Priority Start policy

Priority Start policy

The Priority Start policy came into effect in Western Australia on 1 April 2019, replacing the previous Government building training (GBT) policy. The new policy meets the State Government’s Plan for Jobs commitment to maximise opportunities for apprentices and trainees on all major State Government funded building, construction and maintenance contracts. 

Priority Start aims to ensure a sustainable construction trades workforce for WA by increasing the overall numbers of apprentices and trainees in the building and construction industry. To achieve this, the policy requires companies awarded State Government building construction, civil construction and maintenance contracts valued over $5 million (including GST) to meet the industry's average target training rate for apprentices and trainees. 

View the Priority Start policy

A major construction project.
A major construction project.
A major construction project.
A major construction project.
A major construction project.

Who's in scope

State Government agencies issuing building, construction and maintenance contracts and the head contractor and subcontractors used for the contracts are in scope of the Priority Start policy. Government trading enterprises (GTEs) should consider the policy when procuring these contracts. 

What's new under Priority Start

  • Applies to contracts with a total value over $5 million (including GST).
  • Separate target training rates for general construction – 11.5%, and civil construction – 5%.
  • Contractor reporting has been reduced to once a year.
  • Expanded range of in-scope qualifications and construction trades worker occupations.
  • Probationary apprentices/trainees are now included in the training rate calculation.
  • Stronger monitoring and compliance.
  • Panels established to consider head contractor requests to vary their training rate.

Transitioning to Priority Start

Head contractors reporting under the GBT policy will have the option to transition to the Priority Start policy from 1 July 2019, once their 2018–19 reporting obligations have been fulfilled.
Note: No tenders issued from 1 April 2019 should include clauses relating to the GBT Policy.


Enquiries and assistance

If you require any further assistance, or have any queries, please contact our Priority Start officer on 08 6551 5876 during business hours or email


    The following photos appearing on this page are used with permission.

    • Optus Stadium transport construction (also used on home page), and Forrestfield Airport Link project: courtesy of the Public Transport Authority WA;
    • NorthLink WA and Nicholson Rd (Bridge) over rail projects: courtesy of Main Roads WA; and
    • Yagan Square construction: courtesy of Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority.
    Page last updated February 09, 2024