trainees)
- Fee- free training for displaced apprentices and trainees
- Free out of contract register for displaced apprentices and trainees
Free support, information and advice for jobseekers is available at 13 Jobs and Skills Centres across metropolitan Perth and regional areas in WA. Jobs and Skills Centres also offer free advice and information about training and career planning.
Free Job search resources are available on the Jobs and Skills WA website, and a new Jobs and Skills WA Career Connect Facebook community has been set up to support jobseekers — you're invited to join!
Keeping you informed
As we work through the recommendations in the report, we will keep you informed.