Premier Mark McGowan today announced a range of immediate initiatives to support Western Australia’s skilled worker needs and confirmed the rescheduled Skills Summit will take place on Friday, July 30. The event was postponed late last month due to WA's four-day circuit breaker COVD-19 lockdown. In order to begin addressing the immediate needs of Western Australian businesses, a number of key measures will be implemented now.
NEW! Adult Apprenticeship Employer Incentive
The new $5.2 million Jobs and Skills WA Adult Apprenticeship Employer Incentive will help businesses maximise job opportunities for adult apprentices who bring the benefit of skills, experience and maturity to businesses. WA businesses eligible for the new incentive may receive up to $26,800 when they hire an adult apprentice.
This will assist with growing WA’s skilled workforce and maximise opportunities for mature age apprentices, who are often overlooked by employers due to the higher cost of adult wages.
Extension of Apprenticeship and Traineeship Reengagement Incentive
The successful Apprenticeship and Traineeship Re-engagement Incentive (ATRI) will be extended for a further 12 months, with an additional $4 million investment.
Since its commencement in July 2020, more than 1,600 apprentices and trainees have been re-engaged and given the opportunity to complete their training.
There are currently around 300 out of contract apprentices and trainees seeking a new employer across a range of industries.
Expansion of skilled migration program
The State Government has expanded the State Nominated Migration Program (SNMP) to provide a skilled migration pathway for temporary visa holders already in Australia.
The SNMP is a Commonwealth skilled migration program that allows States and Territories to attract temporary visa holders into occupations where there are vacancies not being met by local workers. An additional 134 occupations have been added to the WA Skilled Migration Occupation List from high demand industries.
With thousands of skilled temporary visa holders already in Australia, the changes to the SNMP will focus on attracting these skilled migrants to WA and assist businesses to retain visa holders already residing in WA.
Promotion of tourism and hospitality careers
A new partnership between Tourism WA and training council FutureNow will develop career programs for high-school students to highlight the vibrant career opportunities in tourism and hospitality.
It will include interactive demonstrations at the Skills West Careers Expo and a ‘chef ambassador’ program targeting students and teachers looking to upskill.
Regional rent increases for Government Regional Officer Housing (GROH) frozen
The State Government has frozen rent increases for Government Regional Officer Housing (GROH) in 2021—22, assisting regional towns to continue to attract and retain public sector workers such as police and teachers.
These measures are based on consultation with peak bodies, industry associations, industry training councils, WA unions and government agencies.
They will deliver immediate solutions for WA businesses’ skilled worker needs - with further short and long term actions to be identified at the rescheduled Skills Summit.