Workforce development

Workforce planning and development

Workforce planning and development is the process of determining skills and labour market needs in response to demographic, economic and labour market conditions and other challenges that ongoing change brings. It involves designing and delivering strategies, policies and actions that maximise opportunities for building, attracting and retaining a skilled and capable workforce.

The Department of Training and Workforce Development was established by the Western Australian Government in 2009 as the State’s lead agency for workforce planning and development. Our role is to work together with stakeholders across government, industry and the community to establish strategies and programs that build WA’s workforce to meet the State's economic and community needs by leading and coordinating workforce planning and development strategies, and driving a responsive and flexible training system.

The Department prepares a quarterly Labour and economic snapshot of Western Australia, analysing the current situation and outlook for the State’s labour market. You can view the December quarter 2017 edition here.


Plans and strategies

The Department engages and coordinates the efforts of State Government agencies, industry, community and Australian Government stakeholders to maximise opportunities for working together to deliver workforce planning and development priority actions, plans and strategies.

Together, these aim to build a skilled and flexible workforce with the capacity to support Western Australia's economic and community needs.


Skilling WA

Skilling WA aims to build, attract and retain a skilled workforce that is flexible, diverse and responsive to changes in labour market, economic or social conditions.

The first edition of Skilling WA was launched in 2010. In response to the State’s emerging economic and labour market challenges, the State Government developed and released a second edition in 2014. This builds on the work of the first edition by coordinating the efforts of State Government agencies, in collaboration with industry, community and Commonwealth Government stakeholders, positioning the State to address current and future workforce planning and development challenges.

Skilling WA, second edition identifies five strategic goals as part of our overarching objective of skilling our State to maximise the availability of skilled labour that can meet the needs of employers, the community and the individual. These goals are supported by 25 areas of strategic focus, which aim to maximise the efforts of State Government agencies and industry stakeholders as they work together to respond to the key issues facing Western Australia's workforce. Each of the areas of strategic focus informs a range of priority actions which aim to deliver projects, programs or policy initiatives to support the attraction, development and retention of a skilled workforce.

For more information, you can download the full version of Skilling WA – A workforce development plan for Western Australia.


The WA State Training Plan 2017–2020

The State Training Board prepares a State Training Plan each year, which contributes to the policy and purchasing direction for the State’s training system for the short to medium term. The Plan is developed each year within the context of current State and national vocational education and training policies, commitments and agreements.

The new State Training Plan 2017–2020 identifies and recommends key areas of focus such as:

  • enhancing industry engagement;
  • supporting and promoting innovation and technology within the education and training sector;
  • priority for the employment of apprentices and trainees on major WA projects;
  • creating skills development opportunities for young people;
  • skilling our social assistance and allied health workforce; and
  • supporting older workers.

A range of inputs are used to inform the Plan, including:

  • analysis of economic, labour market and demographic data;
  • industry consultation and advice,
  • regional advice; and
  • other relevant research and reports.

    View the State Training Plan 2017–2020 on the State Training Board website at


    Industry workforce development plans

    Up until 2016, each of WA’s Industry Training Councils has produced an Industry workforce development plan. In addition to providing a targeted focus for responding to industry specific workforce issues, these plans also offer a comprehensive industry profile section with industry and employment analysis and trends, including labour and skills demand. The plans are based on extensive research undertaken by each ITC, and provide suggestions and strategies to address identified issues and/or pursue opportunities through working collaboratively with industry, employers, government agencies and the training sector. From 2017, these plans will be replaced by an annual snapshot of industry workforce priorities.

    If you would like to find out more about the workforce development plan for a particular industry area, a full list of WA ITCs and links to their website is available on the WA State Training Board website.


    Regional workforce development plans

    Regional workforce development plans are part of the Skilling WA framework. They identify local workforce development challenges in regional areas and provide strategies to address them.

    With the launch of the Mid West and Peel regional plans during 2015–16, plans have now been developed through local workforce development alliances in all nine regions of Western Australia. An additional workforce plan was prepared for Katanning, as outlined during the development of the Great Southern workforce development plan. Membership of each regional alliance includes representation from local business, industry groups, local governments (representing community aspirations), relevant government agencies and the local TAFE college. The alliances provide leadership and oversight for the development and implementation of the regional workforce development plans.

    Regional workforce development plans are currently available for viewing or download. For further information on the regional workforce development plans for each region, please contact us by email via

    View/download WA Regional workforce development plans

    Gascoyne workforce development plan 2015–2018 Executive summary Full document
    Goldfields–Esperance workforce development plan 2013–2016  Executive summary Full document
    Great Southern workforce development plan 2013–2016 Executive summary Full document
    Katanning workforce development plan 2015–2018 - Full document
    Kimberley workforce development plan 2014–2017 Executive summary Full document
    Mid West workforce development plan 2015–2018 Executive summary Full document
    Peel workforce development plan 2015–2018 Executive summary Full document
    Pilbara workforce development plan 2013–2016 Executive summary Full document
    South West workforce development plan 2013–2016 Executive summary Full document
    Wheatbelt workforce development plan 2013–2016 Executive summary Full document

    Skilled migration

    In Australia, the Commonwealth Government's Department for Immigration and Border Protection has responsibility for immigration policy. It also makes the final determinations on all applications for humanitarian, business and skilled visas (see for more information). The Commonwealth Government however allows each Australian state and territory to nominate skilled migrants under a broad range of occupations, to meet their own local workforce needs.

    The State nominated migration program

    The Western Australian Government places Western Australians first when it comes to securing jobs in the State. Accordingly, the State Government's first workforce development priority is to train and prepare Western Australians for the workforce.

    WA’s State nominated migration program therefore targets only those skilled jobs that genuinely require overseas workers, where local workers cannot be sourced.

    The program works in conjunction with other workforce development mechanisms to help ensure employers have access to the skills they need.

    For information on living and working in Western Australia, or how to apply for nomination by the State Government for a skilled nominated visa under WA's State nominated migration program, please visit the Department's Migration portal


    The Western Australian skilled migration occupation list

    The WASMOL lists those occupations eligible for skilled migration through nomination by the Western Australian Government. The occupations identified on the WASMOL do not relate to any specific job vacancies, nor do they represent any guarantee of a job. Rather, the WASMOL identifies occupations that have compelling evidence of unmet demand and are considered a priority for WA in respect to those skilled jobs that genuinely require overseas workers.

    If a potential migrant’s occupation is identified on the WASMOL, he or she may be eligible for nomination under a Skilled nominated visa (Subclass 190) or Skilled regional (provisional) visa (Subclass 489), subject to a number of other criteria also being satisfied.

    The WASMOL is reviewed regularly to ensure it remains current. The latest WASMOL can be accessed on the Department's Migration portal. For enquiries please contact our Migration Services branch.


    Training Together – Working Together Aboriginal workforce development strategy

    The TTWT Aboriginal workforce development strategy was developed in collaboration with Aboriginal communities and industry to increase the number of Aboriginal people in training for sustainable employment.

    Connecting employers with Aboriginal job seekers, promoting Aboriginal role models and removing barriers to participation in the workforce were among the key recommendations outlined in the strategy.

    The Aboriginal Workforce Development Centres, which are located across WA, work closely with industry and employers to develop and implement workforce initiatives that support the employment and retention of Aboriginal people. AWDCs also work with Aboriginal jobseekers to help them achieve their training and employment goals.

    You can find out more about the AWDCs on the website at


    The Western Australian workforce planning and development model

    To support the goal of building and developing a skilled workforce for WA and facilitate delivery of a coordinated statewide plan, the Department – in collaboration with key stakeholders from government, industry and communities throughout the State – has developed the WA workforce planning and development model as an overarching framework. This model follows a best practice workforce planning and development process to outline how all stakeholders can work together to respond to economic and labour market challenges and explore opportunities for WA’s continued growth and prosperity.

    For more information about how the model is integrated into practice, please take a look at the WA workforce planning and development model paper. This paper explains the key components of the model, along with its planning framework and the programs, initiatives and services the Department provides to support it.


    Regional WA profiles

    The Department undertakes and facilitates research, analysis and planning associated with the current and future training and workforce development requirements for regional areas.  This involves researching and analysing data and trends relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, community, industry, social, economic, employment and training issues for the each of the nine regions of Western Australia.

    Kimberley Pilbara Gascoyne - Mid West Goldfields-Esperance Wheatbelt Perth Peel South West Great Southern

    Western Australia’s regions represent a wide diversity of living and working conditions. They also contribute significantly to the State's economy, with each region presenting its own unique workforce challenges and issues.

    To find out more about each region, select it from the map.


    Population – 38,825

    Labour force – 20,960

    Employed persons – 18,874

    Unemployment rate – 10.0%


    Population – 65,675

    Labour force – 61,519

    Employed persons – 48,809

    Unemployment rate – 2.0%

    Gascoyne-Mid West

    Population – 67,496

    Labour force – 40,812

    Employed persons – 38,743

    Unemployment rate – 5.1%


    Population – 59,312

    Labour force – 38,456

    Employed persons – 36,926

    Unemployment rate – 4.0%


    Population – 73,947

    Labour force – 35,714

    Employed persons – 33,339

    Unemployment rate – 6.7%


    Population – 1,938,557

    Labour force – 1,063,061

    Employed persons – 994,586

    Unemployment rate – 6.4%


    Population – 135,366

    Labour force – 61,519

    Employed persons – 56,681

    Unemployment rate – 7.9%

    South West

    Population – 177,636

    Labour force – 91,886

    Employed persons – 87,894

    Unemployment rate – 4.3%

    Great Southern

    Population – 60,260

    Labour force – 27,720

    Employed persons – 25,858

    Unemployment rate – 6.7%

    For state level labour market data please visit the Australian Bureau of Statistics website. The latest labour market data can be found by searching for ‘Labour Force’ on their website. Alternatively, please see the Department’s Quarterly Labour and Economic Snapshot.

    Sources for regional data are ABS, 3218.0, Regional Population Growth, Australia, (at June 2016) and the Commonwealth Department of Employment, Small Area Labour Markets–Australia (June quarter 2017). A discrepancy between some State and regional figures may arise from time to time, due to State figures being released monthly by the ABS and regional figures being released quarterly by the Commonwealth Department of Employment on a 12 month rolling average basis. All figures shown relate to the latest available data.


    The State priority occupation list

    The State priority occupation list (SPOL) is produced each year by the Department in consultation with key stakeholders, including the State’s industry training councils, to inform and guide workforce planning and development for Western Australia. It is a list of occupations rated according to their priority status for WA.

    The SPOL informs the WA State training plan, which guides the allocation of subsidised training programs into areas of prioritised need. It also informs WA workforce development planning and the Western Australian skilled migration occupation list (WASMOL).


    What's on the SPOL?

    Using the interactive SPOL format below, you can search over 700 occupations and see their current priority status. Please note that currently this may not be functional on all mobile devices.

    To find out more about a listed occupation, highlight it in the list and select the ‘Print occupation profiles’ button. This will generate a PDF document with a description of the occupation, its priority index, and the written evidence received from stakeholders in relation to this occupation.

    To see the whole SPOL, use the buttons at the top right to copy it to your clipboard for pasting into a document, or export the list as a spreadsheet or PDF.

    The SPOL is designed and intended to be used for policy planning and research purposes, rather than as a career guidance tool.

    If you’d like to know more about what kind of occupation(s) might suit you or someone you know, please visit the Occupations section of the Career Centre website to view our range of occupational videos, or use the Career Centre’s Occupation Explorer to match your interests with industry areas and occupations.



    Understanding the SPOL

    The SPOL summary paper outlines the process undertaken to create the list. It includes an explanation of the five categories that are used to assign priority ratings to a particular occupation based on its criticality, evidence of unmet demand, and any relevant non-market factors.

    The summary paper also provides an overview of Western Australia’s labour market by occupation groups, and includes the full SPOL listing of occupations.

    View the SPOL summary paper (July 2017)

    For more information about the process and the data sources used to create the SPOL each year, please refer to the SPOL scope and methodology paper. This paper also provides information about the statistical methodologies and consultations with industry and training councils that form part of the SPOL development process each year.


    Frequently asked questions

    The following list of frequently asked questions provides more information about the SPOL.

    Why do we need a SPOL?

    The SPOL is an important tool to inform decisions about how funding for training and workforce development programs is allocated. The SPOL helps to ensure that we are investing in the development of skills and knowledge that match the occupations we need now and into the future.

    How is the ‘priority’ of an occupation decided?

    To be considered for priority status, one or more of the following conditions must be met:

    • the occupation must be considered critical to the needs of the State;
    • there is significant evidence of unmet demand; that is, where employers have faced difficulties in filling vacancies. This is also known as ‘skill shortages’; or
    • there are other, non-market factors impacting on the occupation, such as changes in regulations and licensing arrangements.

    How is the SPOL produced?

    The Department conducts extensive economic and labour market research and analysis at an industry and occupational level to determine the State's priority occupations. The major indicators considered include:

    • current and forecast levels of employment growth within the specified occupations;
    • average weekly earnings and wages growth;
    • average age of existing employees across the occupation in Western Australia;
    • the level of turnover of staff within the occupation; and
    • current supply of qualifications completed from universities and the vocational education training sector, plus skilled visas granted for migrants to WA.

    This work is supplemented by intelligence provided by industry, facilitated through the State Training Board's network of ITCs. These bodies provide strategic advice on occupations that are considered to be experiencing unmet demand or experiencing other non-market related factors, based on research and consultation with their industry sectors.

    The complete list is then validated and assessed by the Department, in consultation with each ITC, in order to produce the final SPOL each year.

    What do the priority ratings on the SPOL mean?

    An occupation listed on the SPOL may be assigned to one of five separate categories that align with issues the occupation faces; such as the skill level and whether there is unmet demand for skilled workers in the occupation.

    • State priority 1 – the highest priority occupations. They will generally be of a high skill level (critical occupations), statistically ranked in the top half of occupations and experiencing unmet demand.
    • State priority 2A – second-highest level of priority. They will generally be of a high skill level and statistically ranked in the top half of occupations. It is desirable to maintain supply in these occupations, even though these occupations may not be experiencing unmet demand.
    • State priority 2B – second-highest level of priority. They are not necessarily occupations of the highest skill level, but they will be statistically ranked in the top half of occupations and are experiencing unmet demand.
    • Priority 3 – the third tier of priority representing industry and/or regional-level priority occupations. They tend to be either occupations experiencing unmet demand or highly-skilled occupations. Typically, these occupations are statistically ranked in the lower half of occupations.
    • Identified occupation – these refer to occupations where issues have been identified at a business level, however at the current time there is not enough evidence supporting the existence of widespread unmet demand or non-market factors which would see their elevation to a priority status. These occupations are being closely monitored for any evidence that may see them elevated to a priority status in the future.
    • Not identified as a priority – these occupations do not currently have any issues identified relating to education, vocational education and training, or migration in Western Australia and are therefore not priorities for training funding or migration.

    How are occupations chosen for inclusion on the SPOL?

    The following criteria are applied to determine whether an occupation should be considered for the SPOL.

    Valid data

    There must be an adequate level of quality information about the occupation in order to assess and validate the needs of the occupation. In practice, this means that the occupation must have a valid Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupation (ANZSCO) code from the Australian Bureau of Statistics at the six-digit level.

    High levels of skill

    The occupation must have specialised skills that require extended (post-school) learning and preparation time. Occupations that do not require post-school qualifications prior to entry, such as labourers, process workers and kitchen hands, are excluded from the list of eligible occupations.

    Clear and open pathways

    Because the SPOL is used to determine funding priorities for training in WA, the occupation should have clear education and/or training pathways or qualifications that can be obtained within Australia, and where the skills learnt can be matched to the requirements of the occupation. Where an occupation does not have any educational or vocational education and training qualifications associated with it, it is excluded from the eligibility list. Examples of these include judges, members of Parliament.

    The occupation must also operate in the normal labour market; that is, there is a regular recruitment process to fill vacancies and many employers available. Occupations that are highly regulated, or those with tightly controlled recruitment practices with specialist skills, are not eligible for inclusion. Examples of these include defence force personnel, police officers and air traffic controllers.

    Occupational impact

    An occupation will be considered if any disruption in its supply would result in significant impacts more broadly across the industry or the State economy. These impacts may manifest themselves in higher unemployment and/or slower growth due to supply bottlenecks.


    Queries or feedback?

    If you have queries regarding specific occupations for the SPOL, please contact the relevant industry training council for that occupation’s industry area. The ITCs are the first point of contact for feedback regarding occupations for the SPOL. A full list of WA ITCs is available on the WA State Training Board website.

    For general enquiries regarding the SPOL, please contact the Department via our online enquiry form.


    Workforce information

    Western Australia has a population of around 2.6 million people, of which more than half make up the State’s workforce of some 1.4 million people. WA has the fourth largest workforce in Australia, with a higher rate of workforce participation compared to the national average.

    • Aboriginal Australians make up 1.8% of the State’s workforce, while those born overseas make up 37.1%.
    • Youth aged 15–24 comprise about 14.6%, while those over 60 comprise 9.0%.
    • WA’s male to female workforce ratio is 55% to 45%.
    • Many Western Australians in the workforce hold post school qualifications, with 24.2% holding a university degree and 33.3% a VET Certificate or Diploma.
    • 40.8% have no post school qualifications.

    The vast majority (around 80%) of the State’s population and workers reside in Greater Perth (including Mandurah).

    However, the regions are quite diverse in nature and incorporate a variable mix of employment in areas such as services, resource projects, agribusiness and tourism.

    The majority of workers in the State are employed on a full time basis (67.6%), with a broadly similar industry employment composition to that of the other states in Australia, with 72.6% employed in the State’s service related industries, compared to 78.1% for Australia.

    The top three employing industries in WA are currently health care and social assistance, construction and retail trade.

    However, one key difference in employment composition relates to WA having a higher proportion of workers employed in the mining industry compared to nationally.

    Source: ABS Census 2011; ABS 3101.0 – Australian Demographic Statistics; ABS 6202.0 – Labour Force, Australia; ABS 6227.0 Education and Work, Australia; and ABS 6291.0 – Labour Force Australia, Detailed, Quarterly.

    Outlook and assessment for WA

    WA has a land mass of over two and a half million square kilometres, nearly 10 times the size of New Zealand. Western Australians enjoy a good quality of life supported by strong infrastructure and quality government services. With its immense dimensions, small population and Perth’s distinction as the world’s most isolated capital city, WA is a state of contrast that offers many opportunities for growth and prosperity.

    In recent years WA’s richness in natural resources and proximity to Asian markets has provided economic growth and benefits to both industry and community; however the ever-changing demographic, economic and social climate means that it must continue to adapt and grow into the future. In particular, the State must respond to its changing workforce profile and position itself to meet the developing labour market challenges. The State’s population and labour market have a direct impact on the planning and development of our future workforce.


    Employment forecasts

    Forecasts from both Victoria University’s Centre of Policy Studies (out to 2019–20) and the Commonwealth Department of Employment (out to November 2020) show that over the next few years WA’s employment growth by industry is expected to be broadly based. While there is some variation between the two sets of forecasts, an area of consistency is that the top three employing industries of health care and social assistance, construction and retail trade are expected to account for at least three out of every 10 jobs in the State by the end of the respective forecasting periods. Other areas of employment growth, although to a lesser extent, are expected to be in professional, scientific and technical services, education and training, and accommodation and food services.

    Disclaimer: Forecasts of employment growth

    In view of the State’s current dynamic economic environment, it is very difficult for any forecaster to accurately predict specific and detailed movements in employment growth as there are many uncertainties to be considered. As such, care needs to be exercised when interpreting any projections of labour market movements for the State. In particular, the following chart showing the two different forecast sets of employment growth by industry should only be used as a broad guide as to an indicative picture of what the State’s future labour market may look like under the assumptions adopted by either forecaster.

    Furthermore, expected growth in employment does not necessarily mean jobs will be easier or harder to obtain in any particular industry area – levels of competition for vacant positions can often be quite marked and variable.

    Prospective students or jobseekers are encouraged to undertake research into possible training / career paths they may be interested in. The Department’s Career Centre is available to assist with career advice or information about training and education options.

    View data as a table View data as a graphical chart
    Employment forecasts by industry for Western Australia (in 000s)
    Employment forecasts by Industry for Western Australia
    Industry type2015-16 Employment level (ABS)Employment growth to 2019-20 (CoPS)Employment growth to Nov 2020 (DoE)*
    Healthcare and Social Assistance157.514.921.4
    Retail Trade137.511.711.5
    Professional, Scientific and Technical Services100.411.017.6
    Education and Training97.27.020.6
    Accommodation and food services91.89.47.3
    Public Administration and Safety79.16.011.7
    Transport, Postal and Warehousing71.87.44.4
    Other Services59.76.23.5
    Administrative and Support Services43.44.96.9
    Wholesale Trade38.23.92.0
    Financial and Insurance Services29.70.72.7
    Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing27.40.9-3.2
    Arts and Recreation Services29.70.72.7
    Rental, Hiring and Real Estate Services24.72.12.9
    Information, Media and Telecommunications16.11.9-0.7
    Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services14.82.40.0
    Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), 6291.0, 2015-16
    Centre of Policy Studies (CoPS), Victoria University, 2015
    Commonwealth Department of Employment (DoE), Labour Market Information Portal, Nov 2015
    *Note: DOE employment growth forecasts are negative for Mining and agriculture,and Forestry and fishing.


    Quarterly labour and economic snapshot

    The Department prepares a Labour and economic snapshot for Western Australia each quarter, based on the most up to date information. The snapshot provides some analysis of the current situation and outlook for the State’s labour market. The current edition of the labour and economic snapshot is now available for download. Its key message is that despite some positive short term signs in headline results, underlying labour market conditions in WA continued to be subdued in the December quarter 2017. It also shows the following.

    • Total employment increased by 6,400 persons, with full time employment decreasing by 6,600 and part time employment increasing by 13,000.
    • The State’s unemployment rate stood at 6.1%, which was 0.6 percentage points above the national unemployment rate. This compares to the September quarter when the unemployment rate for Western Australia was 5.7% and the national rate was 5.5%.
    • While both Western Australian and national unemployment rates for youth (those aged 15 to 24 years) are either at or close to historical highs, the 13.6% annual average unemployment rate for youth in Western Australia over 2017 was its highest level in 20 years, and was a full percentage point higher than the national youth unemployment rate over 2017 of 12.6%.
    • The latest available forward indicators suggest a continuation of subdued conditions in the State’s labour market during at least the next quarter or two; as demand for workers remains weak, leading to continued softness in employment growth.

    You can view the December quarter 2017 labour and economic snapshot for WA here.

    Industry information and intelligence

    The Department sources information on skills supply and demand, workforce development issues, current emerging skills shortages and other related intelligence from a wide range of sources. This includes strong liaison with peak industry bodies, businesses, non-government organisations and many other stakeholders. In particular, Western Australia has industry training advisory arrangements in place with nine training councils, each covering a particular industry sector of the State’s economy.

    Industry training councils

    ITCs represent specific industry areas and play a vital leadership role in WA’s workforce planning and development, working closely with key stakeholders including peak employer, employee and industry organisations. In addition to advising the State Training Board and the Department of Training and Workforce Development about attracting, retaining and skilling a capable and sustainable workforce, the ITCs provide:

    • high level, strategic information and advice that informs the State Training Board on the training needs and priorities of industry in Western Australia;
    • market intelligence on skills supply and demand, in particular current or emerging skills shortages; and
    • recommendations for training strategies that support industry’s skills development needs.

    ITCs also have a central role in the development of quality vocational and education training curriculum to ensure that the skills and knowledge gained through training is aligned with current industry competencies and requirements. A full list of WA ITCs is available on the WA State Training Board website.


    Regional plans

    Regional workforce development plans have been developed through local alliances as part of the Skilling WA framework. They identify local workforce development challenges in regional areas and provide strategies to address them. These plans are available from the Regional workforce development plans section of our website.


    Developing your workforce

    In today’s ever-changing business world it’s important to have a skilled workforce that can learn and grow with you, and adapt to both challenges and opportunities. A smart organisation knows that a focus on its people is just as important as a focus on finance or any other aspect of the business. Workforce development activities such as training and career development can increase employee engagement, leading to better retention of staff and increased productivity.

    Putting together a comprehensive workforce development plan will help you attract, develop and retain a skilled workforce that can take your business forward into its next level of success. This could include taking on an apprentice or trainee, upskill your existing workforce to gain formal recognition of their skills and knowledge or even undertaking a customised training solution developed specifically to improve your business operations.

    Whatever your requirements, the Department has a range of support services available to assist you with your workforce planning and development.


    Training solutions for employers and business

    If you run a business or employ workers in Western Australia, there are a number of different ways that training can help to give your business a competitive edge and engage your workforce. You could take on an apprentice or trainee, upskill your existing workforce or gain formal recognition of their skills and knowledge, or even undertake a customised training solution developed specifically for your business operations. The following information may help you find the solution for your business.

    • Recognition of prior learning

      You may already have a skilled workforce, but do they hold a qualification which recognises their skills and experience? You can help your staff gain formal recognition towards a nationally recognised qualification for the skills and knowledge they already have.

      Recognition of prior learning is a process that assesses the skills and knowledge your staff may have obtained through their work experience, studies and life experiences against the required competencies of a qualification. RPL can be granted for partial or total completion of a qualification and employees can be assessed at the workplace, ensuring minimum disruption for employers and business operations.

      For more information please contact your preferred training provider or visit the RPL section of the Career Centre website.

    • Apprenticeships and traineeships

      Apprenticeships and traineeships are a great way to recruit new staff or to help your existing staff to increase their skills and knowledge. There are hundreds of apprenticeships and traineeships available with options to employ full time, part time, vocational education and training in school students and mature age apprentices and trainees, and incentives are available to employers.

      Apprenticeships tend to be in traditional trades, whereas traineeships are usually in non-trade areas such as business.

      The Commonwealth Government contracted Australian Apprenticeship Support Network can provide information about how apprenticeships and traineeships could contribute to the development of your workforce.

      For more information visit the Australian Apprenticeships website or contact the AASN on 13 38 73.

    • Training programs

      There are many training providers that can design, develop and deliver tailored solutions to meet the needs of your business. Help is available if you need to up-skill or re-skill your workforce, train staff to support new technology or processes, or require a customised training program to provide professional or occupational development.

      Contact your local TAFE college or private training provider to discuss your training requirements.

      Contact details for all WA TAFE colleges are available on the TAFE Choices website, or you can search for private training providers in WA on the myskills website.

    • Group training organisations

      Many small to medium sized businesses would benefit from having an apprentice or trainee, but may not have capacity to employ one, either because they:

      • are unable to offer an apprentice or trainee a permanent position or guarantee ongoing work for the duration of the apprenticeship or traineeship;
      • might not have the range of work available to ensure that the apprentice or trainee gains all the necessary job skills for that industry; or
      • don’t have the time to undertake all the employment and on-the-job training responsibilities that are required.

      Group Training Organisations can assist. GTOs employ apprentices and trainees and hire them to other businesses, referred to as host employers, while they undertake their training. Some specialise in a particular industry, while others may cater for an entire region and cover many industries.

      • Benefits of working with a GTO

        As the primary employer, the GTO:

        • selects the apprentice or trainee;
        • manages and monitors the on and off-the-job training, including the training contract;
        • is responsible for all paperwork related to wages and allowances, superannuation, workers’ compensation, sick or holiday pay etc; and
        • issues uniforms, tools, PPE etc as required.

        With a GTO, you’re not locked into a long term arrangement. This means you can change and move your arrangements for hosting the apprentice or trainee as and when required to suit your business needs. You pay only for the actual hours worked, and do not have to manage all the administration tasks. You can even access apprentices and trainees at different experience levels, right up to experienced fourth year apprentices.

        To find out more, contact a GTO in your industry area.


      Support and information services

      The Department offers a range of specialist services that can assist you with advice, resources and information to guide and support your workforce development planning.

      The following services are all free of charge and can be accessed throughout Western Australia.


      Workplace essentials for better business website

      Developing and implementing workforce planning and workforce development processes in the workplace and having a ‘workforce action plan’ are essential components of healthy business practice.

      Developed by the Department of Training and Workforce Development in partnership with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry and other WA industry leaders, the Workplace essentials for better business website provides small and medium businesses with a ‘one-stop’ gateway to find useful information, templates, links and resources that can help you to better plan, attract, develop and retain a skilled workforce.


      Aboriginal Workforce Development Centres

      Our Aboriginal Workforce Development Centres, located across Western Australia, are dedicated to supporting employers to attract, recruit and retain Aboriginal employees. Having a diverse workplace that welcomes Aboriginal employees brings a range of benefits – your business grows with the unique perspectives, experience and knowledge that Aboriginal people can bring to your team, and it encourages young people to remain in their local community.

      Your local AWDC can assist you to become a workplace of choice, with experienced staff helping you develop your Aboriginal workforce and find excellent employees who will add value to your organisation. The centres offer support through professional development workshops and events, while also providing a range of resources. This includes an online jobs board where you can advertise employment opportunities free of charge.  

      For more information including AWDC locations please visit the AWDC website.


      Career Centres

      Free and independent training information and career guidance are provided through 12 Career Centres across Western Australia, including one in the Perth CBD and nine in regional areas. There are also two specialist Career Centres that support ex-offenders and help people for whom English is not their main spoken language.

      Professional, qualified and friendly career practitioners can work with you to look at options to suit your needs and create a plan for action.

      For information about these services, please visit the Career Centre website or call 13 64 64.


      Small Business Development Corporation

      The Small Business Development Corporation was established by the State Government to encourage, promote, facilitate and assist the establishment, growth and development of small business in Western Australia. It offers a comprehensive range of services to the small business sector, including business skills workshops and support for recruitment and workforce development, as well as a range of guides and tools.

      You’ll find comprehensive information on topics such as starting your business, employing staff and managing disputes, as well as useful statistics relating to small business in WA, on the SBDC website.

      Page last updated March 08, 2017