State Government positions WA as global clean energy powerhouse

Centre of Excellence to support the State's energy transition and skill development

The State Government has lodged a proposal with the Commonwealth Government to establish a Clean Energy National Centre of Excellence in Western Australia, as it works to position the State at the forefront of the global clean energy transition.

The clean energy investment pipeline in Western Australia is in the vicinity of $200 billion, and projections show the clean energy sector is expected to generate around 350,000 jobs from 2025 to 2050.

Increasing the number of apprentices, particularly in trades such as electricians, engineers, motor mechanics, plumbers, air conditioning and refrigeration mechanics, metal fitters and machinists will be vital to ensure we have the skills needed for WA to reach its target of net zero by 2050.

Because of the size, scale and diversity of projects being developed right across WA, across solar, wind, hydrogen and batteries, the proposed Centre of Excellence would consist of a network of WA TAFEs.

The proposal, to be negotiated with the Commonwealth, will lead development of training and workforce initiatives in collaboration with industry, unions, TAFE, universities, and key training stakeholders. It will also support more Western Australians, including Aboriginal students and women, into clean energy jobs.

The State Government has also submitted an application to access part of the Commonwealth's $31.6 million in turbocharging funding to fast-track development of clean energy training and workforce initiatives.

WA's proposal for a Clean Energy National Centre of Excellence will leverage off a $2.8 billion package announced in the State Budget for new wind, solar and storage capacity to upgrade the grid to power opportunities in green hydrogen, critical minerals and other green industries.

The historic five-year National Skills Agreement, which commenced in January this year, is a $1.34 billion investment between the Commonwealth and State Governments to expand and transform access to WA's vocational education and training (VET) sector, support quality training and implement reforms to address critical skills needs in WA.

Premier Roger Cook said, "We want Western Australia to be a global renewable energy powerhouse, and are working to position this State at the forefront of Australia's clean energy future. Investment in clean energy plays to WA's economic strengths, skills profile, training capability and natural assets. Our proposed TAFE Clean Energy National Centre of Excellence initiative is an excellent opportunity to use the entire network of WA TAFE colleges to deliver the advanced skills base needed for the State's energy transition. We will collaborate with other states and territories, the Commonwealth and industry stakeholders to join up with other nationally networked Centres of Excellence to grow Australia's clean energy skills and workforce capability."

Training and Workforce Development Minister Simone McGurk added, "The Clean Energy National Centre of Excellence will help ensure Western Australians have the skills they need for jobs in clean energy. Our model will allow us to develop workers with the skills to capitalise on the huge clean energy investment and export opportunities in WA. Jobs such as supervisory control and data acquisition engineers, wind turbine technicians, and metering technicians will form part of the skills landscape as we move to distributed electricity generation, and more niche occupations will emerge as technology evolves. "The centre will partner with industry to drive skill development and support participation of more Western Australians – including Aboriginal students and women – in clean energy jobs. I look forward to our officials progressing bilateral negotiations to agree on the details of Western Australia's Clean Energy National Centre of Excellence."

Take the leap! Applications open for 30th WA Training Awards

Applications now open for 30th WA Training Awards

It's time for Western Australia's brightest training stars to take the leap!

Applications are now open for the 2024 WA Training Awards, which are this year celebrating 30 years of recognising excellence in vocational education and training.

In this milestone year, apprentices, trainees, vocational students, trainers, employers, and training organisations are being called upon to share their achievements through these prestigious awards.

As well as being recognised as the best in the State, individual award winners receive a $3,000 cash prize to further their training or kick-start their career.

Organisation award winners will be recognised as industry leaders, and will be promoted and celebrated through a variety of media and marketing opportunities.

Winners will be announced at a presentation ceremony in September and may go on to represent WA at the Australian Training Awards in Darwin in November.

Last year, WA triumphed at the peak national awards, with WA Apprentice of the Year Amy Hunt, and WA Trainer of the Year Holly Gudsell winning the national awards for their respective categories.

Western Australian organisations also took out one silver and three bronze awards across multiple categories, including EK Contracting for Small Employer of the Year and Cunderdin College of Agriculture for Small Training Provider of the Year.

Each year, the Awards partner with a range of WA businesses and training sector stakeholders - including MEGT, Training Accreditation Council, Apprenticeship Support Australia powered by CCIWA, Construction Training Fund, and Maxima - to present this exemplary program and event.

This year, there are eight individual and five organisation categories:

Individual categories:

  • WA Apprentice of the Year;
  • WA Trainee of the Year;
  • WA Vocational Student of the Year;
  • WA Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year;
  • WA School-based Apprentice of the Year;
  • WA Trainer of the Year; WA Cultural Diversity Training Award;
  • and WA International Student of the Year.

Organisation categories:

  • WA Small Employer of the Year;
  • WA Large Employer of the Year;
  • WA Industry Collaboration Award;
  • WA Small Training Provider of the Year;
  • and WA Large Training Provider of the Year.

To apply, or for more information including application guides and templates, visit dtwd.wa.gov.au/watrainingawards.

Applications close on Friday, 26 April 2024, and support with the application process is available by contacting watrainingawards@dtwd.wa.gov.au or calling (08) 6551 5155.

Training and Workforce Development Minister Simone McGurk said, "The WA Training Awards showcase the amazing and diverse options the VET sector has to offer, and how training can transform lives. As the WA Training Awards celebrate 30 years of recognising WA training's best, we're asking Western Australian individuals and businesses: is this your year? Winning a WA Training Award can open doors to new opportunities personally and professionally, taking those involved in training to the next level in their careers or business. These industry-wide awards even have a national pathway for individuals and organisations to be recognised as the best in the country. "For organisation winners, it is a great opportunity to promote their success to potential students or employees and other organisations. They may receive publicity and promotional opportunities at a State and national level."

VET Workforce Blueprint

Consultation to help build the VET workforce

Consultation now open

The Australian Government, in collaboration with states and territories, is developing the VET Workforce Blueprint to support, grow and sustain the VET workforce.

Like many industries across Australia, there is increasing pressure to attract and retain a skilled VET workforce. At the same time skills shortages are being experienced and industry is looking to the VET sector to help address these issues.

The Blueprint will identify effective strategies to address workforce issues, such as attraction, retention, development and career progression.

Consultations to support developing a VET Workforce Blueprint are being undertaken to ensure the strategies and actions in the Blueprint will address these issues. Consultations are seeking feedback from a range of stakeholders, including those currently in the VET workforce, and those who have recently left to test current understanding of the challenges faced by the VET workforce and identify actions which will result in effective change.

Visit the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations' website to find out how to get involved.

Feedback closes at 11:00 PM (AEDT) 26 March 2024.

TAFE college lecturers well placed to meet industry skills needs

State Government delivers on $9.9 million TAFE lecturer industry placement program

The State Government's record investment in TAFE is continuing through delivery of a $9.9 million election commitment that is connecting Western Australian TAFE college lecturers with first-hand experience of industry's skills and workforce needs through industry placements.

The 'TAFE College Lecturers Industry Placement Program' is providing lecturers from across the State with opportunities to immerse themselves in contemporary industry practice so they can take these valuable insights back to their TAFE colleges to prepare the future workforce.

A total of 428 lecturers participated in the industry placements across the five WA TAFE colleges in 2022 and 2023. Participation in the program increased to 301 in 2023, from 127 in 2022.

Training and Workforce Development Minister Simone McGurk today visited mining group Rio Tinto's Perth Operations Centre (near the Perth Airport), where several North Metropolitan TAFE (NM TAFE) lecturers have completed placements to gain insights into the company's autonomous operations.

Rio Tinto has also hosted NM TAFE lecturer placements at its Yandicoogina (Yandi) iron ore mine in the Pilbara, with a total of three placements completed at both sites by the end of 2023.

NM TAFE lecturer Monique Taaffe delivers the Certificate II in Autonomous Workplace Operations, as a VET delivered to Secondary Students program. Monique said that completing her placement at Rio Tinto's Operations Centre broadened her understanding of how automation is embedded across the business, and fostered industry connections that will benefit her students. 

"I gained exposure to extensive areas of the business which gave me a better understanding of the mining industry supply chain," said Ms Taaffe. "I also made new industry connections which may facilitate site excursions for students this year."

Adrian Fallon, a NM TAFE Electrical Instrumentation lecturer, says his work placement at two of Rio Tinto's Operation Centres gave him an insight into how the remote operations team relates to the first responders on site.

"I was keen to identify how our course training documents related to current industry policies and procedures, particularly in relation to safety, troubleshooting and process optimisation," said Mr Fallon. "I'm looking forward to sharing my learnings with my students who are all first responders on site."

The 'TAFE College Lecturer Industry Placement Program' prioritises placements in industries experiencing rapid or complex changes such as new technologies and changing work practices, skills shortage areas, and industries with significant growth or opportunities for economic diversification.

With the use of digital technologies increasing, lecturers can experience the latest advancements, technologies, methods, systems, and practices operating within real-life industry settings. More information on training opportunities is on the Jobs and Skills WA website jobsandskills.wa.gov.au.

Training and Workforce Development Minister Simone McGurk said, "Training is vital in creating skilled workers to support local businesses and communities, and keeping Western Australia's economy strong. "The best way we can train the staff we need is to have quality lecturers with up-to-date industry experience. The State Government's investment in industry placements for lecturers helps ensure this happens. "The program is a great example of TAFEs and industry working together to prepare the State's future workforce. "As an example, WA TAFE colleges work closely with the mining industry to provide training for paraprofessionals, apprentices, and trainees that leads to real jobs in the mining and resources industry. "Industry-relevant training and hands-on experiences help to ensure students receive the best possible preparation for the workplace and future careers in the industry."

Rio Tinto Vice President People, Matt Kimball added, "These lecturers are teaching the next generation of workers who might join our business, and help us find better ways to provide the materials the world needs. "The program ensures lecturers remain connected and up-to-date with the latest technology and industry practices and share this knowledge with their students. "This enables our business to hire people with the relevant information and skills, and for students to get the most from their studies and kick-start their careers."

Grants to support training and employment outcomes for Aboriginal people

Grants program to deliver projects in the Kimberley and Goldfields-Esperance

Applications are now open for $1.35 million in State Government funding to provide targeted and practical training and employment support to Aboriginal people in the Kimberley and the Goldfields-Esperance regions.

The Aboriginal Employment Enabling Program (AEEP) grants will provide funds to organisations to develop and implement innovative solutions that address the barriers Aboriginal people face in engaging in the workforce and help achieve positive training and employment outcomes.

The grants program will provide funding for activities, services or projects that support:

  • Aboriginal people to engage in training and employment opportunities;
  • employers to improve their cultural competency; and
  • organisations, including Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations, to build their capability to help Aboriginal people accessing employment and/or training, or employers recruiting and retaining Aboriginal employees.

Following extensive research, analysis of workforce participation data and stakeholder consultation, the Kimberley and the Goldfields-Esperance regions have been chosen as pilot regions for the grants program.

The grants program - funded as part of the 2023-24 State Budget - will be administered by the Department of Training and Workforce Development. Projects and services funded by the AEEP grants are expected to be delivered throughout 2024 and 2025.

An additional $250,000 in funding has been set aside to continue the current contracted delivery of training and employment enabling supports for young Aboriginal people in the metropolitan area until the end of 2025.

The application pack for AEEP Grants Program is available on tenders.wa.gov.au

Applications close at 5pm on Friday, 22 March 2024.

For more information about the program, email AEEP.Grants@dtwd.wa.gov.au

Training and Workforce Development Minister Simone McGurk said, "The Cook Government is committed to lifting the participation of Aboriginal people in training and employment. "To do that we need to reduce the barriers Aboriginal people face as well as provide additional wrap-around supports. "The Aboriginal Employment Enabling Program grants are a practical way that our Government can support local organisations to deliver targeted training and employment services and projects that meet the needs of their communities. "I encourage all service providers with a presence in the Kimberley and Goldfields-Esperance regions to review the grant information and apply."

Aboriginal Affairs Minister Dr Tony Buti added, "The Cook Government is committed to creating a Western Australia where all Aboriginal people, families and communities are empowered to live good lives and choose their own futures from a secure foundation. "Being able to access and engage in training and workforce opportunities is key to building this secure foundation. "The Aboriginal Employment Enabling Program is another way the State Government is working to support Aboriginal people to participate in the workforce and be part of our thriving economy."

Kimberley MLA Divina D'Anna noted, "We want to see more Aboriginal people take advantage of training opportunities and employment, and that is why these grants are so important. "The grants provide organisations with the opportunity to build their capacity to help Aboriginal people get jobs – giving people the opportunity to study and train further without having to leave their communities."

Read the full media statement here

Thousands of students head back to TAFE fee-free in 2024

High demand for fee-free TAFE courses continues in 2024

The State Government's investment in fee-free TAFE training is supporting thousands of Western Australian students to kick off their training in 2024 and prepare for skilled jobs in priority sectors.

Enrolments for 2024 are still being finalised, however there have been a record number of applications to study fee-free courses in 2024 - a 29 per cent increase on applications compared to this time last year. There has also been a 25 per cent increase in applications for TAFE courses overall.

Health care and social assistance qualifications continue to attract strong interest among fee-free courses into 2024, after recording some of the biggest enrolment increases in 2023.

Health and care sector qualifications made up seven out of the top ten fee-free full qualifications, with the strongest enrolment growth in 2023, compared to the previous year:

  • Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care – 4,199 enrolments (up by 1,064 enrolments);
  • Certificate III in Individual Support – 4,450 enrolments (up by 693 enrolments);
  • Certificate III in Allied Health Assistance – 994 enrolments (up by 610 enrolments);
  • Diploma of Nursing – 2,426 enrolments (up by 514 enrolments);
  • Certificate IV in School Based Education Support/Certificate IV in Education Support – 1,141 enrolments (up by 387 enrolments);
  • Certificate IV in Mental Health – 965 enrolments (up by 291 enrolments); and
  • Certificate IV in Community Services – 896 enrolments (up by 192 enrolments).

Other courses in the top ten for enrolment growth last year include:

  • Certificate IV in Work Health and Safety (up by 839 enrolments);
  • Certificate IV in Information Technology/Certificate IV in Information Technology Networking (up by 473 enrolments); and
  • Certificate III in Commercial Cookery (up 239 enrolments).

Last year, there were almost 39,500 enrolments in fee-free TAFE courses and skill sets in WA, with the State Government funding additional places under its landmark partnership with the Federal Government to keep pace with demand. Targeted at boosting skills development in priority areas, the availability of fee-free courses in WA drove a 32.7 per cent increase in enrolments between 2022 and last year.

The Commonwealth and State Governments have now extended the agreement to deliver fee-free training until the end of 2026.

Running in parallel with the fee-free program, the State Government's 'Lower fees, local skills' initiative attracted almost 60,000 enrolments in low-fee courses in 2023.

The State Government continues to provide 160 heavily discounted high-priority courses through this program in 2024. The State Government is also driving the largest TAFE capital works program in WA's history, with 14 projects underway to upgrade essential infrastructure at TAFE colleges across the State thanks to a $243.3 million investment.

A further $25 million has been invested in modernising equipment at TAFEs across WA to ensure students have the opportunity to learn on modern industry-standard equipment, and are job-ready when they enter the workforce.

Premier Roger Cook said, "My Government is focused on creating jobs and opportunities for Western Australians, and supporting them to benefit from our State's strong economic position. "Making training affordable and accessible for all is key to ensuring we have the skilled workforce we need. "Our free and low-fee TAFE courses are targeted at industries that we know require workers, and students will be able to get employment in. "They have been a huge success – for local workers and industries alike – and it is fantastic to see enrolments surging for in-demand fields like nursing, early childhood education, school-based education support and mental health."

Training and Workforce Development Minister Simone McGurk added, "Training has the power to change people's lives – our vocational training sector is here to help all Western Australians get ahead by gaining the skills they need to land jobs. "The Cook Government is committed to reducing barriers to training through our fee-free and low-cost initiatives, and it's exciting to see the demand for these courses is continuing to grow, particularly in the health and care sectors. "Through our record investment to deliver new and upgraded state-of-the-art facilities at TAFE campuses across WA, we're also ensuring students have access to high-quality and industry-relevant training that gets them 'job ready' for the workplace."

Comments attributed to Health Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson noted, "It's fantastic to see an increase of students enrolling in the Diploma of Nursing, as we expect WA will need 4,300 more nurses and midwives by 2033. "Making training affordable to all Western Australians will help alleviate workforce pressures along with $28.5 million of new attraction and retention initiatives announced in last year's State Budget. "We look forward to welcoming these future nurses into our WA public health system."

Fee free training to help women into the workforce

Fee free training to help women into the workforce

Courses to support VET teaching workforce 

The State Government has added six courses to the fee free course list for 2024, including a program to help women make a new start following a break from the workforce.

The Certificate I in New Opportunities for Women (NOW) course has been added to the fee free list in 2024, as part of the State Government's expanded measures to support increased VET and workforce participation for under-represented groups.

The NOW course has been developed specifically to help Western Australian women, who have been out of paid employment for a long period or are considering vocational education and training (VET) pathways, to refresh and boost their skills to be job ready.

The program provides participants with the opportunity to explore various career options, build self-confidence, and gain the necessary foundation skills - such as reading, writing and maths - to progress to other VET courses or take up entry-level jobs. NOW is open to women of all ages and backgrounds and provides full-time or part-time training options with flexible hours to suit women with family responsibilities.

To further support women participating in training and the workforce, special provisions have been made to fully subsidise the resource fees associated with undertaking the course.

Additionally, the new Diploma of Vocational Education and Training and Certificate IV in Training and Assessment have been added to the fee free list for enrolments in 2024 to help grow the TAFE teaching workforce.

The qualifications will enable industry leaders, passionate about sharing their knowledge and training others, to pivot or expand their careers into teaching at TAFE.

Qualified VET teaching staff will also be able to upskill through fee free Assessor, Facilitation and Work Skill Instructor Skill Sets. This also complements the State Government's targeted lecturer recruitment campaign to encourage industry experts into a VET teaching career through the TAFE 'Be More' campaign.

The new additions align with the agreed national priorities under the State Government's new $1.34 billion National Skills Agreement with the Commonwealth Government to improve outcomes for under-represented groups and bolster the VET workforce.

To learn more about the NOW program or the other new VET teaching fee free courses, please visit jobsandskills.wa.gov.au or contact your local Jobs & Skills Centre on 13 64 64.

For more information about teaching at TAFE, visit wa.gov.au/Be-more-as-a-TAFE-lecturer.

Training and Workforce Development Minister Simone McGurk said, "Making training affordable and accessible for women who have had a break from the workforce is a key priority for our Government. We know that many people who have not engaged in the VET system require extra support to do so. Under our Government's $1.34 billion National Skills Agreement with the Commonwealth, we are increasing our investment in TAFE training and services to help break down barriers and boost access to foundation skills training for priority groups. Adding the NOW course to the fee free list in 2024 and making special provisions to further subsidise the resource fees ensures there are no out-of-pocket training costs - providing equal access to all WA women, regardless of their economic circumstance. We hope that in making this important investment, more women can transform their lives through training and reconnect with the workforce."

Women's Interests Minister Sue Ellery added, "Women often face significant barriers to training and upskilling, which can be amplified when they have been out of the workforce or haven't engaged in the workforce before. One of these barriers is often the cost, which can hold women back from participating in training, limiting their opportunities to engage in paid employment and achieve economic independence. The NOW program gives women the foundation skills, employability skills, and confidence to pursue a pathway to work or study. Removing the training costs associated with the NOW program is another way our Government is supporting WA women to be part of the workforce and thrive in our communities."

Business closure over the Christmas and New Year period

Best wishes for a happy festive season!

All Department of Training and Workforce Development offices, including:

  • Apprenticeship Office;
  • the Jobs and Skills WA Resource Unit;
  • Migration Services;
  • Muresk Institute;
  • the Office of the State Training Board;
  • TAFE International (TIWA);
  • the Training Accreditation Council (TAC); and
  • the Training Markets branch

will be closed from Monday 25 December 2023 — reopening at 8.30 am WST on Tuesday 2 January 2024.

Please note that the ground floor reception desk area at Djookanup in Osborne Park will also be closed during this period. The Prospect Place building in West Perth will also be closed over this time.

You are welcome to contact us via email during the closure period, and we will respond when our offices reopen from 2 January.

  • General enquiries to the Department: info@dtwd.wa.gov.au
  • Contact details for other branches are below

Apprenticeship Office customers

The 13 19 54 Apprenticeship Office Helpline will not be operational during this time. Please email your enquiries to ApprenticeshipOffice@dtwd.wa.gov.au and they will respond to your enquiry when they reopen in the New Year.

  • Training contracts can continue to be lodged during the closure, and will be assessed from when the office reopens on Tuesday 2 January 2024.
  • Training contracts changes can still be submitted via the Western Australian Apprenticeship Management System (WAAMS) online client portal during the closure period.
  • Emails or other training contract related requests received during the closure will be actioned from 2 January 2024.

Jobs and Skills Centres

The metropolitan and regional Jobs and Skills Centres will also be closing over the Christmas and New Year period. Please check the Jobs and Skills website for details of business hours over the holiday period for each JSC.

WA TAFE colleges

Each of the WA TAFE colleges will be closing over the Christmas and New Year period. Please check the TAFE's website for details.

Make sure you follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram to receive the latest news and updates.

We would like to wish all of our customers, colleagues and stakeholders a safe and happy festive season — we look forward to working with you again in 2024.

Expressions of interest: TAFE Governing Council membership

Expressions of interest: TAFE Governing Council membership

Help shape the strategic direction of training in Western Australia

The Minister for Training is looking for people with effective leadership and strategic thinking skills and the ability to work collegiately within the TAFE sector to help shape training to meet future industry and community needs throughout Western Australia.

If you have these skills, knowledge of vocational education and training, experience in community and industry engagement, and a record of service to industry or the community, express your interest now.

Under the Vocational Education and Training Act 1996, Governing Councils play a key role in the strategic management of TAFE Colleges within the Western Australian Government policy framework.

Expressions of interest for membership of the following TAFE College Governing Councils are invited.

  • North Metropolitan TAFE
  • South Metropolitan TAFE
  • North Regional TAFE
  • Central Regional TAFE
  • South Regional TAFE

Expressions of interest are also sought for the:

  • Chairperson position at all TAFE College Governing Councils; and
  • Deputy Chairperson position at South Metropolitan TAFE, North Regional TAFE and Central Regional TAFE Governing Councils.

Members of Governing Councils are remunerated for their services.

The State Government is committed to increasing the representation of women on Government boards and committees and supports diversity in the appointment to boards and committees.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people; and people from culturally diverse backgrounds are also warmly invited to apply.

Please send a brief curriculum vitae of no more than two pages using the approved proforma by Friday 19 January 2024 by email at: TAFEGoverningCouncils@dtwd.wa.gov.au

The curriculum vitae proforma and further information about Governing Council membership and the application process is available below.

Information package:

TAFE College Governing Council Handbook
Governing council membership – frequently asked questions
Curriculum vitae proforma

Enquiries:

Helen Victor
E: TAFEGoverningCouncils@dtwd.wa.gov.au
T: 6551 5022

Note: Recommended applicants will be asked to consent to a criminal record check. Applicants with a convictions record are not automatically precluded from appointment to the Governing Council. Each case will be considered on its merits.

A smiling technician in a  yellow  high-visibility jacket, operating an industrial machine with a digital display

Training preparing energy workers for opportunities on the horizon

North Metro TAFE and Horizon Power partner to help power WA's clean energy future

North Metropolitan TAFE (NM TAFE) is partnering with Horizon Power to train workers in the operation and maintenance of Standalone Power Systems (SPS) as part of the State Government's drive toward a clean energy future. Horizon Power has donated a 3kW SPS unit – one of many they are installing across WA – to the East Perth TAFE campus.

The partnership will allow workers to be trained on SPS infrastructure, equipping them with necessary skills and knowledge to install and maintain the systems in their regions.

Horizon Power pioneered standalone power solutions in WA, mainly for farmers, in response to the impacts of the 2015 Esperance bushfires. SPS units typically comprise of solar panels and battery storage with back-up diesel generation, delivering safer, greener, and more reliable power to customers.

The SPS unit contains four solar panels, each outputting 370W at peak, and three lithium-ion batteries, each with a nominal storage capacity of 2.84KWh.

The donation complements the State Government's $25 million investment in modern equipment for WA TAFE colleges, as part of a four-year program to upgrade TAFE equipment.

Horizon Power and NM TAFE have a Memorandum of Understanding covering the development of operations and maintenance training packages for a variety of new technologies including SPS units, hydrogen, community battery storage and Battery Energy Storage Systems.

Training Minister Simone McGurk said, "The Cook Government has committed to achieving net zero emissions by 2050. We also know there is significant opportunity for Western Australia to be a global clean energy superpower and we need a skilled workforce to achieve these goals. The new National Skills Agreement presents a fantastic opportunity to deliver the advanced skills base needed by industry right across the State to support the transition to net zero. The rollout of Standalone Power Systems is part of the Cook Government's drive toward a low-carbon future, and we welcome the partnership between North Metropolitan TAFE and Horizon Power to enable training in the new renewable energy field. Our TAFE and university sectors will be vital to training workers for jobs to deliver the clean energy transition. Many of the people working in power generation will have transferable skills needed for the transition to a bigger mix of renewable energy in the economy."

Energy Minister Bill Johnston added, "Horizon Power is committed to creating safe and reliable renewable energy alternatives for its regional and remote customers. As a major supplier of energy to regional WA, Horizon Power, together with Western Power and Synergy, have a vital role to play in implanting the WA Government's Energy Transformation Strategy. The State Government has supported Horizon Power with $45.8 million to deliver 150 SPS systems in regional WA. These additional units are on top of the 69 Horizon Power has already delivered and will be distributed in three tranches in the Gascoyne, Goldfields, and Esperance regions. "Benefits of Standalone Power Systems include safer, more reliable and greener energy solutions for workers and communities."

Free training paving the way for building construction careers

Short course training new entrants for bricklaying jobs

The State Government's partnership with Western Australia's building and construction industry has helped hundreds of jobseekers take advantage of a free pre-employment pathway that guides participants quickly and effectively into bricklaying jobs.

Training Minister Simone McGurk today met with a group of Bricklaying Job Ready program participants at North Metropolitan TAFE's Clarkson campus who secured apprenticeships with ABN Group after completing the course, helping to meet strong demand for bricklayers in the local building and construction sector.

Part of the State Government's Fee Free training initiative, the Bricklaying Job Ready program was developed in consultation with WA industries to deliver short and sharp training with wraparound support for job seekers and young people, enabling them to upskill or reskill in industries with a need for skilled workers.

Of the more than 2,530 participants who have commenced Job Ready programs, over 1,125 participants have secured employment in the industry or gone on to further training, adding to the pipeline of skilled workers needed across a range of essential sectors.

More than 440 of commencements were in the Bricklaying Job Ready program. Participants complete the Work Safety in Construction short course skill set at TAFE, which teaches work safety practices, how to use a range of construction equipment and tools including levelling devices, and about basic bricklaying for new and existing structures including residential homes, units and apartments.

On completion of the course, participants are connected with opportunities to transition into employment, undertake an apprenticeship with a participating employer or further their training. Job Ready programs ensure Western Australians, particularly First Nations people, young people, people looking for work or receiving income support, unpaid carers, people with disability, and women facing economic insecurity, can access affordable training to help them get into jobs.

To date, nearly 32 per cent of Job Ready participants are women, 29 per cent are aged under 25, 19 per cent are Aboriginal people, and 25 per cent undertook the training in regional WA.

The State Government's Fee Free and Lower fees, local skills (LFLS) initiatives provide free or low-fee training across a range of building and construction courses and skill sets.

You can register for the Bricklaying Job Ready program on the Jobs and Skills WA website www.jobsandskills.wa.gov.au/pathways or contact the Job Ready team on 6551 5049.

For more information on Fee Free and low-fee training, contact your nearest Jobs and Skills Centre on 13 64 64 or visit www.jobsandskills.wa.gov.au/skillsready.

Training Minister Simone McGurk said, "Job Ready programs are fast, free entry-level courses that enable students to overcome cost barriers to training, allowing them to gain the skills they need to enter the workforce. The program includes additional wraparound support and on the job training, which has led to some fantastic outcomes for participants and employers – particularly in areas like bricklaying where we know there is a strong demand for workers. Developing our building and construction workforce is an absolute priority for this Government – so we can get boots on the ground and people into their homes faster. It has been great to hear first-hand from participants about their experiences, especially how fee free courses have supported them to overcome barriers to training - and to land jobs."

Housing Minister John Carey added, "The Cook Government is focused on boosting housing supply across the State, and to build more houses, we have introduced a range of measures to bolster our skilled labour force to get them delivered. The free Bricklaying Job Ready program is a fantastic example of how this Government is reducing barriers to training to get more skilled workers onto construction sites. We'll continue to use every lever we can to get more homes built to ease pressure on the housing market."

Burns Beach MLA Mark Folkard said, "With Perth's northern corridor forecast to be in the top areas for population growth, the Bricklaying Job Ready program here in Clarkson is helping to meet the local demand for workers. "It's great to see this free program delivering training for in-demand jobs and getting homes built in our booming northern suburbs."

Scholarships for women to break into their dream career

400 TAFE scholarships for women on offer from 2024

Applications are now open for the Women in Non-Traditional Trades Scholarship (WiNTT) - a program to help women break down stereotypes and train for their dream career.

The program will provide 400 women with a one-off $5,000 payment to support them to undertake eligible vocational education and training (VET) qualifications at WA TAFE colleges from 2024.

The WiNTT program is part of the Cook Government's $3 million four-year investment to help reduce barriers to training and support increased workforce participation in traditionally male-dominated industries such as building and construction, automotive and electrical, and engineering and mining.

Daisy Hillam, a second-year apprentice carpenter completing a Certificate III qualification at North Metropolitan TAFE, features in a new campaign to promote the scholarships.

Although Daisy was nervous about joining a male-dominated industry and unsure about how she would manage the financial costs involved in completing an apprenticeship, she has found her work more fulfilling and exciting than she could have imagined.

Through her training Daisy has competed in the 2022 WorldSkills Regional Competition, attended the inaugural WorldSkills Excellence Forum in Brisbane and been a finalist in the 2022 Master Builders Apprentice of the Year Awards.

Daisy is proud to represent women working in construction and encourages women considering joining a trade to "go for it".

There are currently around 2,500 women enrolled in courses eligible for the program - less than 12 percent - and it is hoped the WiNTT scholarship will help drive increased participation.

WiNTT will provide 400 scholarships to women, with 100 to be provided in 2024, to undertake training at WA TAFE colleges in non-traditional trades over the next four years.

Scholarship funding will help to reduce the financial barriers that women often face in training and upskilling, with the $5,000 payment helping to cover costs such as student fees, learning resources, tools, work clothes and personal protective equipment, work tickets and licences, transport, accommodation and childcare.

Scholarship recipients will also benefit from tailored mentoring and support services to help them to complete their qualification and successfully transition into employment in their chosen industry.

Scholarships will be available for women enrolling in an eligible qualification (either part time or full time) or an apprenticeship or traineeship; with 20 scholarships available through each WA TAFE college.

For more information visit tafe.wa.edu.au or contact your local TAFE college.

Training Minister Simone McGurk said, "Women are underrepresented in many industries in our workforce, particularly those that have long been considered male-dominated, where less than 25 per cent of the workforce are women. This is frustrating, because there are great careers and earning opportunities that women should have access to. The WiNTT scholarship program is a fantastic initiative that aims to address this gender imbalance, by providing funding to help with the cost of fees, tools and equipment, transport, accommodation and childcare. The $5,000 one-off payment will make a genuine difference in breaking down the barriers many women face in pursuing their dream career. We want women to hear the message – there are good opportunities in many of the traditionally male-dominated industries, and we want you to get access to them. WiNTT will support 400 women to undertake TAFE training in non-traditional trades over the next four years, boosting the pipeline of female workers and increasing the diversity across our State's workforce."

Women's Interests Minister Sue Ellery added, "While there have been significant shifts in women's workforce participation in industries such as building and construction and mining and engineering, we still have a long way to go to reach gender equality in our State's workforce. Research shows that organisations with gender diversity are more profitable and productive and have improved employee satisfaction and decision-making. The WA Government's WiNTT program is another way we are working to address gender segregation and the gender pay gap in the Western Australian workforce. By helping women to overcome barriers to participating in training, we're encouraging more women to pursue their dream career and break down stereotypes about certain traditional jobs being 'just for men'."

Western Australian VET achievers are the nation's best

Awards showcase excellence in the vocational education and training sector

Two Western Australians have been named national winners at the prestigious Australian Training Awards 2023.

Now in its 30th year, the Australian Training Awards reward and recognise apprentices, trainees, VET students, teachers, practitioners, employers, and training providers from around Australia.

Kingsley's Amy Hunt is the worthy winner of Australian Apprentice of the Year. She is the only woman and youngest cable jointer at her worksite.

Amy was drawn to the fast-changing environment of the power industry. She said her close relationship with her father (a panel beater) and her brother (a signwriter) inspired her to follow in their footsteps and pursue a similar lifestyle through a trade apprenticeship in the power industry.

Amy cites her experience working on low and high voltage electrical cables as having opened her eyes to the implicit value of safety - both on an individual level and within a team. She also credits her training experience with enhancing her leadership and communication skills.

The awards not only recognise students but pay tribute to employers, teachers and trainers who support them throughout their VET journey.

Cragie's Holly Gudsell was named Australian VET Teacher/Trainer of the Year.

A teaching position in a remote Aboriginal community near Fitzroy Crossing was the catalyst for a change in career direction for Holly, as she discovered an interest in Aboriginal education.

Having previously worked as a teacher, and then abroad, teaching English in Kenya and China, it was while lecturing in Education Support at North Metropolitan TAFE that Holly was approached to develop and deliver a new program for the Department of Education, to upskill Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Officers (AIEO) across Perth metropolitan schools.

She delivered a 'mixed mode' course which successfully supported Aboriginal students through the Certificate III and IV in School Based Education Support (AEIO). Aveley's Anthony Nelson-Burns was the runner-up for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year after achieving his long-standing career goal of completing his Certificate III in Engineering (Mechanical Trade) and becoming a mechanical fitter.

Western Australian organisations also took out one silver and three bronze awards across multiple categories:

  • EK Contracting received the silver award for Small Employer of the Year
  • Defence Industry Pathways Program received the bronze award for Industry Collaboration
  • Hedland Senior High School received the bronze award for School Pathways to VET
  • WA College of Agriculture, Cunderdin received the bronze award for Small Training Provider of the Year 

Individual category winners received $5,000 prize money and runners-up received $2,500.

The Australian Training Awards showcases the amazing and diverse options the VET sector has to offer, and how it can transform lives.

This year, Western Australia had representatives in six individual categories:

  • Apprentice of the Year;
  • School-based Apprentice or Trainee of the Year;
  • Trainee of the Year;
  • Vocational Student of the Year;
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year; and
  • Trainer of the Year.

Three Western Australian organisations were selected as finalists:

  • Defence Industry Pathways Program - A Maritime Defence Industry Collaborationfor the Industry Collaboration Award;
  • WA College of Agriculture, Cunderdin for the Small Training Provider of the Year; and
  • EK Contracting for the Small Employer of the Year.

There were also two direct entries into the awards this year:

  • Anthony Georgeff - Advanced Skills Lecturer at North Metropolitan TAFE, for the Excellence in Language, Literacy and Numeracy Practice Award; and
  • Hedland Senior High School for the School Pathways to VET Award.

For the full list of award winners, visit: www.australiantrainingawards.gov.au

Training Minister Simone McGurk said, "I congratulate Amy Hunt for winning the Australian Apprentice of the Year title, and Holly Gudsell for taking out the Australian VET Teacher/Trainer of the Year. I am thrilled to see two Western Australian women achieve national recognition of their skills, talents, and community achievements by backing up their WA wins with national awards. These WA Australian Training Awards winners are spectacular examples of what Vocational Education and Training has to offer people and the community and how it can transform lives. I also congratulate the WA organisations for their achievements at the Australian Training Awards. Our world-class training system continues to help meet the State's skills needs now and into the future while delivering some of Australia's brightest training talents. Congratulations to all the winners, finalists, and those who have supported them to make a life changing choice through VET studies."

Western Australian ATA winners/runner ups
Amy Hunt - Kingsley Australian

Apprentice of the Year

  • Certificate III in ESI – Power Systems – Distribution Cable Jointing
  • Trained at Power Training Services
  • Employed by Western Power

Holly Gudsell - Craigie

Australian Trainer of the Year

  • Delivers training in the Certificate III and IV in School Based Education Support (AEIO)
  • Employed by North Metropolitan TAFE

Anthony Nelson-Burns - Aveley
Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year - Runner-up

  • Certificate III in Engineering - Mechanical Trade
  • Trained at Australian Skills Group Pty Ltd
  • Employed by Fortescue Mining Group (FMG)

Completing a Certificate III in Engineering – Mechanical Trade with FMG was life-changing for Anthony. It has provided him with newfound confidence, personal and professional growth - as well as allowing him to become a mentor to his children.

Having received unwavering support from his employer and lecturers at Australian Skills Group during personal hardships, he was able to navigate through and successfully progress his studies to complete his apprenticeship.

The experience has helped shape the person he has become – capable, empathetic, and resourceful. He is now ready to tackle any obstacles and plans to continue his training pathway in engineering.

EK Contracting
Small Employer of the Year - Silver

EK Contracting was established in 2019 to service WA in the civil and mining sector and is owned by a dynamic trio including an Indigenous ex-Olympic weightlifting champion, a Nyiyaparli Traditional Owner, and a Pilbara School Teacher.

Their vision is clear - generate a steady workstream to upskill workers and offer career advancement opportunities to ensure everyone has an opportunity to shine. EK offers training and employment opportunities to Indigenous people across WA through its connections with Indigenous land groups and organisations.

Defence Industry Pathways Program - A Maritime Defence Industry Collaboration (South Metropolitan TAFE)
Industry Collaboration Award - Bronze

The Defence Industry Pathways Program is an innovative industry collaboration designed to develop and ensure a pipeline of skilled workers for Australia's defence industry. The idea of a 'gap year' program was conceived at an industry roundtable in July 2020, with the defence industry identifying a critical need to build talent through a vocational education and training (VET) program.

The 12-month 'taster' program was designed to provide graduates with a broad understanding of the maritime defence industry through work placements focusing on career pathway options. In 2023, the program has 32 maritime Defence-host employers.

Hedland Senior High School
School Pathways to VET Award (Direct entry) - Bronze

Hedland Senior High School is an Independent Public School, located 1,800km north of Perth, in the Pilbara town of Port Hedland. Over 90 per cent of their students in Year 11 and 12 are enrolled in VET pathways - including through the School Based Traineeship Program. They foster a total of 27 Local Industry Partnerships in Marine, Rail, Engineering, Child Care, Automotive, Health, and Business. This innovative program provides young people with direct links to full-time employment, completing Certificate IIs and IIIs with a 97 per cent success rate.

The School Pathways to VET Award recognises eligible organisations including schools, registered training organisations, group training organisations, industry bodies, and employers that have collaboratively delivered one (or more) excellent vocational education and training programs to secondary school students.

WA was a finalist in 2022, with Busselton Senior High School scooping the silver. Busselton Senior High School also won the award in 2018. This is the first year that Hedland Senior High School has made it through to the national awards in this category.

WA College of Agriculture, Cunderdin
Small Training Provider of the Year - Bronze

The WA College of Agriculture, Cunderdin has a long-standing reputation for achieving exceptional VET outcomes through developing highly skilled and employable graduates.

The college offers training opportunities that enhance the learning of all students - via a blend of theory and practical - in a variety of courses that are relevant, interesting, engaging and support students to transition into a large variety of industries and pathways, inclusive of the agriculture and allied industries.

Training is conducted between the commercial farm of 4,000 hectares and state-of-the-art Trade Training Centre, with focus on excellence through innovation, passion, and collaboration for all students, and strengthening the primary and trades industries.

Donated truck keeps training rolling in resources sector

South Metropolitan TAFE welcomes arrival of a Sandvik underground truck

South Metropolitan TAFE has welcomed the arrival of a Sandvik underground truck donated by mining service employer Barminco, which will boost its capacity to train Western Australia's next generation of skilled mining and heavy automotive workers.

The refurbished underground truck, worth about $1.8 million new, has lived out its full mine life, but will continue to serve the industry as a training resource for plant mechanic apprentices, trainees and students at South Metropolitan TAFE's Heavy Vehicle Mechanical Training Centre.

Located at the college's Thornlie campus, the Heavy Vehicle Mechanical Training Centre is home to current industry equipment that mirrors real-life working environments to equip students with job-ready skills.

The donated underground truck will be a valuable tool for students who learn how to diagnose and repair a full range of mining and civil construction equipment including dump trucks, bulldozers, loaders, graders, drill rigs and heavy plant machinery.

The underground truck will join Barminco's previous donation of a refurbished 'Jumbo' development drill for the Heavy Vehicle Mechanical Training Centre, worth about $1.8 million new. In its lifetime, the donated underground truck has carried 29,325 loads, totalling more than 1.4 million tonnes while supporting development at Barminco's Sunrise Dam and Savannah mining operations in WA and its Dugald River site in Queensland.

Barminco is a Perenti Group company – one of South Metropolitan TAFE's largest employers of apprentices. More than 90 of the company's active apprentices include 70 heavy duty mechanical apprentices training in the TAFE's Certificate III in Mobile Plant Technology and Certificate III in Engineering – Mechanical Trade (Plant Mechanic) qualifications.

The State Government has significantly reduced course fees for these and a range of other automotive, engineering and mining qualifications through the Lower Fees, Local Skills and Fee-Free initiatives. More information is available at www.jobsandskills.wa.gov.au/skillsready or contact your local Jobs and Skills Centre on 13 64 64.

Training Minister Simone McGurk said, "The State Government thanks Barminco for its generous donation, which will help train up the mining and heavy automotive workforce of the future. Providing students with contemporary machinery ensures when they land jobs they're already equipped with the skills demanded by industry – so they can hit the ground running. The Sandvik underground truck is a welcome addition to South Metropolitan TAFE and complements the State Government's $25 million investment in modern equipment for WA TAFE colleges. The mining and resources sector is a vital component of the State's economy, and this is a fantastic example of how WA TAFE colleges work closely with the mining industry to provide training that leads to real jobs."

Thornlie MLA Chris Tallentire added, "South Metropolitan TAFE's strong links with industry are helping to ensure students leave TAFE with skills that are desirable to employers. Thanks to Barminco for investing in training and WA's future mining workforce with another generous donation to Thornlie's Heavy Vehicle Mechanical Training Centre."

New boost for WA's building and construction workforce

150 additional places to build WA's pipeline of residential construction workers

The State Government today announced its highly successful wage subsidy scheme will be expanded, as part of continued efforts to boost housing supply and affordability in Western Australia.

An additional 150 places have been added to the Group Training Organisation (GTO) Wage Subsidy Program, which is already assisting small-to-medium businesses to get more building and construction apprentices and trainees on the job.

The expansion lifts total investment in the program to $66.3 million and builds on the original 300 new jobs already created for apprentices and trainees with Group Training Schemes in WA's building and construction sector.

In response to industry demand, eligibility for the program was broadened in July to include apprentices and trainees in the residential and commercial construction industry. More than 150 places were then allocated in three months, which exhausted the total program allocation of 300 places.

To build on this momentum, 150 new places will be added from 1 January 2024 to further grow the supply of skilled building and construction workers for industry and get more homes built for Western Australians.

The program has also delivered a boost to regional businesses with 39 per cent of spots allocated to placement of regional apprentices and trainees.

To further boost the pipeline of skilled workers in the building and construction industry, the Cook Government has also committed $5 million for a new pilot program to support private training providers to expand their capacity.

The Capital Grants Program will be funded through the Construction Training Fund and assist successful applicants to upgrade their facilities so they can get more people into training – and bolster the skilled construction workforce to get more homes built.

The program will maximise quality training for in-demand skills, such as electrical and plumbing, and also help boost the workforce needed for WA's clean energy transition.

More information about the GTO Wage Subsidy Program can be found on the Jobs and Skills WA website at www.jobsandskills.wa.gov.au/gws.

Premier Roger Cook said, "My Government recognises the vital role of vocational education and training in growing and building the capability of WA's critical building and construction workforce. We are doing everything we can to accelerate the delivery of housing across Western Australia and get more young people into training. The Government continues to work with industry to boost housing supply and affordability, and at our recent housing roundtable we discussed current constraints in the housing and construction market. Industry needs more boots on the ground, and these latest initiatives will further build the construction sector's capacity to get more homes built for Western Australians."

Training Minister Simone McGurk added, "Growing our construction workforce and getting more homes built is a priority for this Government. The Group Training Organisation Wage Subsidy program has been embraced by the housing sector – and this expansion will allow more employers to get on board and help attract more construction apprentices to the industry. We also want to ensure we have training places available for those who want them, and that is why these grants for private training providers are so important. They'll help build their capacity – so they can train the workforce of the future. As a Government we're doing everything we can to not only encourage more workers to get into training, but to ensure that they finish their training - and take up rewarding positions in building and construction."

New resource to help grow Western Australia's defence workforce

Program to help fast-track students to a university degree

The State Government has today launched a new Defence Industry VET Steps to Uni resource to help Western Australians get the skills they need to build a career in WA's defence industry.

The Steps to Uni resource will help develop articulation arrangements, which enable students to receive credits for their WA TAFE Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualifications when they enrol in a university degree. This reduces the length of their qualification, reducing the cost of university and getting them into jobs faster.

The $720,000 program is one of the initiatives the State Government is delivering as part its $11 million investment to help ensure WA has a strong pipeline of skilled professional and para-professional workers to meet the industry's future work demands.

People with WA TAFE VET qualifications in engineering (Diploma and Advanced Diploma) will be the first to benefit from the Steps to Uni resource, which is now available on the Jobs and Skills WA website.

There have been almost 700 students enrolled in Diploma and Advanced Diploma engineering qualifications through WA TAFE colleges in 2023.

Engineering is the largest of the six study areas to be catalogued, with 55 existing pathways between WA TAFE colleges and universities included in the Steps to Uni resource. Through the first stage of the project, seven new articulation arrangements have been developed.

The Steps to Uni project has been developed thanks to significant collaboration between WA TAFE colleges and Team WA universities (Curtin University, University of Western Australia, Murdoch University and Edith Cowan University) through the WA Defence Industry VET University Articulation program.

The $11 million defence industry workforce package builds on the $18 million investment to boost the defence manufacturing workforce and build capacity to secure future defence work.

To access the Steps to Uni resource and learn more about training, jobs and careers in WA's defence industry visit jobsandskills.wa.gov.au/defence-articulation or contact the Rockingham Jobs and Skills Centre on 13 64 64 or 9599 8655.

Training Minister Simone McGurk said, "The Cook Government is investing in initiatives to ensure Western Australia has a skilled defence industry workforce to attract major defence projects to the State. The project led by South Metropolitan TAFE is an excellent example of collaboration between WA TAFE colleges and Team WA universities to help students, while also meeting the broader industry's demands for a skilled, professional workforce. Skilled engineers are in high demand by the WA defence industry, particularly systems, software, mechanical and mechatronic engineering skills. The expansion in articulation arrangements helps students fast-track to a university degree and a career in the defence industry."

Defence Industry Minister Paul Papalia added, "WA's defence industry is growing and needs skilled workers across the five capability domains of information and cyber, maritime, air, space, and land. The defence industry has fantastic career opportunities, no matter what you're interested in, or what stage you're at in your career. This Defence Industry VET Steps to Uni resource gives people a simple and easy way to plan their pathway to a university qualification. I encourage anyone with WA TAFE VET engineering qualifications, keen to build a career as a professional in the defence industry, to use the VET Steps to Uni resource to map out their study pathway."

New TAFE WA campaign encourages Western Australians to ‘Be More’ in 2024

The WA Government has launched the TAFE: Be More campaign to showcase the vocational education and training (VET) courses and pathways available at TAFE colleges around the state.

Thanks to significant WA Government investment to make training more affordable through low and fee-free courses, coupled with the largest investment in new infrastructure and equipment in WA TAFE history, there’s no better time to get industry-standard skills at TAFE.

The WA Government has launched the TAFE: Be More campaign to showcase the vocational education and training (VET) courses and pathways available at TAFE colleges around the state.

Thanks to significant WA Government investment to make training more affordable through low and fee-free courses, coupled with the largest investment in new infrastructure and equipment in WA TAFE history, there’s no better time to get industry-standard skills at TAFE.

The brand campaign positions TAFE has a leader in achieving life changing outcomes for individuals and features more than 30 WA TAFE students who are completing VET qualifications, giving them skills to get ahead and excel in their chosen career.

The campaign was filmed on location at each of the five TAFE colleges throughout WA, and showcases the diverse range of study areas as well as the state-of-the-art equipment and facilities available.

Music tracks for the campaigns were also created by TAFE students. ‘TAFE: Be More’ specifically aims to inspire Western Australians to enrol at TAFE to progress their training and career opportunities – regardless of where they live or the barriers they may face.

To further encourage enrolments of women in non-traditional trades, such as automotive, construction, and engineering; the State Government will also be promoting the Women in Non-Traditional Trades (WINTT) scholarship program through the campaign.

Opening in November, the program includes mentoring and a $5,000 scholarship for eligible students. A new consolidated WA TAFE website has also been established to help improve the online user experience and help students start their TAFE journey.

The commencement of ‘TAFE: Be More’ coincides with the signing of the new $1.34 billion National Skills Agreement, which puts TAFE at the heart of delivering skills for critical and emerging industries including clean energy and deepens the State's response to Closing the Gap for First Nations peoples.

This new investment is on top of $44.5 million investment from the Commonwealth in funding for WA for the delivery of 22,200 fee-free TAFE places from 2024.

To learn more about courses available at TAFE visit tafe.wa.edu.au or contact your local TAFE, or Jobs & Skills Centre on 13 64 64.

Check out the clip below!

 

 

 

Historic National Skills Agreement between Commonwealth and State Governments

New NSA will commence on 1 January 2024

Today marks a national agreement between the Commonwealth and State Governments that will unlock billions of dollars to build the skills and prosperity of Western Australians. The historic five-year National Skills Agreement (NSA) – which will take effect from January next year – was developed under principles agreed by National Cabinet. It will embed national cooperation and strategic investment in Western Australia's vocational education and training (VET) sector – which is critical for providing skills to grow the economy.

The Commonwealth Government is prepared to invest $1.34 billion which will expand and transform access to the VET sector, support quality training and implement reforms to address critical skills needs in WA. The State Government sought a longer-term Commonwealth funding agreement in order to address the ad hoc approach of the previous government, with a five-year period providing funding certainty which will enable Western Australia to complete significant reforms.

As part of the package, $1.2 billion in flexible funding will support Western Australia to deliver skills for critical and emerging industries, including:

  • Clean energy and net zero transformation of the economy.
  • Australia's sovereign capability, including advanced manufacturing skills, national security, food security and construction.
  • Care and support services.
  • Ensuring Australia's digital and technology capability.

The new agreement also provides up to $125 million for specific training and workforce initiatives, of which the WA Government will provide $109 million in matched funding. This will provide the means to deepen the State's response to Closing the Gap for First Nations people, improve foundation skills of Western Australians, and create TAFE Centres of Excellence that will help deliver on Australia's clean energy transition. It comes at an important time, as the WA Government convenes an Energy Transition Summit in November 2023 to leverage the unique job opportunities in the global push to decarbonise the economy.

In a new first, a National Stewardship model will coordinate strategic investment in skills across the economy and support delivery of skills needed in national priority areas, as well as providing States and Territories with flexibility to meet local industry skills needs. This new investment is on top of $414 million already committed nationally for the delivery of 300,000 fee-free TAFE places from 2024. Under a joint partnership between the Commonwealth and State Governments more than 130 full qualifications and short courses will be available for Western Australians next year, with the Cook Government continuing its additional investment to support more students to access fee-free training in priority areas around the State.

Minister for Skills and Training, Brendan O'Connor said, "This landmark agreement will kickstart real change. I'd like to thank my colleague Simone McGurk for her genuine cooperation in looking to rebuild national vocational education and training, with TAFE at its heart. The TAFE sector has endured periods of underfunding, impacts of deregulation, loose rules of VET market entry, a lack of national cohesion and an obsession for competition at the expense of collaboration. By providing genuine national leadership in partnership with states and territories, we are building a system that is greater than the sum of its part. A high performing and world class VET sector is crucial for achieving a fairer society and a stronger economy."

Minister for Training, Simone McGurk added, "The National Skills Agreement will provide a significant boost to the vocational education and training sector in WA. After years of interim agreements – the Cook and Albanese Governments achieved something others could not – securing a long-term NSA giving certainty to the VET sector, which is critical for providing skills to grow the economy. We've always known that TAFE provides students with the in-demand skills they need to land jobs –this agreement will help us continue our investment in TAFE and build our workforce by ensuring more students can access training. The Cook Government has advocated strongly to keep training affordable for Western Australians and ensure our training system can flexibly respond to the unique needs of our local workforce – which are vastly different to those in the Eastern States. Importantly, the new NSA ensures Western Australia maintains its flexibility to manage our local skills systems and promotes working with the Commonwealth to address shared challenges and priorities."

Foundation Skills Policy Review

Foundation Skills Policy Review – Report available

Review findings and recommendations now available

Foundation skills are core skills needed to thrive in work and life - English language, literacy, numeracy, digital skills, and skills required for the workplace such as teamwork, innovation, and problem solving.

The Department of Training and Workforce Development (DTWD) conducted a review to identify foundation skills policy settings and supports required by Western Australians to achieve their vocational education and training goals.

The Foundation Skills Policy Review (the Review) was completed in March 2023 and contains six recommendations to guide Western Australia’s foundation skills policy. During the review, consultations, interviews and focus groups were held with a range of stakeholders in the skills sector including TAFE colleges, private registered training organisations (RTOs), students, the Training Accreditation Council (TAC) and representatives from Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments.

Commonwealth and State Governments deliver more Fee-Free training

Fee free TAFE set to continue in 2024

The Commonwealth and State Governments will continue their partnership to deliver Fee-Free TAFE and vocational education and training (VET) places to Western Australians over the next three years. Under the joint-partnership, a further 22,200 Fee-Free TAFE and VET places will be available for Western Australians from January 2024.

In 2024, the WA Government will fund additional places to keep pace with demand, which has seen Fee-Free enrolments across VET soar to more than 34,000 this year. This injection of Fee-Free training places builds on the success of the initiative throughout 2023, and will continue to provide cost of living support for Western Australians choosing to study in priority areas. 

It continues the genuine collaboration and partnership between the Commonwealth and WA Governments to plug the skills gap, and provide training opportunities for all Australians. Fee-Free places target areas of skills shortage such as early childhood education and care, health care, aged and disability care, technology and digital skills, hospitality and tourism, construction, agriculture, VET workforce, and the defence industry.

This year saw a strong take up of Fee-Free places, with qualifications in early childhood education and care, aged and disability care, nursing, along with information technology, and hospitality having the strongest enrolments, adding much-needed skills for these priority industries. In 2023, Fee-Free training is available across 130 courses, including a range of qualifications and skill sets with all Western Australians eligible to access the program at WA TAFE colleges and training providers.

Federal Minister for Skills and Training Brendan O'Connor said, "This is what genuine collaboration and partnership can achieve - real results for everyday Australians. Fee-Free TAFE and VET has been such a success, the Albanese Government is committing to a further 300,000 places beginning next year, with 22,200 of those places in Western Australia. This is a $44.5 million investment in skills and training in Western Australia. Fee-Free training offers a huge cost of living relief for students, grows the recruitment pool for businesses and eases the skills shortages that hold our economy back. In WA, plans are also underway to implement the Albanese Government's $8.2 million TAFE Technology Fund to improve training facilities in the State. This is yet another way we're supporting the training of workers for vital industries that are in demand now and in the future."

Premier Roger Cook added, "My Government has a track record on training - whether it's slashing TAFE fees, delivering free courses, or investing almost $250 million into upgrades at TAFEs across the State. Our economic strength relies on our skilled workforce, so it's critical every Western Australia has access to our TAFE and vocational courses. This investment will give workers the skills they need to find quality work across our State. Through our partnership with the Albanese Government, the Fee-Free initiative helps to build our pipeline of skilled workers in in-demand occupations like construction, early childhood education, nursing and hospitality."

"Education and training can be life changing - and with Fee-Free TAFE set to continue into 2024, there has never been a better time to try one of the free courses on offer." said Training Minister Simone McGurk. FREE IN '23 has already supported women and youth to overcome the cost barriers through the waiving of fees, which combined with additional wrap-around support for more vulnerable students, has enabled Western Australia to smash its targets for Fee-Free training enrolments. Continuing this successful initiative for Western Australians into 2024 and beyond will see more students graduating with industry relevant skills in the areas our economy needs most." 

Low fee course and traineeship to boost housing sector workforce

Upskilling social housing sector professionals

The Western Australian State Government is boosting low fee training opportunities to attract new workers to the housing support industry, and to provide valuable skills for existing workers. Launched today, the Certificate IV in Housing and traineeship will enable current workers to upskill, create clear training and career pathways for new workers, and pave the way for the future delivery of community housing-related skill sets.

Providing the Certificate IV in Housing qualification at a reduced fee through the State Government's Lower fees, local skills initiative will make training more accessible for smaller regionally-based providers and Aboriginal community housing organisations. The Lower fees, local skills initiative reduces course fees by up to 72 per cent for over 160 priority courses, many supporting the community services sector, such as the Certificate III, IV and Diploma of Community Services. 

The community services sector needs skilled and knowledgeable specialist staff to support people seeking social housing and experiencing homelessness. The Certificate IV in Housing provides the skills needed to help people access accommodation within the public and community social housing system and effectively maintain tenancies safely, securely and efficiently.

The training will improve outcomes for the industry and its clients through better management of assets and tenant experiences leading to fewer evictions. Housing support staff work with vulnerable people who may be experiencing or are at risk of experiencing homelessness, have severe and complex mental health issues, or who are experiencing family and domestic violence, considerable financial stress or community disengagement.

The launch of the qualification and establishment of the traineeship in WA is the result of a collaboration between Shelter WA, North Metropolitan TAFE (NM TAFE), Community Skills WA, Department of Training and Workforce Development, Department of Communities, and community housing organisations.

NM TAFE will start delivering the course to the first cohort of more than 40 existing workers in Term 4, 2023. NM TAFE also plans to adapt the course to meet specific local needs and deliver customised and work-based training to students State-wide, including in regional WA. Industry can nominate existing employees to undertake the training by contacting Community Skills WA on 08 9445 1511 or communityskills@cswa.org.au.

Find out more about free and low fee training opportunities by contacting your nearest Jobs and Skills Centre on 13 64 64 or at www.jobsandskills.wa.gov.au.

Training Minister Simone McGurk said, “Developing the housing sector’s workforce is key for providing the capability and capacity required to support the needs of people experiencing homelessness and seeking community and public housing. The launch of the Certificate IV in Housing and a new housing officer traineeship in WA follows grassroots advocacy from the WA Community Housing sector and strong support across several State Government Ministers and agencies. Housing officer trainees will gain valuable skills in property and tenancy management for the sector and help deliver safe and stable homes to Western Australia’s most vulnerable people.”

Housing Minister John Carey added, "Our Government is acutely aware of the current housing market across the country and we're using every lever we can to boost the supply of housing throughout Western Australia. Training and skills development are vital in shaping the future of the housing sector and it's imperative to empower the workforce with the relevant skills and knowledge. I would like to acknowledge the community housing sector's strong commitment to a housing officer traineeship and its support for training opportunities to develop its workforce. The housing officer traineeship will benefit workers in metropolitan and regional areas and those supporting Aboriginal community housing and complements our record $2.6 billion investment in social housing and homelessness measures."

Multi-million dollar agricultural training expansion opens at Muresk

Skilling workers for WA’s vital agriculture industry

A new specialist training facility is the centrepiece of a $10.3 million expansion delivered by the Cook Government at the historical Muresk Institute in Northam. The $9.5 million specialist Agriculture Machinery Training Centre was officially opened today by Premier Roger Cook, Training Minister Simone McGurk and Agriculture Minister Jackie Jarvis, marking a new era of training at the facility.

For almost a century, Muresk Institute has been the home of agricultural training in Western Australia. It is located in the Wheatbelt on a working farm, ensuring industry-driven education and training opportunities are available to meet demand for skilled workers. The Agriculture Machinery Training Centre modernises and expands Muresk Institute's facilities. Apprentices completing a Certificate III in Agricultural Mechanical Technology through Central Regional TAFE are to be the first to train in the new workshops, classrooms and information technology laboratories.

Muresk and Central Regional TAFE worked closely with industry in developing the apprenticeship to help meet demand for skilled technicians and mechanics. Once trained, qualified technicians will service all types of agricultural machinery across WA's broadacre farming industry, with trade skills for mechanical, electrical, hydraulic operations, precision equipment and braking systems.

A new $800,000 industry-standard shearing shed was also recently completed at the Muresk Institute, providing students with high-quality training in wool handling and shearing. The State Government has also delivered two state-of-the-art combine harvester simulators and a range of other agricultural machinery options, offering a realistic farm experience in a training environment.

Regional WA commercial builder ACorp Construction Pty Ltd carried out the majority of construction, while another regional WA company, GBSC Yurra, built the new shearing shed.

Premier Roger Cook said, “The agriculture industry, along with the industries that support it, are vital to our State. This is a great example of government working together with industry to help meet the demand for skilled workers. My Government is committed to ensuring training is accessible to all Western Australians, including those in regional areas. The agricultural machinery training facility will provide a world-class learning environment for students.”

Training Minister Simone McGurk added, “For almost a century, Muresk Institute has been synonymous with agricultural training in Western Australia, and that is set to continue with this upgrade. The new facilities have been designed following extensive industry consultation, ensuring students will be job-ready once their training is complete. These state-of-the-art facilities and modern machinery and equipment are the culmination of a wonderful partnership between the agricultural machinery industry, Central Regional TAFE and Muresk Institute.”

 

VET champions recognised at WA Training Awards

Celebrating training and a strong WA workforce 

Thirteen of Western Australia's brightest training sector talents are celebrating a stellar win at this year's WA Training Awards, with eight individuals and five organisations named winners from 45 finalists at a ceremony at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre. Now in its 29th year, the WA Training Awards recognise the outstanding achievements of apprentices, trainees, employers and training organisations. Individual winners receive $3,000, which can be used to further their training or kick-start their career.

Selected from a record number of applications, this year's winners and finalists represent the diversity of talent in WA, spanning industries from nursing to cyber security, community services and defence, to agriculture, engineering, hospitality and business leadership. Central Regional TAFE was named as WA Large Training Provider of the Year 2023, and was among the five organisation winners that were recognised as industry leaders and important contributors to the skilling of WA's workforce.

WA Apprentice of the Year 2023, Amy Hunt (Kingsley), was celebrated for her commitment to safety, and the leadership and communication skills she brings to her work with her employer Western Power as the only woman and the youngest cable jointer at her worksite. Having a close relationship with her father, a panel beater, and her brother, a sign writer, inspired Amy to follow in their footsteps and pursue a similar lifestyle through a trade apprenticeship in the power industry, training for a Certificate III in ESI – Power Systems – Distribution Cable Jointing with Power Training Services.

Amy's experience working in a fast-changing environment and on low and high voltage electrical cables will see her powering ahead as part of a selection of WA Training Award winners who will represent WA at the Australian Training Awards in Hobart on Friday, 17 November 2023.

Among the group will be WA Trainer of the Year 2023 winner, Holly Gudsell (Craigie), who was compelled to change her career direction to Aboriginal education after her experience teaching at a remote Aboriginal community in Fitzroy Crossing. While lecturing in Education Support at North Metropolitan TAFE, Holly was approached to develop and deliver a new program for the Department of Education to upskill Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Officers (AIEOs) across Perth Metropolitan Schools. Holly's delivery of a "mixed-mode" course which successfully supported Aboriginal students through the Certificate III and IV in Education Support has helped her reach new heights as a star of the 2023 WA Training Awards.

The 2023 WA Training Awards are made possible thanks to continuing support from awards partner the State Training Board, prinicpal sponsor MEGT, and sponsors Training Accreditation Council WA, Apprenticeship Support Australia powered by CCIWA, Construction Training Fund, Maxima, and the Electrical and Communications Association of Western Australia.

Find out more at www.dtwd.wa.gov.au/watrainingawards/

Training Minister Simone McGurk said, “Now in their 29th year, the WA Training Awards have a long and distinguished history of fostering and celebrating success in the vocational education and training sector. Congratulations to all of the 2023 winners, who are to be commended for their dedication to their vocational training and being exemplary ambassadors for WA's VET sector. The WA Training Awards profile the enormous range of skills training offered and its importance in developing highly skilled people in rewarding and increasingly diversified work. Our Government continues to invest heavily in skills and training and this combined with a high demand for skilled workers across the State make it an exciting time for WA students, job seekers and career changers.”

INDIVIDUAL WINNERS

WA Trainer of the Year 2023

Holly Gudsell – Craigie

Lecturer – North Metropolitan TAFE Certificate III and IV in Education Support

A teaching position in a remote Aboriginal community in Fitzroy Crossing was the catalyst for a change in career direction for Holly, as she discovered an interest in Aboriginal education. Having previously worked as a teacher and then abroad teaching English in Kenya and China, it was while lecturing in Education Support at North Metropolitan TAFE that Holly was approached to develop and deliver a new program for the Department of Education to upskill Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Officers (AIEOs) across Perth Metropolitan Schools. Here she delivered a "mixed-mode" course which successfully supported Aboriginal students through the Certificate III and IV in Education Support.

WA International Student of the Year 2023

Federica Ceretta – High Wycombe

Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care Trained at: Australian Institute of Workplace Training

Despite a love of caring for and working with children, there were limited opportunities for Federica to pursue this as a career in her home country of Italy. Coming to Australia was the realisation of a long-held ambition, which she first announced to her parents at the age of six. Federica started working as an au pair in Perth and travelled all over Australia, but says Perth is the place she loves the most and calls home. She says studying for her dream job in Perth helped to change her life and only six months after qualifying she has moved from being an educator to an assistant director at the childcare centre where she works.

WA Cultural Diversity Training Award 2023

Olga Hurina – Duncraig

Certificate IV in Work Health and Safety Employed by: Gold Corporation Trained at: North Metropolitan TAFE

In March 2022, Olga made the difficult decision to move to Western Australia from Ukraine on a humanitarian visa after the outbreak of war. Her husband encouraged her to make the journey, even though he could not leave due to the national ban on men emigrating. Olga chose her course because she had experience in legal compliance in Ukraine and wanted to contribute to safer working environments. So determined was she to perfect her English, that she recently moved from living with her sister-in-law to an Australian host family who did not speak her language, and says they have been like second parents to her.

WA Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year 2023

Anthony Nelson-Burns – Aveley

Certificate III in Engineering – Mechanical Trade Trained by: Australian Skills Group Pty Ltd Employed by: Fortescue (FMG) Mining

Completing a Certificate III in Engineering – Mechanical Trade with Fortescue Mining was life-changing for Anthony. It has provided him with newfound confidence, personal and professional growth as well as allowing him to become a mentor to his children. Having received unwavering support from his employer and lecturers at Australian Skills Group during personal hardships, he was able to navigate through and successfully progress his studies to complete his apprenticeship. The experience has helped shape the person he has become – capable, empathetic and resourceful. He is now ready to tackle any obstacles and plans on continuing his training pathway in engineering.

WA Vocational Student of the Year 2023

Kai Baharthah-King – Currambine

Advanced Diploma in Cybersecurity Trained at: North Metropolitan TAFE

In these days of heightened digital security awareness, Kai was an early starter in the industry. Being home-schooled, he attended cyber security workshops and was able to satisfy his thirst for knowledge by completing multiple online courses and competitions. First enrolling in TAFE at the age of 15 to complete his Certificate III, he progressed through to the Advanced Diploma and secured a part time job as a security analyst at Woodside, following a recommendation from his lecturer at only 16. Now full time at Woodside, he is the youngest security analyst on staff and cites attending the AISA conference in Melbourne – where he was a national cybersecurity finalist – as a particular highlight.

WA Trainee of the Year 2023

Hannah Morrison – Toodyay

Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care Employed by: Toodyay Early Learning Centre Trained at: Central Regional TAFE

When being away from home at university was not working out for her, Hannah looked to her local TAFE to be close to home. While at school, she had been deeply affected by a trip to the Philippines where she had witnessed how different the lives of young people were and it inspired her to pursue her a new career path. Following her passion for working with children and advocating for children's rights, she applied for a three-month trial at Toodyay Early Learning Centre and after only four days in the role was offered a full time traineeship. Hannah now enjoys presenting at the TAFE where she once studied, to inspire future educators to the sector.

WA School-based Apprentice of the Year 2023

Robert Nicolosi – Kewdale

Certificate III in Sport and Recreation Trained at: North Metropolitan TAFE Employed by: BlueFit – Leisure Employment Australia

Robert's love for sport and fitness was the motivation behind him undertaking a traineeship with Leisure Employment Australia. While working at BlueFit – Belmont Leisure Centre, Robert has gained a range of new skills while completing a Certificate III in Sport and Recreation. Described by his employer as a team player and leader, and the only trainee kids sport coordinator they have ever had, speaks volumes about Robert's willingness to learn and lead. Robert is well on his way to fulfilling his career aspirations of becoming a physical education teacher.

WA Apprentice of the Year 2023

Amy Hunt – Kingsley

Certificate III in ESI – Power Systems – Distribution Cable Jointing Employed by: Western Power Trained at: Power Training Services

Having a close relationship with her father, a panel beater, and her brother, a sign writer, inspired Amy to follow in their footsteps and pursue a similar lifestyle through a trade apprenticeship. Amy's interests, however, were in the power industry – a fast-changing environment she knew she would enjoy. She cites her experience working on low and high voltage electrical cables as having opened her eyes to the implicit value of safety; both on an individual level and within a team. As the only female and the youngest cable jointer at her worksite, she also credits her training experience with enhancing her leadership and communication skills.

ORGANISATION WINNERS

Small Employer of the Year EK Contracting

EK Contracting was established in 2019 to service WA in the civil and mining sector and is owned by a dynamic trio including an Indigenous ex Olympic weightlifting champion, a Nyiyaparli Traditional Owner, and a Pilbara School Teacher. Their vision is clear – generate a steady work stream to upskill workers and offer career advancement opportunities to ensure everyone has an opportunity to shine. EK offers training and employment opportunities to Indigenous people across WA through its connections with Indigenous land groups and organisations.

Large Employer of the Year

McDonald's Australia, WA

McDonald's is proud to provide its employees with opportunities to grow, seeing training and development as an investment, not a cost. The organisation upholds strict standards to ensure employees are fully trained in each area of restaurant operations – from serving customers to performing equipment maintenance tasks. A career at McDonald's does not end in the restaurants. There are corporate office opportunities, with thorough internal training and development, and policies for regular job rotation. With a practical approach to continuous improvement, McDonald's aims to foster a culture of lifelong learning and employees are actively encouraged to participate in both professional and personal development activities.

Industry Collaboration Award

Defence Industry Pathways Program – A Maritime Defence Industry Collaboration

South Metropolitan TAFE

The Defence Industry Pathways Program is an innovative industry collaboration designed to develop and ensure a pipeline of skilled workers for Australia's defence industry. The idea of a 'gap year' program was conceived at an industry round table in July 2020, with the defence industry identifying a critical need to build talent through a vocational education and training (VET) program. The 12-month 'taster' program was designed to provide graduates with a broad understanding of the maritime defence industry through work placements focusing on career pathway options in the industry. In 2023, the program has 32 maritime Defence-host employers.

Small Training Provider of the Year

WA College of Agriculture, Cunderdin

The WA College of Agriculture, Cunderdin has a long-standing reputation for achieving exceptional VET outcomes through developing highly-skilled and employable graduates. The college offers training opportunities that enhance the learning of all students, have a blend of theory and practical and a variety of courses that are relevant, interesting, engaging and support students to transition into a large variety of industries and pathways, inclusive of the agriculture and allied industries. Training is conducted between the commercial farm of 4,000 hectares and state-of-the-art Trade Training Centre, with focus on excellence through innovation, passion and collaboration for all students, and strengthening the primary and trades industries.

Large Training Provider of the Year

Central Regional TAFE

Greater in area than the Northern Territory, Central Regional TAFE has the largest geographical footprint of all the TAFEs in Western Australia, encompassing 1.55 million square kilometres, or 58% of Western Australia. This footprint comes with some unique challenges in supporting students, staff and industry across a wide area of Western Australia, but also provides opportunities for a diverse set of training products to accommodate the distinctive geographical conditions associated with the central region of Western Australia. Strong industry partnerships in the region have enabled the organisation to offer local, distinctive courses with over 9,000 students unlocking their learning potential in 2022.

Plenty to smile about at TAFE’s $2.6 million specialist dental facility

$2.6 million dental training facility complete

North Metropolitan TAFE's (NM TAFE) Leederville campus is now delivering specialist dental training courses, at its new $2.6 million state-of-the-art dental training facility. Opening the new facility today, Training Minister Simone McGurk said the relocation of NM TAFE's dental training to Leederville allows for future growth in the delivery of dental qualifications, especially those incorporating digital technology.

The facility will improve access to training and on-site services for dental students, and train more work ready graduates for the industry. Skilled dental support workers are in high demand in Western Australia and continued growth is forecast in coming years. Participation in NM TAFE's dental training courses increased by 26 per cent in 2022 compared to 2019, prior to the pandemic.

The new facility has approximately triple the space for students, increasing NM TAFE's capacity to deliver more skilled workers for this essential industry. Features include custom built dental assisting practice clinics, laboratories, digital technology, radiography, sterilisation, plaster, burn out casting and storage rooms, fume cupboard and chemical storage rooms.

The State Government's $25 million investment in new equipment for WA TAFEs is supporting NM TAFE to deliver industry standard training with $295,000 invested in radiography equipment, CAD software licences, a scanner, 3D printer and imaging unit, computer and ultrasonic bath, and cure box. The 3D digital scanning and printing technology enables students to conduct a 3D scan and print of a mouth, developing skills in emerging dental industry technologies and to be competitive in the job market.

The facility was designed by architects Carvalho Design Solutions in consultation with A-dec, a leading manufacturer in dental equipment, to incorporate the latest in dental technology and design. NM TAFE delivers four dental qualifications from its Leederville campus - the Certificate III and IV in Dental Assisting, Certificate III in Dental Laboratory Assisting, and the Diploma of Dental Technology.

From 2024, NM TAFE will also be offering one day a week courses for secondary students, to obtain a Certificate III in Dental Laboratory Assisting. A range of free and low fee dental qualifications is available through the State Government's FREE IN '23 program, in partnership with the Commonwealth Government, and the "Lower fees, local skills" initiative.

For free advice about training opportunities, including free and low fee dental training courses, contact your nearest Jobs and Skills Centre on 13 64 64 or visit the Jobs and Skills WA website jobsandskills.wa.gov.au/skillsready.

Training Minister Simone McGurk said, "This impressive new specialist dental training facility is something to smile about – a fantastic asset for North Metropolitan TAFE, Western Australian students, and the industry. Students training at the new facility have access to modern equipment to develop their skills, so they're job-ready and can hit the ground running. The new facility has been designed in consultation with the TAFE's dental industry partners on their future needs, and provides the room needed to expand training delivery for this growing industry. Our State Government is committed to ensuring TAFE students are getting the best possible training on industry-standard equipment, so they're job ready when they graduate. "Western Australians can be sure that training delivered at WA TAFE colleges will be to industry standard, practice and quality."

Perth MLA John Carey added, "It's brilliant to see a new dental training facility in Perth - providing another avenue for more Western Australians to undertake specialist dental training. With the relocation of North Metropolitan TAFE's dental training facility to Leederville, this will bring more people, more activation and ultimately more vibrancy to the heart of Leederville and will also provide a boost to surrounding local businesses."

Training boost for Kimberley with new Kununurra Health and Hospitality Training Centre

Students now training in state-of-the-art facilities

North Regional TAFE's Kununurra campus is home to a new state-of-the-art Health and Hospitality Training Centre, that will train local workers for local jobs. In a major boost to the Kimberley region, the $6 million training centre provides specialist training spaces for nursing, aged and disability care, allowing North Regional TAFE to deliver National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) training in Kununurra to help meet demand in the region.

Among the new amenities is a NDIS simulated facility for both in-home and residential care, complete with bathroom, lounge room, kitchen, and bedroom to mimic a home environment, as well as a small nursing ward to ensure students are training in an industry-standard environment.

The new training kitchen and barista area has an adjacent, multi-use space that can be converted into a café or conference facility for hands-on event training, and an art-workshop will provide training for cultural activities unique to the East Kimberley. Hospitality and tourism students are also benefitting from the new training centre, with advanced technological capabilities to connect campuses, and allow flexible remote learning.

The facility was designed by Saleeba Adams Architects, and local workers were employed throughout the duration of the project, with Kununurra-based Kimberley Green Constructions appointed for the build. Kununurra is the largest training delivery location in the East Kimberley region, and is set to deliver training to more than 500 students in 2023.

The Kununurra Health and Hospitality Training centre is one of 15 major projects taking place at TAFE colleges across Western Australia, as part of the State Government's $243 million investment upgrading the TAFE network.

Training Minister Simone McGurk said, "The health, tourism and hospitality industries are essential to the Kimberley region and these upgrades will ensure local workers have the skills to fill in-demand jobs. North Regional TAFE's Kununurra campus now has the outstanding new facilities to carry out training for the crucial aged and disability care sector. This will support students to train in the same environment they will find in the workplace, ensuring they are job ready. A skilled regional workforce is a high priority for our Government, and we will continue to invest in the regions so local people can continue to train and work close to home."

Member for Kimberley Divina D'Anna added, "We need skilled workers right across the Kimberley and this investment means students will have access to state-of-the-art facilities right here in Kununurra. Already this year around 500 students have enrolled in courses at North Regional TAFE's Kununurra campus. I would urge anyone considering a new career to give TAFE a go and take advantage of these fantastic facilities."

Expansion to train more early childhood educators for WA

Western Australians accessing fee free training

The State Government is expanding its Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) Job Ready program to Albany, Bunbury, Geraldton, Karratha, Katanning, Kununurra, Mandurah, Northam and new metropolitan locations following the success of the program in Perth and Broome.

The entry-level program was developed in consultation with industry to train more early childhood educators for work in the sector and enhance employment outcomes for participants.

The program combines a short course skill set and work placement to introduce participants to an early childhood educator’s working environment and includes wrap-around supports to reduce barriers for participants to guide them to completion of their training.

All Job Ready programs are part of the FREE IN ‘23 initiative which includes 130 full qualifications and skill sets this year, including the Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care and Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care.

Fee free training is made available through the State Government’s partnership with the Commonwealth, which is showing strong results for priority sectors, including the care industry.

Of the almost 2,000 participants who have commenced Job Ready programs, almost half reported they have already secured employment in the industry or further training, adding to the pipeline of skilled workers needed across a range of essential sectors. More than 40 of these commencements were in the ECEC Job Ready program.

Job Ready programs and fee free courses enable students to overcome cost barriers to entering training and the workforce, which combined with additional wrap around support has enabled these fantastic outcomes. The programs ensure Western Australians, particularly First Nations people, young people, people looking for work or receiving income support, unpaid carers, people with disability, and women facing economic insecurity, can access affordable training to help them get into jobs.

To date, more than 78 per cent of ECEC Job Ready program participants are women, 43 per cent are aged under 25, and 40 per cent are Aboriginal people. These programs are complemented by a new policy arrangement that enables the averaging of part time hours for apprenticeships and traineeships, broadening opportunities for workers to access employment based training and providing flexibility for those who may not be able to work full time, such as people with caring responsibilities or parents returning to the workforce.

Information on the ECEC Job Ready program is at jobsandskills.wa.gov.au/pathways or contact your nearest Jobs and Skills Centre on 13 64 64.

Training Minister Simone McGurk said, “Job Ready Programs are among a range of initiatives this State Government has introduced to support people experiencing barriers to enter training and the workforce in priority sectors. By expanding the ECEC Job Ready program across the State our Government is helping to ensure the needs of regional workforces are met. Early childhood education and care is a critical part of the economy because it supports parents and carers, particularly women, to participate in the workforce, and forms part of WA’s Healthcare and Social Assistance industry, which is the largest employing industry in the State. By making this and a range of other training courses available for FREE IN ‘23, our Government is providing more entry-level candidates with a new pre-employment pathway into traineeships and jobs in the early childhood education and care industry.”

Early Childhood Education Minister Sabine Winton added, "The early years of a child's life have a big impact on their future success, not only at school but in life – and early childhood educators play a huge role in supporting young children learn and grow. It's fantastic that this vital program will be expanded across the State to provide more training for new early childhood educators in Western Australia. There are now so many opportunities available in the early childhood education sector, there's never been a better time to become an early childhood educator and help set up our children for the best start in life."

WA TAFE first in the nation to launch new cyber security training

National cyber security training course launched in WA

Western Australia’s TAFE colleges are leading the national roll out of a new cyber security training course aimed at stamping out cyber threats to WA organisations and government agencies.

In a national first, South Metropolitan TAFE (SM TAFE) today launched the inaugural delivery of the Australian Signals Directorate’s (ASD’s) post-pilot Essential Eight Assessment Course at its Murdoch campus. North Metropolitan TAFE (NM TAFE) will deliver the course at its Perth campus from 1 September.

To bolster online security of government and critical infrastructure organisations, cyber security experts from a range of WA Government departments are the first to undertake the course since it was piloted in Canberra in July 2023.

SM TAFE chairs TAFEcyber, a consortium of 11 Australian TAFE providers who will deliver the training nationally.

The 18-hour course was designed and developed by ASD’s Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC), in partnership with TAFEcyber.

The course trains cyber security professionals working from large organisations and government agencies to consistently assess their organisation’s security posture against eight baseline mitigation strategies, which ASD considers essential for cyber security, and when using ASD’s Essential Eight Maturity Model.

All Federal and State agencies and critical infrastructure organisations are encouraged to implement the Essential Eight.

Cyber security is one of the world’s fastest growing industries and one of the most important issues facing businesses, governments and individuals today.

In addition to its commitment to the ongoing upskilling and protection of its agencies, the State Government, in collaboration with WA TAFE colleges, is supporting WA industry to meet the high demand for skilled cyber security professionals.

Cyber security professionals are needed in a range of sectors including finance; government and public services; military and defence; healthcare; media and telecommunications; mining and resources; and transport.

A range of free and low-fee cyber security full qualifications and skill sets are available through the State Government’s FREE IN ’23 program in partnership with the Commonwealth, and the Lower fees, local skills initiative.

Free and low fee courses range from the new Introduction to Cyber Security or Transition to Cyber Security skill sets to the Advanced Diploma of Information Technology (Cyber Security).

More information about other training opportunities including free and low fee courses and skill sets is at jobsandskills.wa.gov.au/skillsready or contact your local Jobs and Skills Centre on 13 64 64

Training Minister Simone McGurk said, “As increased online activities and remote working practices increase security risks for individuals and businesses, it is essential that government agencies lead the way in ensuring the protection of data and information. I am thrilled to see TAFE WA leading the nation by being the first to offer the post-pilot Essential Eight Assessment Course training for the benefit of WA government and critical infrastructure organisations. Cyber security is a specialist area and ongoing training and education are crucial to keep up with the rapid evolution of cyber threats and to protect our society from constantly evolving attacks. WA TAFE colleges have a key role in the skilling and upskilling of workers for WA’s Information and Communications Technology sector, with free and low fee training available including a range of cyber security courses. I encourage WA individuals and businesses to contact their nearest TAFE college or Jobs and Skills Centre to learn more about the great training and career opportunities on offer in this crucially important area.”

Training Minister Simone McGurk onboard the Masterclass vessel in Geraldton

Geraldton’s newly upgraded floating classroom back in action

Flow-on benefits to local employers

The State Government’s $2 million refurbishment of Central Regional TAFE’s “Master Class” maritime training vessel is complete.

The floating classroom is now ready to continue its important role of providing local TAFE students with a first-class, industry-standard learning environment.

Minister for Training Simone McGurk MLA was at Geraldton’s Fishing Boat Harbour today to welcome the vessel’s return from dry-docking and the start of a new chapter for this valuable training asset for the local community.

As well as students, the revamped Master Class will directly support local employers by providing skilled workers with contemporary and industry relevant skills and boost opportunities for people in the Mid-West region to train and work locally.

Local boat builder Dongara Marine completed the major overhaul of the vessel including new engines, gear boxes, hydraulic system, electrics, air-conditioning and navigational systems.

The project was funded by the State Government’s record $243.3 million investment in TAFE capital works projects to upgrade TAFE campuses across the State, including in regional WA.

The investment also included a $4 million Visual Arts and Creative Industries Hub that was opened at CR TAFE’s Geraldton campus in 2022.

The Master Class is used to deliver maritime-related training through CR TAFE’s Batavia Coast Maritime Institute in fishing boat operations; boating services; and marine engine driving.

The vessel also supports on-water activities for components of other training programs including aquaculture; tourism; and coastal conservation and ecosystem management.

Training Minister Simone McGurk said, “The $2 million revamp of the Master Class maritime training vessel is part of the State Government’s $243.3 million largest ever investment in TAFE capital works projects at TAFE campuses across the State. It is so important to have contemporary facilities and equipment in the regions so that locals can stay close to home to train, and eventually work. Providing students with opportunities to have hands-on experience in an industry simulated environment, and the most up to date and industry relevant equipment and real-life scenarios, means they can be better prepared and work ready for future employment opportunities. The revamped training vessel will benefit the local maritime industry vital to Geraldton and the entire Batavia Coast for many years to come.”

Finalists announced for WA Training Awards

45 finalists announced

The Training sector’s brightest stars have been recognised, with Training Minister Simone McGurk today announcing 45 finalists in the WA Training Awards 2023.

The annual awards celebrate the outstanding achievements in the vocational education and training (VET) sector, recognising the State’s best apprentices, trainees, employers and training organisations.

This year, the awards acknowledge the State’s elite achievers across 13 categories. There are 31 finalists vying for eight individual awards and 14 finalists up for five organisation categories.

Lucas Farrell of Gwelup did not want to reach the end of his working life without making a significant contribution to his community.

A career change to community services saw him study a Certificate IV in Community Services, leading him to being an instrumental part of developing a course bringing computer literacy to seniors.

Lucas is now a finalist in the WA Vocational Student of the Year category.

As a proud Wajarri Yamatji woman, Angela Dann of Wilson is one of four finalists in the WA Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year category.

Completing a Certificate III in Defence Industry Pathways at South Metropolitan TAFE has enabled Angela to develop a new-found passion, while also learning new skills that can better support her community.

The 2022 South Metropolitan TAFE Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year says her training has sparked a love for shipbuilding, design and manufacturing, which she credits to the rotations of work placement opportunities.

As well as being recognised as the best in the State, individual award winners will receive $3,000 to further their training or kick-start their career. Organisation winners will be recognised as industry leaders.

Winners will be announced at a presentation ceremony in September and may go on to represent WA at the Australian Training Awards in Hobart in November.

Training Minister Simone McGurk said, “Our State’s Skills sector provides incredible opportunities for Western Australians, helping them to develop job ready skills that are highly valued by employers. “The WA Training Awards celebrate the best-of-the-best in vocational education and training, from young apprentices through to well-established organisations. “It is wonderful to take a moment to celebrate their achievements, and acknowledge the incredible efforts in this field. “Congratulations to all of this year’s finalists, who are already great ambassadors for Western Australia’s training system.”

2023-2028 Strategic Plan now available

The Department is pleased to announce the release of our new 2023-2028 Strategic Plan

Our new strategic plan sets a clear vision for the future of the State training sector and will guide the Department’s activities for the next five years. It seeks to position the Department to deliver on government priorities and ensure that training and workforce strategies are aligned to emerging skill needs of the Western Australian economy, while widening access to learning, jobs and future careers.

The plan outlines strategies that will be progressed under the following five priorities.

  1. Enable all Western Australians to easily choose and access training that leads to jobs and careers according to their aspirations.
  2. Lift the participation of First Nations People and under-represented groups in training and employment.
  3. Grow the supply of skilled workers to sustain our economy and community wellbeing.
  4. Develop the skills and capabilities for a clean energy economy and new and emerging industries.
  5. Partner with TAFE to support their delivery of contemporary learning experiences that meet student and employer needs.

Key strategies that will be progressed to address these priorities are documented in the plan. The inspiration for the design of the plan has been drawn from a bespoke piece of Aboriginal artwork named “Kaartdijin” (meaning Knowledge) created by former North Metropolitan TAFE student Brody Campbell. The artwork which seeks to foster growth and learning within our community by narrating a story of transforming lives. This strongly aligns with our vision “Transforming lives and communities, and enabling a thriving economy” and displays our ongoing commitment to reconciliation.

The strategic plan was developed through extensive consultation with industry, community and government representatives, TAFE colleges, service providers and Department staff.

Our new strategic plan provide a clear direction for the Department and we look forward to working with our stakeholders to progress strategies and actions to address our new strategic priorities.

A young male student participating in an activity at the SkillsWest Expo

Jobs and skills exploration galore at free Perth expo

Free careers expo from 27-29 July

Western Australia's biggest showcase of jobs, skills and training is getting underway in Perth.

Now in its 14th year, the SkillsWest Careers & Employment Expo provides the chance for Western Australians to explore career opportunities and connect with over 130 employers and training organisations all under one roof.

More than 11,000 secondary students, graduates and career changers are expected to attend the SkillsWest Expo this year for free advice and interactive experiences to inspire their future careers.

The State Training Board's recent Mobilising WA's Future: Young people in VET report found young people's direct exposure to different training and career pathways helps them to truly understand and evaluate their post school options.

The SkillsWest Expo provides a unique opportunity to speak with industry experts about career paths and vocational education and training.

Staff from TAFE colleges and Jobs and Skills Centres are on-hand at the Expo to provide free and practical advice on apprenticeship, training and career opportunities.

They can advise visitors on the State Government's range of free and low fee courses, including short-course Job Ready pathways to employment, and practical support to help Western Australians turn their life experience into dream careers.

If you're a parent or teacher, they can help you learn more about the State Government's $22 million Career Taster Program (CTP), which is providing Year 9 students from around the State with access to career discovery and practical industry activities to support early exposure to the world of work. Last year, more than 13,700 students from 178 WA schools had participated in more than 10,300 CTP activities delivered by WA TAFE colleges and industry partners, including 30 per cent from regional and remote schools.

A key attraction at the Expo is the dedicated TAFE STEM hub in the Try'aSkill zone, where attendees can experience hands-on activities in new and emerging technologies. These include the virtual and autonomous technologies being deployed by TAFEs to expose students to industry-standard equipment and real-life working environments.

WA WorldSkills competitors, who are some of the State's most talented apprentices and trainees, will be showcasing their skills talents in wall and floor tiling, refrigeration, carpentry, visual merchandising and more ahead of the WorldSkills Australia National Championships in Melbourne in August.

Western Australians are encouraged to visit the SkillsWest Expo at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre until 29 July to find out more about what Western Australia's training system and employment market has to offer.

For information visit skillswestexpo.com.au

The State Training Board's report is at stb.wa.gov.au

Training Minister Simone McGurk said,"The SkillsWest Expo provides a window into the incredible array of careers and training opportunities on offer in Western Australia. Whether it's construction, health, education, creative industries, IT or defence, you will be able to get a taste of a range of industries through interactive, informative displays from more than 130 organisations and employers. The expo is also the ideal place to find out about the practical support our Government has made available to help Western Australians of all ages and backgrounds access training and jobs. "Whether you're in secondary school or looking for new work and career options the SkillsWest Expo has something for everyone."

New priorities set to bolster WA's future workforce and skills needs

New State Training Plan 2023-24 now available

Training Minister Simone McGurk has welcomed the release of the State Training Plan 2023-24 to guide the State Government's investment in the vocational education and training (VET) sector over the next two years.

Led by the industry-backed State Training Board, the Plan outlines four key priorities to guide a well-funded, responsive and innovative VET sector that supports the strategic development of the State's industries and economy.

Addressing key workforce development opportunities, including economic and energy transformation and decarbonisation targets as the State moves towards net-zero emissions by 2050, the Plan also highlights reform to the national skills agenda and builds on historic highs in apprenticeship and traineeship engagement, and historic lows in unemployment.

The Plan will help position the VET sector to equip Western Australians - including those from regional, diverse and under-represented backgrounds - with the skills needed to participate and prosper in the workplace.

The four key priorities are:

  • advocating for WA skills needs in national skills reform;
  • preparing a skilled workforce for energy transformation and decarbonisation targets;
  • managing a sustainable pipeline of apprentices and trainees; and
  • building regional workforce skills and capacity.

The Plan will also focus on continuing initiatives, including skills development for the tourism and hospitality industries, social assistance and allied health and agriculture sectors, and raising the profile of VET among young Western Australians.

The diversification of the WA economy continues to be a focus, for instance work in the emerging defence industries. Complementing key State Government priorities, the Plan is informed by data, labour market analysis, and valuable consultation with industry. A statutory body established under the Vocational Education and Training Act 1996, the State Training Board is the peak industry training advisory body to the Training Minister in WA on matters relating to VET.

The full State Training Plan 2023-24 and more information about the Board are available at www.stb.wa.gov.au.

Training Minister Simone McGurk said "I congratulate the State Training Board on its State Training Plan 2023-24 and for its valuable contribution to vocational education and training in Western Australia. As our State's training needs and priorities continue to grow and evolve, it is paramount for our Government to maintain strong links with industries and workforces across WA. Priorities identified in the new State Training Plan will ensure the Cook Government's continuing and unprecedented investment in training continues to support current workforce needs - preparing us for industries and opportunities of the future."

Female early childhood worker reading a picture booking to two young children in day care

Traineeship boost for WA's early childhood education workforce

More Western Australians ready for work in the early childhood education and care

The State Government's significant investment in free and low-fee training has almost doubled the number of early childhood education and care (ECEC) traineeships completed in the past year, helping to build the important sector's future workforce.

In the 12 months leading up to 30 April 2023, Western Australia recorded significant increases in ECEC traineeship commencements (up 37 per cent) and completions (up 94 per cent) compared to the same period last year.

This major boost for the sector comes as WA continues its track record of achieving high participation in training, on the back of the Cook Government's significant investment in targeted initiatives to support priority workforces like the ECEC sector. As traineeships are an employment-based training pathway, this means the sector has benefited from almost 2,400 new entrants in the past year and almost 800 skilled people having completed their training.

In response to feedback received as part of the 2021 Perth and Regional Skills Summit, the State Government introduced low-fee existing worker traineeships for the ECEC sector and other initiatives from 1 January 2022, to support the childcare industry to upskill existing workers.

A new Early Childhood Education and Care Job Ready program was also introduced in partnership with industry, and is providing entry-level candidates with a new pre-employment pathway into traineeships and jobs in the sector. In 2023, all new worker traineeships - including trainees in relevant ECEC qualifications - and all Job Ready programs are eligible for fee-free training through the FREE IN '23 initiative. This includes the Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care, Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care, Certificate IV in School Based Education Support, and Introduction to Early Childhood Education and Care Skill Set.

As a result, there have already been more than 4,650 fee-free enrolments in ECEC qualifications in WA this year. Based on results from the latest national Student Outcomes Survey, it is estimated that more than 90 per cent of students who completed a Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care or Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care traineeship were employed or in further study after training.

The State Government's Lower fees, local skills initiative reduces course fees by up to 72 per cent for the Certificate III in School Based Education Support; Certificate IV in School Age Education and Care and Diploma of School Age Education and Care.

Premier Roger Cook said, "Maintaining a strong early childhood education and care sector is a critical part of the WA economy and supports working parents - particularly women - to return to the workforce across all occupations. Ensuring the sector has a pipeline of job-ready workers is key, and our $112 million 12-month Skills Agreement with the Commonwealth to provide fee-free TAFE and vocational education and training places has significantly increased the number of Western Australians training in priority areas such as early childhood education and care. There has been strong demand for the fee-free TAFE places currently on offer, resulting in more than 28,600 enrolments across eligible qualifications to date. "Training pathways with an on-the-job component are a great way for employers to add to their staff while investing in the future skilled workforce."

Training Minister Simone McGurk added, "Fee-Free training is now available across more than 130 courses including a range of qualifications and skill sets, with all Western Australians eligible to access the program at WA TAFE colleges and training providers. Helping Western Australians including women transition back into the workforce to help fill skills shortages is an essential element in the Government's plan to grow the local skilled workforce needed to support WA's strong economy. Early childhood education traineeship completions have more than doubled in the past year and it is pleasing to see these increases are flowing through to the in-demand care sector and women's increased workforce participation. Located across Western Australia, Jobs and Skills Centres offer free advice on careers, training and employment including apprenticeships, traineeships and low and fee-free training, they can be contacted on 13 64 64."

"We know the benefits of good early childhood education and we can't do that without quality and dedicated early childhood educators and staff." remarked Early Childhood Education Minister Sabine Winton, "These educators play such a huge role in supporting our young children's development and growth. "The opportunities available are endless - there's never been a better time to become an early childhood educator and help set up our children for the best start in life."

Premier Roger Cook with Training Minister Simone McGurk, in Collie

Site of Collie's new $6.3 million training centre revealed

Local contractors to be prioritised for the work

The WA State Government has today unveiled plans for a new $6.3 million South Regional TAFE onsite training facility in Collie, to help local workers transition into new job opportunities.

The new facilities, which will be in addition to the existing South Regional TAFE Collie Campus, are part of the State Government's $662 million Collie Transition Package to diversify the local economy and create new jobs for workers impacted by the retirement of State-owned coal power stations.

The Forest Products Commission (FPC) building at 20 Throssell Street in Collie will be transformed to deliver training in skills needed for current and emerging industries, including forklift operations, crane ticketing, tourism, laboratory skills, and renewable energy. It is anticipated many of these courses will be delivered as short courses to upskill and retrain existing workers in response to emerging opportunities in the local economy.

The FPC will continue to have a presence in the region as it implements the State Government's $350 million softwood Plantation Expansion Program.

Planning is underway for construction and fit-out in 2024, with local contractors to be prioritised for the work. It is anticipated the facilities will be open for training in 2025.

The WA State Government's investment in the Collie workforce is an important part of work to diversify the local economy and ensure there are suitable, long-term jobs in the region. To be operated by South Regional TAFE in close proximity to the new Collie Jobs and Skills Centre and the existing Collie TAFE campus, the new facility will enhance services being provided to support the transition of local workers.

The new facilities complement other training initiatives being implemented in Collie, including Just Transition Working Group's 2023 Worker Survey, which aims to inform development of training programs for the local workforce. The funding is on top of the $243.3 million that the Cook Government is investing to upgrade TAFE colleges across Western Australia, ensuring students are learning in industry-standard, first-class facilities.

Premier Roger Cook said, "Our Government is bringing new industries, new businesses and new opportunities to Collie. Our $662 million commitment to Collie's Just Transition will ensure there are sustainable, well paid, local jobs in the Collie region into the future - and that locals have the right skills for these jobs. "This new training facility will provide a range of practical programs to assist local workers to take advantage of industries and opportunities coming to Collie."

Training Minister Simon McGurk added, "The training planned for the new South Regional TAFE facility will be developed in collaboration with local industry and with an eye to emerging jobs and opportunities. South Regional TAFE is working closely with local industry to develop relevant courses and recruit qualified teaching staff to meet future training demand. "We're excited to see local opportunities in emerging industries coming to Collie and bringing high quality jobs to the region."

Collie-Preston MLA Jodie Hanns remarked, "The Cook Government is getting on with attracting new industries and new jobs to Collie, but it's critical that local workers have the training they need to access these opportunities. By refurbishing this building, Collie will have a long-term community asset and local workers will have the support and training needed to support transition into new careers."

Young female defence worker, wearing hi-vis and working onsite

Defence industry internship and graduate scholarships open

Skilling professional and para-professional workers

Applications are open for the State Government's new Defence Industry Internship and Graduate Scholarships program - designed to boost the uptake of interns and graduates in Western Australia's priority defence industry.

The scholarships will place 190 interns and 50 graduates in the WA defence industry over the next three years to help ensure a pipeline of skilled professional and para-professional workers.

Eligible qualifications relate to occupations including engineers, project managers, logistics-related personnel, technical officers, commercial management professionals, cyber and ICT professionals, and occupations that support a 'smart' Industry 4.0 defence industry workforce.

The State Government is investing $35 million to directly support the development of a strong and sustainable WA defence workforce. This includes funding of $4 million for the Defence Industry Internship and Graduate Scholarships Program in the 2022-2023 State Budget as part of an $11 million package to help ensure a pipeline of skilled professional and para-professional workers for the defence sector.

A previous $18 million investment boosted defence industry capabilities and trades workforce.

Eligible graduates and students are encouraged to apply for the scholarships offered under three sub-programs:

  • 'taster' Work Integrated Learning (WIL) program - 6 to 12 week placement for first and second year university and higher-level vocational education and training (VET) students in a defence industry-relevant qualification;
  • internship program - 10 to 26 week placement for university students or higher-level VET students who are normally in their last or second last year of study in a defence industry-related qualification; and
  • graduate program - one year graduate placement for new or previous graduates who have attained a university or higher-level VET defence industry-relevant qualification.

Generous incentives are also available for employers to take on interns and graduates, with a bonus incentive applying to interns and employers where there is participation by women, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, people with disability and regional candidates.

Programmed Training Services has been contracted to administer the scholarship program and will facilitate student and graduate placements.

The program complements other defence industry workforce initiatives of the State Government, including the expanded 'The Other Force' campaign to promote defence industry careers across all defence capability domains of maritime, air, land, space, information and cyber.

More information about the scholarships and training for jobs in WA's defence industry is on the Jobs and Skills WA website www.jobsandskills.wa.gov.au/diigs or contact your nearest Jobs and Skills Centre on 13 64 64.

Training Minister Simone McGurk said "As Western Australia continues to prepare for future defence work, occupations such as engineers, project managers, logistics personnel, technicians, commercial management professionals, and cyber and ICT professionals are becoming increasingly important. The new Defence Industry Internship and Graduate Scholarships, along with other initiatives, will expand our Government's current support for the defence trades workforce. State Government defence industry workforce initiatives are supported by our Government's 'The Other Force - Start something' campaign, which shines a spotlight on industries that support Australia's Defence Force and encourages Western Australians to 'Start something' with WA's defence industry."

Defence Industry Minister Paul Papalia added "The AUKUS agreement and Defence Strategic Review will see Western Australia at the leading edge of future Defence plans. Our world-leading defence industry players will be central to this effort and they represent an exciting and enduring career path. "The Cook Government will continue to offer incentives and support for people looking to begin an exciting career with the Force behind the Force."

Striking artwork on the façade of South Metropolitan TAFE's Mandurah campus. artwork celebrates the human, animal and plant life of the rivers, estuaries, inlet and ocean in the greater Peel Region.

$16.9 million Mandurah TAFE facility serving up job-ready training

South Metropolitan TAFE's new world-class training facility

South Metropolitan TAFE's Mandurah campus is now delivering specialty courses at its new state-of-the-art facility, training skilled workers for the Peel region's bustling hospitality and tourism industries.

The $16.9 million Hospitality and Tourism Training Centre is a key project in the State Government's record investment to upgrade TAFE infrastructure across Western Australia. Aspiring chefs, baristas, front-of-house staff and event managers studying commercial cookery, tourism and event management now have access to practical, on-the-job training using modern facilities and equipment.

The new facilities include:

  • a live-works restaurant, complete with production kitchen and dining room where locals can enjoy lunchtime or evening meals;
  • two full-sized industry-standard training kitchens;
  • a cookery/barista demonstration classroom;
  • an information technology classroom that can also be used for tourism and event management training, and
  • student hub.

The building also has industry-standard hair and beauty training facilities, with dedicated training spaces for beauty therapy and massage, as well as a new hair salon open to the public. The striking artwork on the façade is courtesy of local Noongar artists Maitland Hill and Kerry Stack, who worked in collaboration with glass artist Rick Vermey to create a large digital collage. Titled 'Djena Bidi Koora Koora Mila – Pathways from Past to Future', the artwork celebrates the human, animal and plant life of the rivers, estuaries, inlet and ocean in the greater Peel Region.

South Metropolitan TAFE's Mandurah campus is located in the Peel Education and Training precinct, neighbouring Murdoch University and John Tonkin College. Construction was carried out by Western Australian commercial builder EMCO Building, while Hunt Architects designed the building. The State Government is investing $243.3 million to upgrade TAFE colleges across WA, ensuring students are learning in industry-standard, first-class facilities.

"Tourism and hospitality are crucial industries for the Peel region, bringing in visitors and providing jobs for local people, said Premier Roger Cook. "This new $16.9 million facility is a one-stop-shop for specialist training in the region, and its modern and practical design will ensure it becomes a popular space for the community too. This is a fantastic new training centre for Mandurah that has all the contemporary facilities required to help people become job-ready workers who can step straight into the local workforce."

Training Minister Simone McGurk added "South Metropolitan TAFE's Mandurah campus has seen strong growth this year, with enrolments in hair and beauty and hospitality and tourism courses on the rise. The new facilities are industry standard, ensuring locals can access the very best learning opportunities in the heart of the Peel region, close to where they live and work. Locals can also enjoy an affordable meal at the restaurant, and then treat themselves to a low-cost manicure, massage or haircut – all while supporting the workers of the future. "The new centre will provide career pathways for aspiring chefs, event managers and baristas, as well as hairdressers, beauty and massage therapists, delivering a pipeline of skilled local workers for local jobs."

Mandurah MLA David Templeman also added "The delivery of such a quality facility in the Peel Region will provide fantastic development opportunities for locals. Particularly young people looking to further their training but wanting to stay close to home. Mandurah and the Peel Region continue to experience population growth while also servicing many people from the South West. The new facilities at the Mandurah TAFE campus will support visitors and students alike. I also wish to acknowledge the contemporary design of the facility and the way in which the storytelling and art of local Noongar artists Maitland Hill and Kerry Stack are incorporated. It is a facility we can all be proud of."

Training Minister Simone McGurk at new Broome TAFE facility

Roebourne TAFE upgrades deliver training boost for Pilbara

Connecting local Aboriginal community to education and training

Specialist training is now underway at North Regional TAFE’s Minurmarghali Mia (Roebourne) campus, with new multi-purpose training facilities playing a key role in connecting the local Aboriginal community to vocational education and training. Training Minister Simone McGurk visited the campus today, officially opening the $7.9 million new facilities.

The major upgrade consists of four new classrooms which will be used across a range of training areas, including an IT laboratory and art classroom, a new industry workshop for construction trades training and an upgrade of the existing light automotive workshop.

Lead architect Iredale Pedersen Hook Architects was briefed to design culturally-appropriate, contemporary facilities and consulted extensively with the Roebourne community during planning stages to create diverse learning opportunities. Through the consultation with local Aboriginal people, the campus now has vibrant, community-focused areas, with outdoor learning spaces, and male and female student hubs.

Western Australian construction company Devlyn Australia carried out the build, employing more than 200 workers throughout construction, including apprentices and trainees. Aboriginal student enrolment numbers are currently up eight per cent compared to the same time in 2022, across publicly funded training in WA. The WA State Government is spending a record $243.3 million to upgrade TAFE infrastructure across the State, including regional areas.

Training Minister Simone McGurk said “These incredible new facilities at North Regional TAFE’s Minurmarghali Mia campus are a major boost for training in Roebourne and across the Pilbara region. More local people will now be able to come and learn new skills closer to home, in industry-standard learning environments. It is a priority of the McGowan Government to provide practical training support for Aboriginal people, so it was very important that we consulted with the local community about this project, ensuring it was designed to be culturally-appropriate.”

Young male student chef wearing a black apron and chef hat while holding a mixing bowl and whisk.

New $11.8 million training centre at Broome TAFE officially open

$11.8 million upgrade complete

The Kimberley region’s vital tourism and hospitality industries are set to benefit from a new training centre at North Regional TAFE’s Broome campus. Training Minister Simone McGurk visited the campus to officially open the $11.8 million Hospitality and Student Services Centre.

Designed locally by Engawa Architects and constructed by Broome building company H&M Tracey, the project consists of two new state-of-the-art buildings, linked by an outdoor meeting place, creating a community-feel for students. The project consists of a purpose-built hospitality and tourism training centre, complete with a live-works training restaurant, commercial kitchen and alfresco café and a hair and beauty training facility, delivering industry-standard practice with dedicated spaces for simulated training.

The upgrade also includes the redevelopment of the administration building to provide additional space for student and corporate services. The new facilities will help meet demand for staff in the hospitality and tourism industries across the region and attract international students to study in the region. The WA State Government is investing $243.3 million to upgrade facilities at TAFE colleges across Western Australia, including regional areas around the State.

Training Minister Simone McGurk said “As we approach the Kimberley region’s peak tourism season, it is fantastic to know that students are training in world-class facilities that will deliver the skills to ensure they are job-ready. The Broome campus is the largest training facility in the Kimberley region, with more than 1,000 students enrolled in training so far this year. North Regional TAFE has four campuses receiving major upgrades as part of the record $243.3 million investment upgrading TAFEs across Western Australia, allowing more people in the regions to train locally.”

Kimberly MLA Divina D'Anna added "Broome has a thriving tourism and hospitality industry and these facilities will mean students have access to the very best training facilities right here where they live and work. These facilities will also hopefully be a drawcard for international students so they can study in the region and enjoy everything the Kimberley has to offer."

Training Minister Simone McGurk standing with an elderly woman

New support for jobseekers to address skills shortage

$5.5 million program to boost workforce

The WA State Government is investing $5.5 million for a new program to help more jobseekers get back into the workforce - easing skills shortages in industries such as construction, hospitality and health.

Through Job Reconnect, jobseekers can access free training, career advice or receive assistance to find a work placement - gaining the skills and confidence to transition back into the workforce. Eligible jobseeker cohorts currently include mature-age workers aged 45 and over, and people exiting the justice system who may be experiencing barriers to gaining employment.

The new program is informed by research on successful strategies to address barriers experienced by these jobseekers. Jobseekers can apply for $1,500 for help with work-related costs such as licences, specific upskilling requirements, work clothing, transport and childcare. Employers are also encouraged to provide these jobseekers with employment opportunities, with a $1,500 incentive payment per placement with 600 places available.

A 2021 study by the Council on the Ageing found the most common form of discrimination was age-related, with 26 per cent of Australians aged 50 years and over having experienced age discrimination while seeking employment or in the workplace.

Aged care health worker Carolynne Healey is one of the first to benefit from the new Job Reconnect program. Being out of the workforce for eight years, Carolynne jumped at the opportunity to be supported and trained in a meaningful new career. The 53-year-old grandmother is completing an aged care traineeship through Health Training Australia, which has led to securing a job with Aegis Aged Care Group's facility in Greenfields. Carolynne was supported by Health Training Australia to connect to employment in this priority industry.

The Job Reconnect program is a unique program that aims to support underutilised pockets of the workforce into meaningful employment.

To find out more about Job Reconnect, contact your local Jobs and Skills Centre to see how they can help - call 13 64 64 or visit jobsandskills.wa.gov.au/lifeexperience

Training Minister Simone McGurk said "There has never been a better time to train for a new career, and age is certainly no barrier - there are jobs out there for everyone. Feedback from the Perth and Regional Skills Summits indicated that drawing on untapped segments of the labour force would help ease skills shortages. There is a clear link between long term unemployment and age. Job Reconnect targets workers who may be overlooked by employers, because now more than ever, their transferable life skills, knowledge and experience can be harnessed to fill jobs in demand. "We recognise it's not always easy making a big career change later in life, and these payments will help jobseekers with the costs associated with that, while also providing employers with an additional incentive. These jobseekers have a lot to offer, and by helping them into work, it will address skills shortages in key industries, as well as giving 600 Western Australians the skills and confidence to start their dream careers."

Early childhood worker in classroom, playing with educational toys on the floor

Boost for regional early childhood education and care workforce

Supporting workforce participation across all industries

The WA State Government has released an action plan to further support the early childhood education and care (ECEC) workforce in regional Western Australia. The Workforce Action Plan addresses nine recommended strategies put forward by the State Training Board's Regional Early Childhood Education and Care Report.

The State Training Board is the Government's chief advisory body on WA's training and workforce needs. Implementing new training opportunities to help build a pipeline of skilled childcare educators remains a key priority for the State Government. According to the ABS Labour Force Survey, as of February 2023 an estimated 14,600 Western Australians are employed as child care workers or child care managers. Over the past 12 months the estimated number employed in these occupations has increased by 1,600.

Many of the initiatives put forward to support the training and development of skilled workers in early childhood education are already underway, including: funding local government grants to help attract and retain childcare workers as part of the State Government's $5.1 million election commitment to improve access to early childhood education and care in regional WA; providing low-fee existing worker traineeships for key early childhood education and care qualifications to help the sector address the need to upskill its workforce; and introducing an Early Childhood Education and Care Job Ready program, which provides entry-level candidates with a pathway into traineeships and jobs in the industry.

Job Ready programs are a fresh approach to short course training that can lead to direct employment. Prepared in collaboration with Community Skills WA, the State Training Board's Regional Early Childhood Education and Care Report was informed by extensive consultation with the regional early childhood education and care sector.

The report and the State Government's Workforce Action Plan are available on the State Training Board's website: https://www.stb.wa.gov.au

Training Minister Simone McGurk said "I commend the State Training Board and Community Skills WA for undertaking this in-depth review of the early childhood education and care workforce challenges in regional WA. This critical sector supports children's development and enables parents to work, and this report will guide how we identify training opportunities to further build the workforce. Helping women transition back into the workforce is vital to help fill skills shortages - and is an essential element in the Government's plan to support the WA economy. The McGowan Government is making significant investment in training, and the priorities identified in the report will help us support the sector into the future."

Early Childhood Education Minister Sabine Winton added "Early childhood educators play such a huge role in supporting our young children's development and growth. We know the benefits of good early childhood education and we can't do that without quality and dedicated early childhood educators and staff. These initiatives that our Government is putting in place will help to bolster our early childhood sector well into the future, so we can continue setting our children up for the best start in life."

Training Board Chair Jim Walker also added "A skilled and well supported early childhood education and care workforce is critical to meet childcare needs in the regions. The strategies identified in this report acknowledge the workforce challenges facing regional childcare providers and highlight the importance of access to quality local training and employment pathways. This review benefitted from the significant contributions of Community Skills WA, regional early childhood education and care sector stakeholders, including Regional Chambers of Commerce and Industry, and regional childcare providers. The State Training Board is pleased to see that the State Government has already commenced to deliver a number of important training initiatives, including the introduction of an Early Childhood Education and Care Job Ready program. The focus on regional training solutions is a key priority identified in the Board's State Training Plan 2022-23."

Four young Western Australian construction workers, wearing PPE and standing together for a group photo on site.

State Budget’s $93.4 million to support more West Aussies into jobs

$93.4 million investment to boost workforce

The WA State Government's track record of delivering initiatives to build a skilled workforce for the future continues with a $93.4 million investment in the 2023-24 Budget to maximise the number of working Western Australians. The investment prioritises supporting more Western Australians into local jobs and creating a pipeline of workers well into the future, while delivering initiatives to get skilled workers on the ground now.

Delivered through the Construction Training Fund (CTF), the funding includes $26.9 million to encourage local construction businesses to take on local apprentices and trainees. The funding will support employers with the costs of engaging an apprentice or trainee, increasing the Employer Grant from $10,000 to up to $12,000. To further support the construction workforce, $4.2 million has been allocated for a completion grant and tool and safety equipment rebate for eligible apprentices completing their training contract in the 2023-24 financial year. These eligible apprentices will be provided with a one-off $2,000 completion grant and a rebate of up to $500 for tools and or safety equipment.

The funding boost will also assist WA industries to tap into the under-utilised workforce by addressing barriers to participation in training and employment for young people starting out, Aboriginal people, and women returning to the workforce, including those living in regional WA. A $3.5 million investment will see the State Government's successful Heavy Vehicle Driving Operations training program expanded to the Kimberley and Pilbara regions. The program's expansion will support North Regional TAFE to deliver the training to around 350 participants over a four-year period. The course, which is an Australian first, has achieved a strong uptake from women increasing their representation in the truck driving industry.

An investment of $1.6 million over two years will extend a program across the State providing targeted and practical employment and training support for Aboriginal people for a further two years, starting 1 January 2024. Support provided through the program includes targeted services to reduce barriers to training and employment. This may include assisting participants to get industry tickets or drivers licences and providing work-related equipment, clothing and PPE.

A $2.5 million budget allocation will increase the travel and accommodation allowance for WA apprentices and trainees who are required to travel long distances off-the-job for their training. Through a $2.9 million work placement allowance and travel assistance program commencing in January 2024, eligible Diploma of Nursing students in regional WA will receive financial support to undertake up to 400 hours of practical placement required for their training where locally-based placements are unable to be offered.

The State Budget also includes $3 million to establish a new TAFE scholarship program to attract more women into occupations that are traditionally male-dominated and assist with covering their training costs and other associated expenses. Additionally, a new $11 million Construction Visa Subsidy Program will provide employers with grants to offset the costs of supporting overseas workers to fill jobs in WA's building and construction industry. The program will provide around 1,100 visa subsidies for employers of up to $10,000 to attract skilled migrants to the residential and commercial construction sector in 2023-24.

The State Government has also increased its record investment in essential TAFE infrastructure upgrades to $240 million for the Rebuilding our TAFEs program.

The initiatives respond to feedback from State-wide Skills Summits and consultation ahead of the 2022 Australian Jobs and Skills Summit and are important for addressing both the State's current skills needs and building a workforce for the future.

For more information, visit https://www.ourstatebudget.wa.gov.au

Training Minister Simone McGurk said "We're listening to industry and delivering practical initiatives that help overcome the barriers to training and equip students with the skills needed to take up jobs, while attracting skilled migrants to fill immediate vacancies in priority areas. Increased TAFE enrolments on the back of our low and fee-free courses has led to more Western Australians receiving the training needed by local industry than ever before. This Budget continues our Government's strong track record of delivering programs to assist under-represented groups to enter training and employment. We're also providing valuable incentives for employers and apprentices to help bolster our construction workforce. We will continue to align training delivery with the skill needs of local industries, taking into account the unique demands of regional WA."

Minister Simon McGurk standing with construction industry representatives

Targeted support to build WAs critical construction workforce

Boost for WA's skilled residential construction workforce

The WA State Government will deliver a $47.6 million boost to Western Australia's building and construction workforce in the 2023-24 Budget, which includes a range of new initiatives to ramp up local training and attraction of skilled workers from overseas. The additional funding is targeted to further grow the State's residential construction workforce and accelerate delivery of the current pipeline of homes, as well as expand industry capacity to deliver new housing supply to keep pace with population growth in WA.

New measures in this year's Budget include:

  • $26.9 million to increase the Base Employer Grant for all third and fourth-year apprentices by 20 per cent, from $10,000 to $12,000, to encourage local businesses to take on local workers;
  • $4.6 million for a one-off $2,000 completion payment to encourage more apprentices to finish their training in the building industry and for school students to learn about the diverse career options in construction;
  • expansion of the existing Group Training Organisation Wage Subsidy program to include apprentices and trainees in the residential and commercial construction industry, opening the program up to assist more small-to-medium businesses;
  • $2.7 million boost in resources to expedite approvals of occupational licensing;
  • $11 million for targeted visa subsidies of up to $10,000 to attract up to 1,100 skilled migrants to the building and construction sector, plus an additional $2.4 million to promote skilled migration to WA and visa advisory services; and
  • temporary changes to the State sponsored visa scheme to make it easier for skilled migrants to connect with job vacancies in WA.

These latest measures build on an extensive range of initiatives previously rolled out to support a locally skilled WA workforce. The State Government is already supporting priority industries to access skilled workers from interstate and overseas, including through temporary changes to the State Nominated Migration Program (SNMP) and the addition of 34 in-demand construction occupations to WA's Skilled Migration Occupation List.

Temporary amendments will be made to the SNMP criteria for 2023-24, including:

  • waiving the requirement to provide a six-month contract of employment for visa subclass 190 applicants for building and construction trade occupations; and
  • prioritising invitations for industries with critical demand for skilled workers, including building and construction, health and medical, teaching, tourism and hospitality occupations.

The McGowan Government is continuing its strong representation to the Commonwealth Government to secure additional places for the SNMP, requesting an increase to 10,000 places for the 2023-24 program year to support local industry to fill job vacancies and alleviate skills shortages. A $4.25 million Skilled Migration Job Connect program has also been established to remove barriers and connect migrants to employment in WA. The new program includes financial support of up to $7,500 for skilled migrants to undertake skills assessments, gap training and meet occupational licensing requirements, assisting newly arrived skilled migrants to gain employment in occupations commensurate with their formal overseas qualifications, skills, and experience.

The Skilled Migrant Employment Register is also helping to connect skilled migrants with WA jobs and will be further improved to make it easier for employers looking for workers to seamlessly connect with skilled migrants. With more than 4,600 migrants and more than 140 employers already registered, the Skilled Migrant Employment Register will be promoted through a digital advertising campaign, roadshow, and relevant government events.

For more information visit http://migration.wa.gov.au
 

The State Government is also establishing a Skilled Worker Attraction Government Steering Committee - to be chaired by Deputy Premier Roger Cook and Training Minister Simone McGurk - that will consult with industry and other key government stakeholders on matters relating to skilled worker attraction and addressing high-priority needs of the WA labour market, including the construction industry. This committee will also provide oversight of implementation of the Government's visa support programs.

These initiatives complement the Government's $195 million Reconnect WA program, which includes initiatives to attract overseas skilled workers, backpackers and international students to the State and several international advertising campaigns running to attract workers in key industries, including building and construction.

"The new migration initiatives funded in our 2023-24 Budget will ensure WA remains the State of choice for skilled migrants, helping employers fill vacant jobs in the building and construction sector." says Training Minister Simone McGurk. "But we are not losing sight of the importance of training local workers - the expansion of the Group Training Organisation Wage Subsidy program to the residential construction sector will help to attract more construction apprentices and trainees to this in-demand industry. There were already 10,000 apprentices and trainees in training for the building and construction sector at the end of 2022, including 500 women and a record number of building and construction electrical apprentices. "As a Government we're doing everything we can to not only encourage more workers to get into training, but to ensure that they finish their training - and take up rewarding positions in building and construction and other in-demand industries."

Housing Minister John Carey added "Our Government's message is clear - we're using every lever we can to boost housing choice and supply of social housing throughout Western Australia, particularly to support the most vulnerable members of our community. It's no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic significantly impacted and changed the housing market, in Australia and internationally, and in a heated construction market this initiative is set to attract more workers to our State, boost the delivery of housing and complement our existing innovative social housing reform program. We're already investing a record $2.4 billion in social housing and homelessness measures, which will deliver around 3,300 social dwellings and complete refurbishments and maintenance work to thousands more, with further announcements to be made in the 2023-24 Budget."

Two young male technicians and one female technician working on a machine.

Grants for developing new defence short courses open

Expressions of interest now open on Tenders WA

Western Australian defence industry firms and peak organisations can now apply for the first round of grants offered through the McGowan Government’s $2.5 million Defence industry grants program. Launched today, the new Defence Industry Reskilling and Upskilling Grants support the development and delivery of new, customised or existing education and training products to meet the defence industry’s current and emerging workforce needs.

The grants program invites defence industry firms, consortia of firms or peak bodies to partner with Team WA universities (Curtin University, Edith Cowan University, Murdoch University, and the University of Western Australia), or WA-based registered training organisations to develop new short courses that address the defence industry’s upskilling or reskilling priorities.

Training courses such as credit-bearing micro-credentials, accredited short courses and relevant Industry 4.0 products or skill sets, designed to reskill or upskill new entrants and existing workers quickly, are examples of products the program aims to support. The McGowan Government’s five years of planning and investment in defence training and workforce initiatives is providing new opportunities for Western Australians to take up jobs in this important and exciting industry.

Administered by the Department of Training and Workforce Development (DTWD), the Defence Industry Reskilling and Upskilling Grants are part of the McGowan Government’s $11 million package of initiatives to boost the industry’s professional and para-professional workforce. The investment builds on the State Government’s previous $18 million package to boost the State’s defence industry capabilities and trades workforce. DTWD through the Western Australian Defence Industry Workforce Office works closely with Defence West and education and training providers, with input from WA defence industry leading employers across all five defence capability domains of land, air, maritime, space, and information and cyber, to help to ensure WA has the skilled defence industry workforce it needs.

Funding for the grants program will be made available over three years, with a total of $800,000 available in 2023–24. The call for applications in round one is a two-stage process with expressions of interest now open. Selected applicants will then be invited to submit a more detailed application.

Expression of interest documentation can be downloaded through the Tenders WA website www.tenders.wa.gov.au. Expressions of Interest must be submitted via Tenders WA by 2.30pm on 18 May 2023.

More information is on the Jobs and Skills WA website jobsandskills.wa.gov.au/defence.

“The McGowan Government’s investment in a skilled defence industry workforce is important for preparing for current and future defence work as we position Western Australia to attract new defence projects over the next decade." says Training Minister Simone McGurk. “The new Defence Industry Reskilling and Upskilling Grants will increase the defence sector’s ability to recruit, attract and retain a skilled workforce and meet its unique skills needs. The McGowan Government continues to make defence a priority sector as part of its vision to better support our Defence Force, diversify the economy and create more jobs for Western Australians. I encourage defence industry firms and peak bodies to consider how they could partner with Western Australia’s Team WA universities or registered training organisations to help meet the current and future training needs of the defence sector.”

Defence Industry Minister Paul Papalia added "Our Government is committed to supporting the defence industry sector as it expands - ensuring we have the workers to meet WA's needs well into the future. With news that WA is going to be the home of our nation's nuclear-powered submarine fleet there are plenty of opportunities for people to be part of this exciting industry. Western Australia is a key player in the nation's defence industry and these grants will continue to build on our excellent track record."

Minister Simone McGurk with JSC Fremantle staff

Enhanced Aboriginal services and a new Jobs and Skills Centre

New JSC opens in Fremantle

Building on its strong commitment to involve more Aboriginal people in frontline service delivery, the WA State Government has enhanced Aboriginal services at Jobs and Skills Centres (JSCs) across the State and today opened a new JSC at South Metropolitan TAFE’s Fremantle campus. Strengthening JSC services for Aboriginal clients is part of the WA State Government’s commitments through its Aboriginal Empowerment Strategy and the National Agreement on Closing the Gap to deliver positive outcomes for Aboriginal people and communities.

The new JSC at the campus on Fleet Street in Fremantle means there are now 19 JSCs located across Western Australia. JSCs are a centrepiece of the McGowan Government’s priorities to increase training and employment of Aboriginal people and other groups under-represented in the workforce and to build a sustainable local workforce. Available to all members of the community, JSCs provide a one-stop-shop for local job seekers wanting free support to connect with training and job opportunities and employers. JSC services include specialist services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, which have been enhanced through an $8.14 million investment.

Approximately 30 Aboriginal employment and engagement officers are employed across the JSC network who work closely with employers and other key service providers in their area to integrate services and maximise training and employment opportunities for Aboriginal clients and to ensure culturally appropriate employment and career services are provided. Employers and businesses are encouraged to get in touch with their nearest JSC for support to increase their engagement with the Aboriginal community and to create a more culturally aware workplace that can attract and retain more Aboriginal employees.

Other enhancements include the inclusion of more Aboriginal artwork to ensure the JSCs provide a culturally supportive, vibrant and welcoming space for Aboriginal staff and clients, where community members and employers can meet, and find local information and resources. Providing greater opportunities for Aboriginal people to participate in the workforce and benefit from Western Australia’s strong economic growth emerged as a strong theme at the Perth and Regional Skills Summits. Establishing additional Aboriginal Services, including at Perth metropolitan JSCs at Fremantle and Perth TAFE campuses, will enhance opportunities for Aboriginal people to engage in sustainable employment and help meet the State’s skills shortages and growing workforce demand.

In April 2023, as part of its commitment to providing state-wide jobs and skills support, the McGowan Government announced the opening of a new JSC in Collie. This followed the August 2022 opening of two new JSCs in the Kimberley and Pilbara regions, located at North Regional TAFE's Kununurra and Pundulmurra campuses.

Contact your local Jobs and Skills Centre on 13 64 64 or visit the Jobs and Skills WA website for more information www.jobsandskills.wa.gov.au/jobs-and-skills-centre

 

“Current skills shortages provide an opportunity to increase the participation of Aboriginal people in Western Australia’s workforce, which is a priority of the McGowan Government. says Training Minister Simone McGurk. “The enhancement of Aboriginal services at state-wide Jobs and Skills Centres will help to provide a seamless experience for Aboriginal jobseekers looking for sustainable employment and for their prospective employers. The location of our newest Jobs and Skills Centre, the port city of Fremantle, is a hub for a range of industries, including the in demand retail, hospitality and tourism sectors, and is home to people of diverse backgrounds and cultures, including Aboriginal communities. “If you’re looking to enter training or work, or are part of a business wanting to connect with jobseekers or training to upskill your workforce, get in touch with your local Jobs and Skills Centre for free and friendly support.”

Aboriginal Affairs Minister Tony Buti added “The McGowan Government is committed to Australia’s reconciliation movement and to ensuring Aboriginal people benefit from Western Australia’s strong economic growth. “Ensuring Aboriginal people are involved in front line service delivery and in providing culturally appropriate and specialised services for prospective students and employers are key for maximising training and employment opportunities for Aboriginal people. “Through a coordinated approach, strengthened engagement and the potential to provide outreach services, Jobs and Skills Centres are a centrepiece of the McGowan Government’s priorities to increase Aboriginal training and employment.”

Female heavy vehicle driver wearing high-vis and sunglasses, sitting at the wheel of a truck

Heavy vehicle driver training expanded to cover new ground

Investment in targeted training opportunities

The WA State Government is rolling out its successful Heavy Vehicle Driving Operations training program to the Kimberley and Pilbara, to help train local people for local jobs. The expansion, funded as part of the 2023-24 State Budget, is expected to result in more truck drivers, including women and Aboriginal people, hitting the road. Developed in collaboration with industry to address the truck driver shortage during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Australian-first program provides theoretical and practical hands-on truck driver training to train job-ready workers for the priority transport industry.

The additional $3.5 million investment in the program will support North Regional TAFE to deliver the training to around 350 participants in the Pilbara and Kimberley over a four-year period, providing employment opportunities for local people, including Aboriginal people, living in these regions. It will also support the economy, including government civil construction projects, by providing a trained, local heavy vehicle workforce, and address the need for heavy vehicle driver training in the Kimberley and Pilbara. Run in the metropolitan area from April 2021, and expanded to the South West and Mid West over the past two years, the Heavy Vehicle Driving Operations program trains new workers and upskills existing workers to combat skills shortages, and supports the transport and logistics industry.

As of February 2023, of the 552 participants enrolled at a TAFE college to undertake the Heavy Vehicle Driving Operations program, 282 had achieved either a Heavy Rigid, Heavy Combination, or Multi Combination licence. Significantly, around 30 per cent of participants in the course have been women, compared to the overall female representation among truck drivers in WA being less than four per cent.

More information on the initiative is available on the Jobs and Skills WA website www.jobsandskills.wa.gov.au/skillsready.

“The McGowan Government’s partnership with industry to deliver this course – the first of its kind in Australia - is helping to create the highly skilled and inclusive workforce needed for a strong, diversified and sustainable economy. says Training Minister Simone McGurk. “Participants are given practical, hands-on experience, ensuring they’re job-ready when they complete their course, and I’m particularly excited to see so many women taking up the opportunity. The Heavy Vehicle Driving Operations training program has helped hundreds of people gain employment in the heavy haulage industry, and I’m confident that success will be replicated when it’s expanded to the Kimberley and Pilbara. Our 2023-24 State Budget continues important work towards removing barriers so all Western Australians can gain the skills needed for rewarding careers.”

Transport Minister Rita Saffioti added “It’s fantastic to see such a strong uptake in the Heavy Vehicle Driving Operations course since it began two years ago, and this expansion will provide a much-needed boost to the transport industry in the Kimberley and Pilbara. “With 350 participants expected through the course over the next four years, the McGowan Government is helping to create a pipeline of skilled workers for this essential industry well into the future. “Supporting economic growth, industry diversification and greater regional engagement, remain our key priorities.”

Training Minister Simone McGurk, Premier Mark McGowan, Collie-Preston MLA Jodie Hanns, and Regional Development Minister Don Punch cutting the ribbon to open the Collie JSC

Jobs and Skills Centre opens to support Collie workers

Support for Collie workers has reached another milestone today, with a new Jobs and Skills Centre (JSC) opening in the heart of the local community as the town continues its transition to a more sustainable future.

The new Collie JSC at the Collie Central Shopping Centre is a one-stop shop for workforce transition services, supporting community members and businesses needing to look for new opportunities as State-owned coal-fired power stations are retiring over the coming years.

Support for Collie workers has reached another milestone today, with a new Jobs and Skills Centre (JSC) opening in the heart of the local community as the town continues its transition to a more sustainable future.

The new Collie JSC at the Collie Central Shopping Centre is a one-stop shop for workforce transition services, supporting community members and businesses needing to look for new opportunities as State-owned coal-fired power stations are retiring over the coming years.

The new Collie JSC provides free and practical career, training and employment assistance, and is the base for South Regional TAFE's Training Transition Team.

The Training Transition Team provides services including free skills assessments and individual training transition plans to support the retraining of local workers in a coordinated way.

Local businesses and industries can access specialist support for their training needs including the development of a training needs plan, a skills gap analysis to identify opportunities to upskill workers, and assessment of new workers' skills and experience to identify training solutions.

The support is part of the McGowan Government's $662 million Collie Transition Package to provide opportunities for workers and the community and ensure there continues to be well-paid, local, blue-collar jobs in the Collie region.

Services at Western Australia's JSCs are free and accessible to all members of the community. Contact your local JSC on 13 64 64 or visit the Jobs and Skills WA website for more information http://www.jobsandskills.wa.gov.au/jobs-and-skills-centre

Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan:

"Supporting local workers is our number one priority as State-owned coal-fired power generation is retired and Collie transitions to a more sustainable future.

"My Government is getting on with bringing new industries and new businesses to Collie, and we are ensuring that local workers have the support and training needed to transition into new career pathways.

"The Collie Jobs and Skills Centre is a one-stop shop for workers and businesses in Collie, and I encourage all local workers to take advantage of this free, practical and tailored support."

Comments attributed to Training Minister Simone McGurk:

"This Government is committed to ensuring there continues to be well paid blue-collar jobs in the Collie region - and that locals have the right skills for those jobs.

"If you're a local worker needing to transition to a new field, or an employer looking to find workers, this centre has all the services in place to help you do that.

"It offers free, practical assistance to help people get jobs - such as preparing job applications and CVs, developing tailored training plans and providing career advice to help you take the next step."

Comments attributed to Collie-Preston MLA Jodie Hanns:

"I'm so proud we've established the Collie Jobs and Skills Centres as a one-stop-shop for students, jobseekers and career changers. 

"Every day, the Collie Jobs and Skills centre will assist people in our community to find stable, local jobs and support local businesses to grow and upskill their workforce, securing our town's future." 

State Government to bolster WA’s future regional workforce

State Government to bolster WA’s future regional workforce

The State Government has unveiled new initiatives in the 2023-24 State Budget that will support students in regional Western Australia while they study at TAFE and with contracted private providers.

  • State Government commits funding to boost training outcomes in the regions and skill Western Australians for local jobs
  • $5.4 million investment in the 2023-24 State Budget includes practical measures to support students in regional Western Australia
  • Funding includes work placement and travel assistance for regional nursing students
  • Travel and accommodation allowance increased for regional apprentices and trainees
  • Funding reducing barriers for regional students to kick-start their careers

The State Government has unveiled new initiatives in the 2023-24 State Budget that will support students in regional Western Australia while they study at TAFE and with contracted private providers.

Training Minister Simone McGurk and Health Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson made the announcement while visiting North Regional TAFE's Health and Community Services Training Centre at the Pundulmurra (South Hedland) campus.

A new package providing a weekly work placement and travel allowance for regional nursing students will help address the growing demand for skilled workers in the health sector.

The $2.9 million investment will commence in January 2024 for a two-year period and delivers on the State Government's commitment to attract and retain skilled workers across the State - building a workforce for jobs of the future.

The initiative will provide eligible Diploma of Nursing students with financial support to undertake the up to 400 hours of practical placement required for their training where locally-based placements aren't available.

The allowance will be $350 per week with a travel allowance of $1,000 per training block for the Kimberley and Pilbara and $500 per block for other regions except Peel, which will be an allowance of $350 per week.

In a further boost for regional students, the travel and accommodation allowance for WA apprentices, trainees, cadets and interns who are required to travel long distances off-the-job for their training will increase.

To address rising costs of living and barriers to training for regional students, the per-kilometre rate will double from 20 cents to 40 cents. The accommodation allowance rate will also be boosted by up to 43 per cent.

The $2.5 million initiative will address the increased gap in out-of-pocket expenses for regional students for a two-year period from 1 July 2023.

This investment forms part of the State Government's Budget initiatives to support WA industries to tap into the under-utilised areas of workforce by addressing barriers to participation in training and employment in WA.

Comments attributed to Training Minister Simone McGurk:

"As a Government, we're committed to building a skilled workforce now and into the future - and these initiatives will help remove barriers to training so regional students have more opportunities to boost their skills and take on local jobs.

"There are often additional expenses for students training in the regions and the incentives will not only provide cost of living support, but will result in more skilled Western Australians ready to join the workforce and meet the needs of industry across the State.

"This announcement forms part of our targeted programs aiming to boost participation and assist students to complete their training.

"We want to send a message to people considering a new career to follow their dreams - there has never been a better time to get into training in Western Australia, no matter where you live."

Comments attributed to Health Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson:

"The weekly work placement allowance and travel allowance are great incentives for our nursing students living in regional locations to access work placements.

"As a Government, we are doing everything we can to attract healthcare workers to our world-class public health system.

"Now has never been a better time to train to become a nurse and work in some of the most interesting parts of the State."

Comments attributed to Pilbara MLA Kevin Michel:

 "It's a reality in the Pilbara that students can sometimes be required to travel long distances as part of their training and this boost to travel and accommodation allowances will reduce out of pocket expenses.

"There are plenty jobs out there, and we want to help ensure students finish their qualifications so they can work right here, and the benefits flow on to local communities."

A man on laptop, looking at the new Training Accreditation Council website

TAC launches new website

Streamlined support and information for WA’s VET sector

Congratulations to the Training Accreditation Council (TAC), who have today launched their new website at wa.gov.au/tac. Established under the Vocational Education and Training Act 1996, TAC is Western Australia’s independent statutory body for quality assurance and recognition of vocational education and training (VET) services.

It registers training providers under the Standards for Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) 2015 and accredits VET courses under the Australian Quality Training Framework (AQTF). The TAC website is a key source of information and support for RTOs and VET organisations and practitioners across WA, and promotes initiatives including TAC’s Education Program. The wa.gov.au platform is part of a key WA State Government strategy to consolidate all government agency websites under one domain, to streamline service delivery and make it easier for Western Australians to locate information and services online.

The transition to the wa.gov.au platform is a significant step towards making TAC's services more accessible to Western Australians. The new web address will make it easier for people to find TAC's website, and improve TAC's visibility and accessibility. Website content has been reviewed, updated and streamlined into a user-friendly structure with a fresh new look. We encourage you to update your bookmarks and saved links to the new TAC website. For your convenience, a guide with links to the new location for our most frequently visited webpages is available.

 
Artist impression of new METRONET training facility

New METRONET training facility open for training

$5.4 million METRONET Trade Training Centre now complete

Construction of the $5.4 million specialist METRONET Trade Training Centre at North Metropolitan TAFE’s Midland campus is across the line, with Training Minister Simone McGurk and Transport Minister Rita Saffioti today officially opening the centre – the first dedicated public facility of its kind in Western Australia.

The new training centre was built to support training for jobs in the rail industry and to meet the diverse training needs of the McGowan Government’s $6 billion METRONET program, WA’s biggest and most complex public transport network ever undertaken. The METRONET Trade Training Centre also recognises the extensive private and public rail infrastructure that supports key drivers of the Western Australian economy such as the resources and agricultural sectors.

The centre supports the delivery of a pipeline of workers to address skill shortages in highly technical roles that are critical to industry supply chains. Developed in consultation with industry, the facility includes rail signalling workshops, a dual-track level crossing, a maintenance track and crossover, and a signalling equipment room to enable hands-on training.

A section of rail line is in place for training in maintenance of various gauges of rail. Reflecting industry standards, the centre has been the beneficiary of donated specialised equipment from some of the giants of the Western Australian rail sector. Strong demand has seen the engagement of several groups of rail signalling technicians use the facilities for the Certificate IV in Rail Signalling. From April, up to 15 secondary school students will also benefit from the new facilities when they commence the Certificate II in Rail Infrastructure through the Vocational Education and Training Delivered to Secondary Students (VETDSS) program.

Students will be supported with local training for a range of projects, creating job opportunities for local workers, pre-apprentices and apprentices while upskilling workers for construction and maintenance of WA’s wider rail network as well as METRONET. The centre is further to the State Government's record $215.8 million investment in key infrastructure projects that continue to be rolled out at TAFE colleges across the State, creating world-class learning facilities for all Western Australians.

For more information on courses available visit: www.jobsandskills.wa.gov.au.

“The McGowan Government is committed to investing in world-class training facilities that deliver high-level training." says Training Minister Simone McGurk. “The METRONET Trade Training Centre will provide practical training that will lead to jobs and ensure a pipeline of skilled workers required to support METRONET and WA’s wider rail network well in to the future. Our Government is investing heavily in our State’s TAFE network to create world class, industry standard learning facilities for all Western Australians.”

Transport Minister Rita Saffioti added “This training facility is another milestone for the METRONET program. METRONET is providing state-of-the-art infrastructure our suburbs need, changing the way people commute around the city and reducing congestion on our roads. The McGowan Government’s $6 billion METRONET program is expected to create thousands of local jobs and opportunities for local businesses, making the METRONET Trade Training Centre an essential training facility and key element in supporting WA’s rail industry.”

Two defence space industry workers, working in a tall tower structure in Exmouth

New partnership supports local defence space industry workforce

New partnership supports local defence space industry workforce 

South Metropolitan TAFE (SM TAFE) is joining forces with defence space capability partner Raytheon Australia to train its Exmouth workforce and support local jobs for local people.

Announced today as part of Raytheon Australia’s new Invested in Exmouth Program, the partnership continues SM TAFE’s strong track record working with the defence industry to meet its training needs and supports initiatives to keep world-class talent in Exmouth.

Raytheon Australia is celebrating a decade in Exmouth serving as the capability partner for defence at the Harold E. Holt (HEH) precinct.

With Raytheon Australia’s 1,500 person workforce expected to grow significantly in the next two years, SM TAFE will help overcome barriers to local training and perform a training needs analysis of its diverse workforce.

Drawing on its long-standing involvement with the defence industry, SM TAFE will work closely with Central Regional TAFE to provide local training opportunities.

The new Space Surveillance Telescope facility that was commissioned at the HEH precinct in late 2022 will provide increased levels of space awareness for Australia and the US, creating a pipeline of space careers in the region. 

The Invested in Exmouth Program is a new community and workforce skilling initiative for the region that is designed to ensure the community has the robust skills, knowledge and infrastructure it needs to keep pace as the strategic naval and space capabilities as the HEH Precinct becomes increasingly important.

Other initiatives in the Raytheon Australia program include:

  • introducing 10 new scholarships for the Exmouth High School; 
  • more defence industry rotations in Exmouth for serving military members; 
  • new summer internships; 
  • expanded volunteer firefighting training to include virtual sessions; 
  • and new leadership courses delivered in Exmouth by Melbourne Business School. 

SM TAFE was named Academic Institution of the Year at the 2022 Defence Connect Australian Defence Industry Awards in Canberra.

The national award highlights SM TAFE’s record of providing specialist support and job-ready defence, shipbuilding and sustainment workers, supported by the McGowan Government's record $240 million investment in TAFE infrastructure and equipment.

A dedicated defence industry team located at the Rockingham Jobs and Skills Centre works with jobseekers and employers to provide advice on training pathways to employment in the defence industry and can be contacted on 08 9599 8655. More information is available at http://www.jobsandskills.wa.gov.au/defence

“The McGowan Government has invested $35 million to directly support the development of a strong and sustainable defence industry workforce for Western Australia." says Training Minister Simone McGurk. “South Metropolitan and Central Regional TAFEs’ work with Raytheon Australia will provide opportunities for local people to build a career in Exmouth. Fostering strong links between WA TAFE colleges, government, industry and the education sector is key for developing creative solutions to workforce issues and keeping Western Australia’s economy strong.” 

Defence Industry Minister Paul Papalia said, “South Metropolitan TAFE has been recognised as the nation’s leading defence trainer, and this partnership with Raytheon Australia will help support the world class defence capabilities in Exmouth. This partnership highlights the expertise of TAFEs and their role in creating skilled workers while helping to diversify the economy, create more jobs for Western Australians and better support our sovereign capability.”

Raytheon Australia Managing Director Michael Ward added, "Raytheon Australia’s Invested in Exmouth Program will expand on our existing initiatives while introducing several new partnerships aimed at organically growing and keeping world-class talent in Exmouth. For our defence customers, our efforts here have delivered significant cost efficiencies and safety improvements, but beyond this we have also generated dozens of education opportunities, provided $50 million in work for local businesses, sustained more than 120 local jobs as part of Raytheon Australia, not to mention the flow on jobs created by circulating $200 million of local wages through the community. Ultimately, the collaboration that we have generated between the Exmouth community and Raytheon Australia is a practical demonstration of what can be achieved when people come together with a shared vision.”

Male and female defence worker, sitting at computer and smiling at camera

Feedback invited on new defence reskilling and upskilling grants

New grants program for defence industry

As the State Government prepares its new $2.5 million Defence industry grants program for take-off, industry stakeholders are being invited to provide feedback on the expression of interest document ahead of applications opening. The new Defence Industry Reskilling and Upskilling Grants will support the development and delivery of new, customised or existing education and training products to meet the defence industry’s current and emerging workforce needs.

The grants program will soon invite defence industry firms, consortia of firms or peak bodies to partner with Team WA universities (Curtin University, Edith Cowan University, Murdoch University, and the University of Western Australia), or WA-based registered training organisations to develop and deliver micro-credentials, accredited short courses and skill sets that address the defence industry’s upskilling or reskilling priorities.

Applying for the grants will be a two-stage process starting with an expression of interest. Selected applicants will then be invited to provide a more detailed application. Administered by the Department of Training and Workforce Development (DTWD), the Defence Industry Reskilling and Upskilling Grants are part of the State Government’s $11 million package of initiatives to boost the industry’s professional and para-professional workforce.

The investment builds the State Government’s previous $18 million package to boost the State’s defence industry capabilities and trades workforce. Western Australian defence industry firms and peak organisations can provide feedback on the draft expression of interest documentation via the Tenders WA website www.tenders.wa.gov.au. There will also be a briefing session for industry stakeholders to provide further information on the grants program and receive feedback on the expression of interest documentation.

“The McGowan Government continues to work closely with the defence sector to ensure our Government’s significant investment in defence workforce initiatives hits the mark when it comes to preparing the State to attract new defence projects over the next decade." says Training Minister Simone McGurk. “The new Defence Industry Reskilling and Upskilling Grants will increase the defence sector’s ability to recruit, attract and retain a skilled workforce and meet its unique skills needs. Before the new grants program is launched, defence industry stakeholders are being given the opportunity to preview the draft expression of interest documentation and provide feedback. This step in the process will help to ensure the pilot grants program is primed for take-off and take-up by defence industry partners across all five defence capability domains of land, air, maritime, space and information, and cyber.”

"WA is going to be the home of our nation's future nuclear-powered submarine fleet, and in the very near future, a home away from home for our AUKUS allies." added Defence Industry Minister Paul Papalia. "Our State is in line to receive billions of dollars of investment and thousands of jobs. The McGowan Government is supporting our excellent Defence industry sector as it expands to meet the exciting new opportunities on the near horizon."

Two male apprentice mechanics wearing hi-vis gear in an automotive workshop

Major TAFE upgrade underway for specialist trades in Albany

Delivering modern industry-relevant training in vital trades

A major upgrade is underway at South Regional TAFE’s Albany campus, bringing modern new training facilities to the Great Southern region. The $22.17 million new trades workshops will be used to deliver training in traditional trades such as automotive, metals and engineering, and electrical and plumbing.

The state-of-the-art workshops will replace the ageing 50 year-old trade facilities, and will provide a contemporary training setting in line with local industry needs. The upgrades include construction of new specialist workshops for heavy and light auto, metals fabrication and electrical and plumbing, and new contemporary classroom spaces for students.

The project also includes relocating and upgrading the existing Skills Training Workshop, and a new classroom for training of working at heights and confined spaces. After completion of the main trade workshop project, a separate project will be initiated to enable the transformation of an existing structure into a new carpentry and joinery workshop for the precinct.

The new facilities will allow more young people and local jobseekers access to specialist trade training in the region, with student capacity expected to increase by approximately 20 per cent. The project is being constructed by local builder Wauters Building Company, employing more than 200 workers throughout construction, including apprentices and trainees. Design was carried out by Albany architectural firm H+H Architects. Construction is expected to be completed in mid-2024. The State Government is investing a record $215.8 million to upgrade essential infrastructure at TAFE campuses across Western Australia.

“The major upgrade at South Regional TAFE’s Albany campus is a huge gain for the Great Southern region, with more people able to train locally and meet the workforce needs of local industry." says Training Minister Simone McGurk “The $22.17 million project is expected to boost student numbers by approximately 20 per cent, as well as provide jobs for local workers throughout construction. The McGowan Government has made a significant investment to modernise TAFE colleges across the State - including regional areas - ensuring all Western Australian TAFE students are training in modern, world-class facilities.”

"These state-of-the-art facilities will ensure students will have access to high-tech local training that will ensure they're job ready." added Albany MLA Rebecca Stephens. "The upgrades will also boost student capacity and enable them to stay right here in Albany to train and work. "Better training opportunities are not only good for students, they're good for the whole region."

Read the full media statement here 

Female industrial engineer or technician worker in hard helmet and uniform using laptop checking on robotic arm machine. woman work hard in heavy technology invention industry manufacturing factory

Building equal and safe workplaces on International Women's Day

New initiatives to create safer and more inclusive workplaces

The State Government has today announced two new initiatives to create safer and more inclusive workplaces for women. The State Government is investing $3 million to establish a new TAFE scholarship program to attract women into occupations that are traditionally male-dominated and assist with covering their training costs and other associated expenses.

The scholarships would be available for a range of STEM, building and construction occupations with female workforce participation of less than 25 per cent to increase pathways for women to higher-paying jobs. Broadening recent efforts to address health and safety issues impacting women in the mining industry, a new Women's Workplace Safety Hub is now available for all industries. The online hub provides contemporary information and resources for both women who are experiencing workplace harassment and employers looking for resources to prevent harassment in their workplace, including what constitutes sexual harassment, how to make a complaint, and where to go if you are in need of immediate assistance and support.

For International Women's Day 2023, Premier Mark McGowan and Women's Interests Minister Sue Ellery today joined construction industry leaders to highlight how safe and inclusive workplaces are key to encouraging more women to enter and stay in construction and other traditionally male-dominated industries that are currently crying out for workers. WA has the highest gender pay gap in Australia, partly due to occupational segregation in high-paying industries such as construction and mining.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, in 2022 women made up just 18 per cent of the building and construction industry's workforce, while they make up a significantly lower proportion of those in trades. This year's theme for International Women's Day is 'Cracking the Code' to highlight how innovation, inclusive technologies and accessible education can combat discrimination and marginalisation of women around the world. In recent years, there have been significant increases in women taking up publicly funded TAFE course enrolments across many areas of industry, including construction.

The number of female apprentices in training in building and construction trades has grown by 228 per cent. The State Government today also launched its Stronger Together Annual Progress Report, providing the latest update on programs and actions progressed since Stronger Together: WA's Plan for Gender Equality was launched in March 2020. One of the key actions identified in the report has now been achieved, with 50 per cent of WA public service Senior Executive Services (SES) contracts now held by women - up from 33 per cent in 2018.

 

 

Premier Mark McGowan said "We need to ensure women and girls have more opportunities to access education and training pathways to careers in technology, engineering and science and higher-paying occupations in industries like building and construction. There has been a concerted effort to achieve parity in WA's public service, and I am pleased to have reached the key milestone of 50 per cent women in senior executive positions in a much shorter timeframe than was originally forecast. There is of course more to do, and our new scholarship program and workplace safety hub build on the significant work my Government has already undertaken to achieve this."

Women's Interests Minister Sue Ellery added "International Women's Day is a time to reflect on the gains we have made in the push for gender equality, and recognise that there is still much to do. While progress has been made, barriers still exist for women entering male-dominated industries, including higher rates of sexual harassment. We want to see more women putting their hand up to work in trades, and high-paying occupations they haven't even considered to be an option before. The new Women's Workplace Safety Hub builds on existing work to respond to the recommendations of the Enough is Enough report and will play an important role in breaking down the barriers that exist for women in all workplaces, particularly those in male-dominated industries. The McGowan Government is committed to driving gender equality in Western Australia, and we need employers' support to ensure women are safe at work and not being shut out of new opportunities."

Training Minister Simone McGurk added "As a government we want to send a clear message that women can - and should - get into traditionally male-dominated roles. Industry needs the skills women have to offer and we know that women want good jobs. The TAFE scholarship program will help break down the financial barriers that may discourage women from reaching for their full potential. There are some challenges recruiting right now and it makes sense to do everything we can to attract more women into these high-paying jobs. Women who take on these roles can face significant challenges, and we need to throw our support behind them so they continue to pave the way for others."

Image of apprentice chefs standing in a commercial kitchen, showing the meals they prepared

WA Jobs, Education and Training Survey for 2023 is now available

Understanding WA's workforce and skills needs

The Department of Training and Workforce Development (the Department) is undertaking the Western Australian Jobs, Education and Training (WAJET) Industry and Regional Stakeholder Survey for 2023.

The aim of the survey is to gather information to understand the current and expected skills and workforce development needs of industries in Western Australia. Feedback from the survey will be used to help shape:

  • prioritisation of training (feedback informs the development of the State Priority Occupation List);
  • local/regional training delivery;
  • migration pathways;
  • training infrastructure planning; and
  • other training and workforce initiatives and priorities to meet industry needs.

We invite industry and regional stakeholders to participate in the survey and assist the Department in gaining a better understanding of WA’s workforce and skills needs.

The survey will remain open until 31 March 2023.

Should you have any questions in relation to the survey, please email RWD@dtwd.wa.gov.au.

We encourage you to follow the Department’s social media channels on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter for the latest updates and to engage with us.

Group photo of WA Training Awards 2022 winners at award ceremony

Time to shine! Applications now open for WA Training Awards

Recognising outstanding achievements of apprentices, trainees, employers, and training organisations

The search is on for the brightest stars in Western Australia’s vocational education and training (VET) sector through the WA Training Awards 2023. Applications are now open for the prestigious awards, which recognise the outstanding achievements of apprentices, trainees, employers and training organisations across the State. The awards celebrate excellence in the training sector, showcasing best practice and acknowledging the State’s best achievers across 13 categories. This year there are eight individual and five organisation categories:

Individual categories

  • WA Apprentice of the Year;
  • WA Trainee of the Year;
  • WA Vocational Student of the Year;
  • WA Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year;
  • WA School-based Apprentice of the Year;
  • WA Trainer of the Year;
  • WA Cultural Diversity Training Award; and
  • WA International Student of the Year.

Organisation categories

  • WA Small Employer of the Year;
  • WA Large Employer of the Year;
  • WA Industry Collaboration Award;
  • WA Small Training Provider of the Year; and
  • WA Large Training Provider of the Year.

As well as being recognised as the best in the State, individual award winners will receive $3,000 to further their training or kick-start their career. Organisation winners will be recognised as industry leaders. Winners will be announced at a presentation ceremony in September and may go on to represent WA at the Australian Training Awards in Hobart in November.

Last year WA triumphed at the peak national awards, with three Western Australian finalists named as winners, including Trainee of the Year Brittany-Leigh Wragg. Brittany-Leigh was one of the first students to study a Certificate III in Defence Industry Pathways, gaining real-life experience and paving her way in a male-dominated industry, with support from South Metropolitan TAFE and Programmed Training Services. Wayne Ryder, a graduate of the Australian Institute of Management WA, was named Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year for being a role model for others and his work to promote health and wellbeing for at-risk Aboriginal people.

To apply or for more information, including application guides and templates, visit www.dtwd.wa.gov.au/watrainingawards.

Applications close 28 April, 2023, and support with the application process is available by contacting watrainingawards@dtwd.wa.gov.au or calling 08 6551 5155.

“The Western Australian training system is one of the best in the world, with vocational pathways leading directly to jobs." says Training Minister Simone McGurk. “Now in their 29th year, the WA Training Awards celebrate incredible efforts in the VET sector, putting a spotlight on the State’s highest achievers and brightest stars. I encourage all apprentices, trainees, employers and training organisations to celebrate their success and apply for this year’s awards.”

Premier Mark McGowan with Minister Simon McGurk at Joondalup TAFE construction site

Upgrades at Joondalup TAFE to train workers for jobs of the future

Construction begins on training centre 

Works have commenced on the $20.4 million upgrade of North Metropolitan TAFE Joondalup, bringing light automotive training facilities to the northern suburbs. Premier Mark McGowan and Training Minister Simone McGurk visited the Kendrew Crescent campus today to check on the progress of the new facilities. The project involves construction of a two-storey light automotive centre, which will be used to deliver high-tech training in new and emerging auto technologies, including electric vehicles. The building will also house specialist training facilities for technological innovations in the horticulture industry.

This will fit alongside the new horticulture workshop completed in 2021. The new training centre will provide purpose-built spaces for the rapidly changing automotive industry to meet future industry training needs. Students will learn using cutting-edge technology, including car hoists, compressed air reticulation and exhaust fume extraction. The facilities also include laboratories for diagnostics as well as technical and collision-avoidance technology. New computer training rooms, a robotics laboratory, office space and a conference room will be located on the centre's upper level, along with an environmental biodiversity laboratory to support the use of drones and precision irrigation in horticulture.

Construction is being carried out by McCorkell Constructions WA, employing more than 55 workers including apprentices and trainees throughout the project. Students are expected to be training in the new centre during Semester 2, 2024. Designed by Hunt Architects, the project is one of 14 major capital works projects taking place at TAFE colleges across the State, as part of the McGowan Government's $215.8 million investment in upgrading essential TAFE infrastructure.

"With light automotive training facilities already established at TAFE colleges in Carlisle, Kwinana and Midland, the new state-of-the-art facilities will bring training for this essential trade to the northern suburbs. says Premier Mark McGowan. "This investment in WA's workforce supports the development of skills needed for emerging technologies in new vehicles such as automation, collision avoidance and electrification. The major upgrades to the Joondalup campus are part of the largest TAFE capital works program in WA history and providing modern facilities to help develop the workforce of the future continues to be a key priority for my Government."

Training Minister Simone McGurk added "Technology is changing fast, and it's vital students have access to the most cutting-edge facilities so that when they complete their course they can hit the ground running. We want to remove as many barriers to training and upskilling as possible and that's why it's so important to bring this light automotive centre to the heart of the northern suburbs, close to where people live and work. With a growing population in the northern suburbs and high demand for skilled automotive workers, this investment will set local residents up for local jobs."

Joondalup MLA Emily Hamilton added "I'm thrilled that students will soon be able to study at the first light automotive training centre in our northern suburbs. The light automotive centre will build on Joondalup's reputation as a centre for innovation in WA. This new facility will equip our kids for the jobs of the future in emerging technology, including drones, right here in Joondalup."

Group photo of the Australian Prime Minister and several Western Australian Ministers

Australian and WA Governments skills agreement delivers results

Surge in enrolments in fee free courses at the start of Semester 1

Western Australian TAFE colleges are experiencing a surge in enrolments in Fee-Free courses thanks to a landmark partnership between the Australian and Western Australian Governments. As students take advantage of the first opportunity to access fee free training through FREE in ‘23, WA TAFE colleges have seen a surge in enrolments in fee free courses at the start of Semester 1, with a 10 per cent increase in fee free courses compared to the same time period in 2022.

More than half of the 18,800 Fee-Free places provided under the agreement have already been snapped up by Western Australians. There have been almost 13,000 enrolments in Fee-Free courses and skill sets in semester one, highlighting the demand for and the importance of access to education and training. The Free in ‘23 initiative, designed to boost skills development in priority areas, is already achieving results. Qualifications in early childhood education and care; aged and disability care; nursing and technology have seen the strongest enrolments, adding much needed skills for these priority industries.

Women and young people aged 15 to 24 in particular are enjoying the benefits of Fee-Free training for full qualifications, making up 66 per cent and 41 per cent of the cohort respectively. These early results are promising, providing opportunities for priority groups in the Western Australian community, and training workers for critical industries such as the care sector, technology and digital, hospitality and tourism, construction, agriculture and defence. Fee-Free training is now available across more than 100 courses including a range qualifications and skill sets with all Western Australians eligible to access the program at WA TAFE colleges and training providers.

In WA, plans are also underway to implement the Australian Government’s $8.2 million TAFE Technology Fund to improve training facilities in the state. North Metropolitan TAFE’s Midland campus was allocated $3.24 million to transform the campus into a renewables training hub, through the installation of a wind turbine and working at heights training tower, and equipment upgrades for the METRONET Trade Training Centre. North Metropolitan TAFE’s training facility will support the existing workforce, while also training for future green trades and emerging technologies to be at the forefront of a growing industry.

“The Albanese Government recognises Western Australia’s strong economy and ongoing high demand for skilled workers in the State. says Minister for Skills and Training Brendan O'Connor.  “The encouraging take-up of Fee-Free TAFE and VET courses following the agreement between the Commonwealth and Western Australian Government is a positive sign that people are ready to train for vital industries that will be in demand now and in the future. Whether it’s in renewable energy, the care sector, technology and digital, hospitality and tourism, construction, agriculture or defence, Fee-Free TAFE and VET removes financial barriers for Western Australians to access training to upskill or reskill for jobs in priority sectors. Our end goal is to provide greater opportunity for West Australians to have secure and rewarding work.”

Minister for Training Simone McGurk added “The WA Government is committed to providing opportunities for all Western Australians to access training, allowing them to benefit from our State’s strong economic position, low unemployment and thriving jobs market. Our joint investment builds on the WA Government’s track record of supporting the State’s priority workforce through free and low fee training – and it is encouraging so see so many enrolments in early childhood education and care, aged and disability care, nursing and technology. Increasing opportunities for all helps priority groups access training and I’m especially pleased to see so many women and young people taking advantage of the opportunity to gain new skills or upskill for jobs of the future.”

Read the full media statement here

Minister Simone McGurk at South Metropolitan TAFE

$2 million world-class maritime simulators for South Metropolitan TAFE

New simulator to be ready for Semester 1, 2023

Maritime students at South Metropolitan TAFE’s Fremantle campus are set to benefit from world-class simulator technology, preparing future shipmasters, officers and engineers for their maritime careers. The $2 million state-of-the-art maritime simulator suite has fully upgraded SMT’s maritime training capability, ensuring students are using the latest technology to gain the skills needed for border patrol, naval defence and oil and gas industries.

The simulators will allow for training in new and emerging maritime technologies and maritime engineering studies, while meeting the regulatory requirements of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) and international maritime safety standards. The new equipment and work-stations will provide students with the latest and most advanced maritime training on the western seaboard, with the flexibility of the simulators also enabling expansion at any time – future-proofing the training tools. The simulators will provide training for a broad range of operations, including navigation, ship handling and manoeuvring, bridge watch-keeping, ship interaction, varying environmental conditions, communication and Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS), tugging and tow master/pilot training and responses in emergencies.

Contracts were awarded to two suppliers; Kongsberg Digital in Norway for bridge, engine, electronic chart display and ship stability simulators; and Wartsila Voyage Limited in Finland for the GMDSS. The project is part of the State Government’s biggest TAFE investment in history, with $215.8 million going towards essential infrastructure upgrades across the five Western Australian TAFE Colleges.

“The McGowan Government is committed to upgrading Western Australia’s TAFE network." says Training Minister Simone McGurk. “The $2 million suite of state-of-the-art maritime simulators will be a huge boost to South Metropolitan TAFE’s maritime students. By training with cutting edge technology with real-time simulation, it will go a long way to ensuring students are job ready for this exciting industry. This investment for specialised maritime qualifications will further enhance South Metropolitan TAFE’s reputation as one of the largest and most influential maritime training institutes in Australia."

Female international student at airport terminal

Bursaries bringing international students back to WA’s regions

International students return to regional WA

Central Regional TAFE has welcomed the first group of international students to Geraldton following their success in the inaugural round of the McGowan Government’s regional bursaries for TAFE international students.

This State Government initiative to attract international students to live, work and study at regional TAFE colleges in Western Australia provides a $5,000 bursary for up to 200 students to train at the State’s regional TAFE colleges. International Education Minister David Templeman today took the opportunity to meet the first six bursary recipients to arrive in Geraldton to study courses in early childhood education and care, information technology, aquaculture, and commercial cookery. They have come from the Philippines, Hong Kong, Bhutan, Indonesia and Italy.

The two-year pilot started on 1 January 2023 as part of a $2.4 million Regional TAFE International Student Strategy announced by the State Government in the 2022–2023 State Budget. Interest in the program has been strong with a total of 22 international students already receiving bursaries to study at TAFE campuses in Geraldton, Kalgoorlie, Bunbury and Broome in Semester 1, 2023. The majority of bursary students are anticipated to commence in Semester 2, 2023 due to current Commonwealth visa processing timeframes.

The bursaries are offered for selected courses targeting areas of local skills shortage, such as aged and disability care, childcare, and hospitality and tourism, at campuses across the regional TAFE colleges: North Regional TAFE, Central Regional TAFE and South Regional TAFE.

The students are also supported to find part-time work and accommodation and on graduation may be able to access migration pathways to extend their stay in Australia. The initiative responds to ideas raised by industry leaders through the Perth and Regional Skills Summits, which emphasised the need for innovative solutions to address skills shortages and support regional industries. The bursaries are supported by marketing activities including agent familiarisation tours to showcase regional WA to recruit international students for the two-year pilot program. In November 2022, TAFE International Western Australia (TIWA) hosted the first agent familiarisation tour, showcasing Geraldton, Broome and Albany and the bursary program to agents across the globe, including key markets of Italy, Brazil, the Philippines, Japan, Taiwan, Colombia, Korea, Sweden and Mauritius. A second tour showcasing further regional locations is planned for mid-2023.

“The COVID-19 pandemic impacted the numbers of backpacker and student visa holders in regional Western Australia." says International Minister David Templeman. “International students make an important contribution to regional communities, including as contributors to the local workforce while studying. It is great to see our extensive promotion of this opportunity and our regional communities to international markets is paying off with the arrival of the first international students supported through the bursaries.”

Training Minister Simone McGurk added "Attracting international students back to Western Australia’s regional communities was identified as an important workforce priority by industry leaders at the Perth and regional Skills Summits. The McGowan Government has responded by identifying strategies to attract international students back to regional WA, with the bursaries, which target skills shortage areas, being a centrepiece of these initiatives. TAFEs are part of the fabric of our regional communities and studying at one of the campuses is a great way for international students to tap into the support they need to live, train, work and possibly even access a migration pathway to stay in regional WA.”

Two female students taking a selfie on a camera phone

Free period products extended to WA TAFE colleges

Period products for public school and TAFE students

Students at all Western Australian TAFE colleges will soon have access to free period products, expanding on the State Government’s commitment to provide free period products in more than 220 public schools. The initiative will be rolled out this year at the five Western Australian TAFE colleges; North Metropolitan TAFE, South Metropolitan TAFE, Central Regional TAFE, North Regional TAFE and South Regional TAFE.

While products were already available to students at some TAFE campuses, it will now be extended to include all campuses state-wide. Period products are a fundamental health necessity, but the cost and associated stigma means some students do not have access to these essential items. The 2021 Bloody Big Survey found 48 per cent of the 125,000 respondents had missed a class due to their period.

The State Government first announced the introduction of free products in August 2022. South Metropolitan TAFE lecturer Lizanne Dymond welcomed the plan and called on the Government to extend the initiative to TAFE students to support student engagement. With many of her students aged 15 to 19, Ms Dymond believes the provision of free period products will help support students to remain in training and reach their full potential. The products will be made available to students via dispensing machines, with a total cost expected to be $350,000 annually.

“Nearly half the world’s population menstruate at some point in their lives, yet the topic of periods can still have such a stigma attached." says Training Minister Simone McGurk. "Period products are just as essential as toilet paper, so it makes sense that we are supplying them for free in our TAFEs as well as our public schools. By making pads and tampons more readily available for free in our TAFEs, we are removing a barrier to education and helping to support young women and girls in their learning. I thank Ms Dymond for highlighting the need to extend this initiative to students at Western Australia’s TAFE colleges and hope she is proud of her efforts.”

Female defence worker in boardroom, smiling at camera

Call to ‘start something’ with WA’s defence industry

Western Australians encouraged to start something in the defence industry

The State Government has committed an additional $11 million over the next four years to ensure a pipeline of skilled professional and para-professional workers in the defence industry, building on previous investments to boost Western Australia's defence industry capabilities.

As part of the investment, the State Government today launched 'The Other Force - Start something' campaign, shining a spotlight on the industries that support Australia's Defence Force to be the best it can be. The campaign showcases the exciting and rewarding careers available to Western Australians, across all five defence capability domains: land, air, maritime, space and information and cyber.

The high sensory, fast paced campaign will encourage school leavers, youth, veterans, women, career changers, mature aged workers and skilled workers looking to 'Start something' with WA's defence industry. The campaign was developed in consultation with WA defence industry employers, Team WA universities and training providers, and features real Western Australians, including Australian Defence Force (ADF) veterans, working in the industry. The campaign highlights the crucial importance of occupations such as engineers, project managers, logistics personnel, technicians, commercial management and cyber and ICT professionals.

The campaign is further supported by several new defence workforce initiatives including:

  • $4 million internship and graduate scholarship program to facilitate the placement of 190 students and 50 graduates in defence industry firms over three years;
  • program to drive the reskilling and upskilling of new and existing defence industry workers, including grants for employers to work with WA universities and training providers to develop new education and training products;
  • $1.08 million for an Existing Worker Traineeship program over four years, to support career progression of existing workers into critical para-professional and professional roles;
  • $700,000 for a university and VET articulation program over four years; and
  • $180,000 for a veterans skills mapping and career transition project to complement the existing Defence Industry Veterans Employment Scheme.

The State Government continues to make defence a priority sector as part of its vision to further support WA's sovereign capability, diversify the economy and create more jobs for Western Australians. The recently launched Western Australian Defence Industry Workforce Development Plan 2022-27 provides a roadmap to ensure the future workforce and skilling needs are anticipated and met.

For further information about the defence initiatives, visit the Jobs and Skills WA website https://www.jobsandskills.wa.gov.au/defence

Trainer and student studying a map on a maritime vessel

State-of-the-art maritime training in Geraldton about to set sail

Record investment set to deliver first-class learning environment

Work has started on a major overhaul of Central Regional TAFE’s maritime training vessel, with a $2 million refurbishment to ensure students have a first-class industry standard learning environment.

The floating specialist classroom — usually moored in Geraldton’s Fishing Boat Harbour — has been dry-docked as the ageing vessel is upgraded, including new engines, gear boxes, hydraulic system, electrics, air-conditioning and navigational systems.

The tender was awarded to local boat builder Dongara Marine. The vessel is used to deliver maritime-related training through Central Regional TAFE’s Batavia Coast Maritime Institute, in fishing boat operations, boating services, and marine engine drivers. It also supports on-water activities for components of other training programs such as aquaculture, tourism, coastal conservation and land management in the region.

Students are expected to be training on the newly updated vessel in March 2023. The $2 million project is part of the State Government’s record $215.8 million investment in TAFE capital works projects, upgrading TAFE campuses across Western Australia.

“The maritime industry is vital to Geraldton and the entire Batavia Coast, and this upgrade will directly support these employers by providing skilled workers with contemporary and industry relevant skills. says Training Minister Simone McGurk. “Importantly, this $2 million upgrade will boost opportunities for people in the Mid-West region to train and work locally. The revamped floating classroom will deliver a first class training environment that will benefit the local maritime industry for many years to come.”

Geraldton MLA Lara Dalton added “Central Regional TAFE’s maritime training vessel ‘The Master Class’ is an integral training and assessment tool for many of the training courses and qualifications that the college offers. I’ve seen firsthand how important it is for the students to have hands-on experience in an industry simulated environment, and the training vessel ensures students are exposed to the most up to date and industry relevant equipment and real-life scenarios, so they are better prepared and work ready for future employment opportunities. It’s fantastic to see local boat builders Dongara Marine be awarded the tender - a win for training and economic development in the regions.”

Two male maritime engineers at desk with structural drawings

Support for defence veterans to transfer skills into new careers

Innovative workforce solution to support veterans

Training Minister Simone McGurk and Defence Industry Minister Paul Papalia today announced work is underway on a new tool to help defence veterans transition into long-term careers. Noetic Group has been contracted to undertake skills mapping of Australian Defence Force (ADF) roles and jobs in the defence industry – and create a career advice toolkit – to assist defence veterans’ transition into Western Australia’s defence industry, which is in need of skilled workers.

The information made available through the State Government’s Veterans Skills Mapping Initiative will be used to show where skills align, supporting career advisors and employers to provide advice on appropriate pathways to defence industry jobs, further education, and training opportunities.

Occupations such as engineers, project managers, logistics personnel, technicians, commercial management professionals, cyber and ICT professionals will be crucial as WA continues to prepare for current and future defence work. Approximately 300 ADF members transition into civilian life in WA each year.

Veterans have valuable skills which can be effectively used in the defence industry – especially when combined with their defence security clearance status – making them strong candidates to remain working in the industry. The initiative is part of the $11 million package for defence industry workforce initiatives announced in the 2022-23 State Budget, aimed at securing the skilled professional and para-professional workers required for the WA defence industry.

It will also complement the existing Defence Industry Veterans Employment Scheme assisting veterans into training and employment, and support the State Government’s Veterans and Families Strategy – particularly as it relates to promoting veteran participation in the civilian workforce, including the WA defence industry.

“As a workforce cohort, veterans are disciplined, have a strong work ethic, and have experience using the products created by the defence industry – making them fantastic candidates to continue employment in defence-related work. says Training Minister Simone McGurk. “This initiative will help build WA’s skilled defence workforce required to meet current and future needs. The McGowan Government’s commitment to building Western Australia’s defence industry means there are exceptional opportunities for rewarding, long-term careers in the sector.”

Defence Industry Minister Paul Papalia added “Veterans have extremely valuable skills which can be effectively utilised by the defence industry. Each year, around 300 Australian Defence Force members settle into civilian life in Western Australia. Consultation with industry and the Veterans community has shown this initiative is a great opportunity to support Veterans transitioning into defence industry jobs.”

Disability support worker helping female client in the garden

New care sector short course is FREE IN ‘23

New skillset added to FREE IN '23 initiative

A new Community Support Skill Set has been developed to boost the skills of Western Australia’s rapidly expanding social assistance and allied health sector. The skill set is completely free for Western Australians.

The skill set is for new and existing workers wanting to gain knowledge and skills to provide care and wellbeing support to individuals in a community setting.

Developed with industry support through Community Skills WA (CSWA), the skill set is the newest addition to the FREE IN ‘23 initiative announced in November 2022 as part of a landmark 12-month skills agreement between the Australian and Western Australian Governments. The initiative aims to address the current skills shortage by delivering 18,800 more fee free TAFE and vocational education places for Western Australians in 2023.

The addition of the Community Support Skill Set brings the number of priority qualifications made “FREE IN ‘23” to 58 full TAFE qualifications and 57 skill sets. The Community Support Skill Set is part of the State Government’s blueprint to address the growing demand for skilled workers in the sector following recommendations from the State Training Board’s extensive consultation in conjunction with CSWA.

Released in May 2022, the Board’s Social Assistance and Allied Health: Future Workforce Skills report recommended collaboration to develop new skill sets to meet industry needs.

This report builds on the actions implemented in response to the State Training Board's Social Assistance and Allied Health Workforce Strategy released in 2019 to boost the social assistance and allied health workforce and assist skill development in the sector.

The State Government, through the State Training Board and its industry consultation as part of the WA Skills Summits, has been proactive in identifying this emerging issue early and preparing the sector for future growth.

Those who complete the new Community Support Skill Set receive a credit towards a Certificate III in Individual Support, a qualification established to train aged, disability and home and community care workers.

The new skill set will provide career and training pathways into roles in Aboriginal health and wellbeing; increase youth engagement and localised employment; and broaden the skills of the sector’s existing workforce to serve a wider range of community health and wellbeing needs.

The skill set was developed with consultation and support from Activ Foundation Inc, Aboriginal Health Council of Western Australia, Empowering People in Communities Inc, Kimberley Associated Medical Services Ltd, National Disability Services, and Southern Cross Care.

For more information contact your local Jobs and Skills Centre on 13 64 64 or visit the Jobs and Skills WA website jobsandskills.wa.gov.au/skillsready

"A strong and sustainable aged and disability care workforce is essential for supporting Western Australian families now and well into the future. said Training Minister Simone McGurk "The new Community Support Skill Set has been developed with industry to meet the care sector's training needs, and will be completely free for Western Australians. Skill sets provide short, sharp training that enables participants to upskill or reskill for work in sectors experiencing high demand. By offering free training we hope to remove cost as a barrier to entry and attract new workers to this crucial industry, which is key to the wellbeing of individuals, families and communities."

Disability Services and Seniors and Ageing Minister Don Punch added "Our aged and disability care workers perform critical roles in the community and this training is an invaluable opportunity to upskill, making a real difference to the lives of Western Australians. New and existing staff in the aged and disability care workforce will now have the opportunity to access free training, providing an important stepping stone to future qualifications."

Happy Holidays

Business closure over the Christmas and New Year period

Best wishes for a happy festive season!

All Department of Training and Workforce Development offices, including:

  • Apprenticeship Office;
  • the Jobs and Skills WA Resource Unit;
  • Migration Services;
  • Muresk Institute;
  • the Office of the State Training Board;
  • TAFE International (TIWA);
  • the Training Accreditation Council (TAC); and
  • the Training Markets branch;

will be closed from 4.30 pm WST on Friday 23 December 2022 and reopening at 8.30 am WST on Tuesday 3 January 2023. 

Please note that the ground floor reception desk area at Djookanup in Osborne Park and the Prospect Place building in West Perth will also be closed over this time.

You are welcome to contact us via email during the closure period, and we will respond when our offices reopen from 3 January.

Apprenticeship Office customers

The 13 19 54 Apprenticeship Office Helpline will not be operational during this time. Please email your enquiries to ApprenticeshipOffice@dtwd.wa.gov.au and a staff member will respond to your enquiry when the Office reopens in the New Year.

  • Training contracts can continue to be lodged during the closure, and will be assessed from when the office reopens on Tuesday 3 January 2023.
  • Training contracts changes can still be submitted via the Western Australian Apprenticeship Management System (WAAMS) online client portal during the closure period.
  • Emails or other training contract related requests received during the closure will be actioned from 3 January 2023.

Jobs and Skills Centres

The metropolitan and regional Jobs and Skills Centres will be closing over the Christmas and New Year period. Please check the Jobs and Skills website for details of business hours over the holiday period for each JSC. 

WA TAFE colleges

Each of the five WA TAFE colleges will be closing over the Christmas and New Year period. Please check the TAFE's website for details.

Make sure you follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter to receive the latest news and updates. We would like to wish all of our customers, colleagues and stakeholders a safe and happy festive season — we look forward to working with you again in 2023.

Construction starts on $47M Balga TAFE redevelopment

New state of the art training facilities to open in 2024

The $47.9 million expansion of North Metropolitan TAFE’s Balga campus has officially begun, with Premier Mark McGowan and Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery visiting the northern suburbs campus today to turn the first sod of the new state of the art training facility.

The major redevelopment includes a new three-storey building to replace 22 rundown transportable classrooms at the campus, which was originally built in the 1970s. The specialist teaching block will be used to deliver training across a range of areas including building and construction, electrical, English and adult migrant education, as well as improving student services and staff amenities with student breakout spaces, meeting rooms, conference rooms and additional parking. The new campus will offer a mix of modern learning spaces, including contemporary and technology enabled classrooms and computer laboratories, as well as a large future trades training workshop to accommodate ‘smart building’ and emerging construction technologies.

The ground floor of the new building will welcome students and clients with a range of amenities including an interactive student learning hub (contemporary library), reception and student services. It will also house the Balga Jobs and Skills Centre, connecting the local community with free, professional advice on training and employment opportunities.

Local company EMCO Building has been appointed for construction, employing approximately 400 people — including apprentices and trainees — throughout the project. Designed by Perth architecture studio Hassell, the project is one of 14 major capital works projects taking place at TAFE colleges across WA as part of the McGowan Government’s record $215.8 million investment in upgrading essential infrastructure. Construction is expected to be completed by late 2024.

“North Metropolitan TAFE’s Balga campus is ageing and in need of revitalisation, so my Government is investing $47.9 million to significantly upgrade its training facilities.“ said the Premier. "It will mean the next generation of skilled workers can learn in modern facilities using the latest high-tech equipment. With our record investment in TAFE infrastructure delivering upgrades across the State, and free and significantly reduced fee courses on offer across a range of sectors in 2023, there has truly never been a better time to train at TAFE in WA”

Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery added that " We continue to invest heavily in training to ensure ongoing growth in WA’s skilled workforce, particularly in priority sectors. This major upgrade will ensure North Metropolitan TAFE’s Balga campus is delivering contemporary and industry-relevant training into the future, in building and construction trades and a range of other areas. It will also boost student capacity at what is already a busy campus, delivering more learning opportunities for its local communities.”

Mirrabooka MLA Meredith Hammat also added that "This a much-needed upgrade for Balga TAFE, and incredibly exciting for our future skilled workers who will have the opportunity to train right here in Balga in a state-of-the-art facility. This McGowan Labor Government project is a huge investment in our community, particularly its young people, and I can’t wait to see the new facilities taking shape."

Read the full media statement here

Help shape the strategic direction of training in WA

TAFE Governing Council 2022 membership: EOIs now open!

The Minister for Education and Training is looking for people with effective leadership and strategic thinking skills and the ability to work collegiately within the TAFE sector to help shape training to meet future industry and community needs throughout Western Australia.

If you have these skills, knowledge of vocational education and training, experience in community and industry engagement, and a record of service to industry or the community, we invite you to express your interest now.

Under the Vocational Education and Training Act 1996, governing councils play a key role in the strategic management of TAFE colleges within the Western Australian Government policy framework.

Expressions of interest are invited for membership of the following TAFE college governing councils.
 

  • North Metropolitan TAFE
  • South Metropolitan TAFE
  • North Regional TAFE
  • Central Regional TAFE
  • South Regional TAFE

Members of governing  councils are remunerated for their services.

Diversity and inclusivity

The State Government is committed to increasing the representation of women on Government boards and committees, and supports diversity in the appointment to boards and committees. Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people; and people from culturally diverse backgrounds are also encouraged to apply.

How to apply

Please send a brief curriculum vitae of no more than two pages, using the approved proforma below, by Friday 20 January 2023 – by email to TAFEGoverningCouncils@dtwd.wa.gov.au.

Information package
Enquiries

Mr Phil Torrisi, Department of Training and Workforce Development
E: TAFEGoverningCouncils@dtwd.wa.gov.au
T: 08 6551 5012

Note: Recommended applicants will be asked to consent to a criminal record check. Applicants with a convictions record are not automatically precluded from appointment to the governing council, each case will be considered on its merits.

Over 100 qualifications and skill sets FREE IN '23!

Landmark skills agreement signed today for WA

The Commonwealth and Western Australian Governments have today signed a landmark 12-month Skills Agreement to address the current skills shortage and deliver fee-free* TAFE and more vocational education places for Western Australians. The Agreement will inject more than $112 million into the WA skills and training sector, providing immediate support through approximately 18,800 fee-free TAFE and vocational education and training (VET) places available from 1 January 2023 to better match training with skills shortages identified through the skills priority list, driving enrolments in key sectors. The funding supports the new FREE IN ’23 initiative, which is designed to reskill and upskill people for work in priority sectors and covers:

  • course fees for 58 full qualifications; and
  • all fees for 56 Job Ready skills sets.

The FREE IN '23 places will better match training with skills shortages identified through the skills priority list, driving enrolments in key sectors. FREE IN '23 comes at a crucial time as the State works to strengthen its workforce in a range of sectors of priority.

More information on FREE IN ‘23 and low-fee courses is available on the Jobs and Skills WA website, or contact your local TAFE college or Jobs and Skills Centre on 13 64 64.

Find out more about FREE IN '23 courses at jobsandskills.wa.gov.au/skillsready

The Agreement will increase opportunities and workforce participation of priority groups including First Nations Australians, young people, people out of work or receiving income support, unpaid carers, women facing economic insecurity, women undertaking study in non-traditional fields, people with disability and certain categories of visa holders.

The 12-month Skills Agreement confirms TAFE’s central role in the VET sector, increases opportunities and workforce participation of priority groups and addresses skills gaps in the economy. It includes an Australian Government commitment of $8.2 million from the TAFE Technology Fund to improve training facilities in WA, and $0.93 million for essential VET data infrastructure reform.

The $8.2 million commitment from the TAFE Technology Fund will upgrade essential infrastructure for training in WA, including: 

  • $3.24 million to transform Midland TAFE into a renewables jobs and training hub, though the installation of a wind turbine and working at heights training tower, and equipment upgrades for the METRONET Trade Training Centre to provide students with access to systems used in modern train signalling;
  • $2 million for a state of the-art commercial kitchen at the Bentley Pines Training Restaurant, providing live works training for hospitality students and dining opportunities for the local community; and
  • $3 million to establish a Trade Training Centre at Ellenbrook Secondary College to train students and adults in hospitality and construction.

All Governments have also agreed to a vision statement and guiding principles for longer-term VET reform to commence in 2024.

Brendan O’Connor, Minister for Skills and Training, said today that "The Albanese Government recognises the urgency of the skills crisis facing the nation, and the challenges particular to Western Australia, which is why this Agreement is so important. To provide greater opportunity for Western Australians to have secure and rewarding employment we must be able to skill and reskill our workforce. Whether it’s a need to support hospitality and tourism, construction, agriculture, technology, or the care sector, and build our sovereign capability in manufacturing, we need to deliver these skills at a time of acute skills shortages. I’m thrilled to make this joint investment with Minister Ellery to expand opportunities to Western Australians.".

WA Minister for Education and Training Sue Ellery MLC added that "The WA Government is committed to providing opportunities for all Western Australians to access TAFE training. The 12-month Skills Agreement with the Commonwealth Government builds on this momentum. Many people who have not engaged in the training system require extra support to do so, and this uplift in TAFE training and services will further drive our Government’s existing efforts to help industries access the untapped workforce. Together with the Premier for Western Australia Hon Mark McGowan, we thank the Commonwealth for this joint investment in Western Australia’s people, communities and current and future workforce and for quickly reaching an agreement at a time when skills are in such demand across Australia.".

Read the full media statement here

*Some eligibility criteria apply for FREE IN '23. See website for details.

Ending violence against women - It's everybody's business

16 Days in WA to stop violence against women

Ending Violence Against Women — It’s Everybody’s Business

Today marks the start of this year’s 16 Days in WA to Stop Violence Against Women campaign. The campaign runs from 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, through to International Human Rights Day on 10 December.

The theme for the 2022 campaign is Ending Violence Against Women – It’s Everybody’s Business; reminding us that violence against anyone is unacceptable, and that we all have a part to play in breaking the cycle of family and domestic violence by calling out disrespectful behaviour in all areas of life.

The Department will be actively supporting this year’s 16 Days in WA campaign; and we encourage you to also get involved and help end violence against women including family, domestic and sexual violence.

Recent statistics

  • On average, one woman a week is murdered by her current or former partner.
  • One in three women (30.5%) have experienced physical violence since the age of 15.
  • One in two women and one in four men have experience sexual harassment since the age of 15.

How you can get involved

  • Be part of the change by educating, motivating and advocating in your workplace and community.
  • Call out disrespectful behaviour when you see it, to help build a community that shows respect towards women.
  • Look for and use the hashtag #16DaysinWA on social media, to share information and resources.

Check out the campaign kit available for this year’s 16 Days in WA – including facts and statistics, ways to take action, social media tools and resources to develop your understanding and support your conversations. This kit also offers ideas for hosting an event, such as a morning tea or book club session.

Information, services and support

If you or anyone you know is experiencing family and domestic violence, there is help available.

  • Call 000 if you or someone you know is in immediate danger.  
  • 1800RESPECT is the National Sexual Assault, Family and Domestic Violence Counselling Service. This is a free and confidential telephone and online counselling service for any person, regardless of age or gender, who has experienced or is at risk of a domestic and family violence and/or sexual assault, and their family and friends. T: 1800 737 732.
  • Crisis Care is an information and counselling service for people in crisis needing urgent help. T: 1800 199 008.
  • Women’s Domestic Violence Helpline is a Western Australian 24-hour helpline to support women experiencing family and domestic violence. It provides support and counselling, including referrals to women’s refuges. T: 1800 007 339.
  • Men’s Domestic Violence Helpline provides counselling and referrals for male perpetrators, as well as male victims of family and domestic violence. T: 08 9223 1199 or 1800 000 599.

WA's best of VET celebrated at Australian Training Awards 2022

Seven of Western Australia's 11 outstanding finalists recognised

The brightest stars in Australia's vocational education and training (VET) sector were celebrated at the prestigious Australian Training Awards 2022 event in Adelaide last night, with seven finalists from the WA Training Awards 2022 stepping up as winners for the best in Australia! 

Individual winners from this year's WA Training Awards progressed to the national awards, while organisation category winners were further shortlisted to determine three finalists in each category from around Australia. As Australian Training Award winners, they will be recognised nationally as leaders in their relevant field of study, training or sector and represent WA as VET ambassadors. This year, WA had representatives in six individual categories:

  • Apprentice of the Year;
  • School-based Apprentice of the Year;
  • Trainee of the Year;
  • Vocational Student of the Year;
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year; and
  • Trainer of the Year.

Three WA organisations were selected as finalists for the organisation categories:

  • Byrnecut, for the Large Employer of the Year Award;
  • Taylorweir International School of Hairdressing, for the Small Training Provider of the Year Award; and
  • WA Department of Justice for their Making Tracks Program, in the Industry Collaboration Award.

There were also two direct entries into the awards this year:

  • Busselton Senior High School for the School Pathways to VET Award; and
  • WA Department of Justice for the Australian Apprenticeships Employer Award.

Individual category winners received $5,000 prize money and runners-up received $2,500.

Western Australian ATA winners, runners up and finalists 

Award winners

Brittany-Leigh Wragg — Winner, Australian Trainee of the Year: Certificate III in Defence Industry Pathways, South Metropolitan TAFE
Being one of the first students to study a Certificate III in Defence Industry Pathways Program, Brittany cites the unwavering support from the team at South Metropolitan TAFE and Programmed Training Services that helped her feel confident about her chosen career pathway in a male-dominated industry. Brittany-Leigh has sampled different job roles while undertaking work placement rotations while employed by Programmed Training Services, and gained real life experience all while building up a network of industry contacts. She hopes to begin an apprenticeship in defence on completion of her traineeship.

Wayne Ryder — Winner, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year: Diploma of Leadership and Management, Australian Institute of Management (AIM) WA
rom school captain to captain of his football team, Wayne has paved the way for Aboriginal men walking a similar journey. One of his proudest achievements was creating the Waakal Moort Kaadadjiny Festival, a health and wellbeing festival for at-risk Aboriginal people. Wayne began working for Palmerston Association as a Community Aboriginal Worker, supporting individuals affected by drugs and alcohol, following his own lived experience. He later won a scholarship to study a Diploma of Leadership and Management with AIM WA.

WA Department of Justice Australian Apprenticeships – Gold Employer Award (direct-entry)
The Corrective Services division within the WA Department of Justice aims to enrich prisoners’ lives and reduce reoffending. The Department implemented The Prisoner Traineeship Program to establish a clear pathway from prison to employment, through VET. The program has supported over 4,775 prisoners in an apprenticeship or traineeship, with a completion rate of 70 per cent. On release, apprentices and trainees who gain employment through the employment partners receive an average starting salary of $90,000 – leading to car and home ownership, often for some the first time in generations. The Department was a finalist in the same category in 2021. 

Busselton Senior High School — Silver, School Pathways to VET Award (direct-entry)
Busselton Senior High School (BSHS) has been a RTO school since 1999, implementing a unique educational model that combines traditional education methods with VET opportunities. BSHS is bridging the gap between education and training, supporting non-university bound students to complete a certificate qualification. By engaging with the local community, and acknowledging future skill shortages and student survey data, BSHS has increased its VET offering. This year, 75 per cent of BSHS students are enrolled in a VET qualification, seeing attainment rates of above 98 per cent.

Byrnecut — Bronze, Large Employer of the Year
Byrnecut is one of the world's leading underground contract miners, with over 3,800 employees. Byrnecut's training programs undergo continuous improvement, with input from experienced operators and management to ensure quality learning opportunities. With 21 per cent of employees undertaking a traineeship or apprenticeship within WA; Byrnecut is committed to world class training and development, individualised learning plans, unlimited support and access to thousands of resources and networks to set employees up for successful, long term careers with the company.  

Making Tracks (WA Department of Justice) — Bronze, Industry Collaboration Award
Making Tracks is a collaborative industry training and employment network of partnerships for prisoners across WA to ensure VET delivery within prisons is relevant and appropriate to the needs of both prisoners engaged in training and the businesses that go on to employ them. Through collaboration with employers in key industries, the program reduces the stigma ex-prisoners face when seeking employment, while meeting the needs of the labour market, contributing to the economy and reducing reoffending. The Department were finalists in the same category in 2021.

Taylorweir International School of Hairdressing — Bronze, Small Training Provider of the Year
Taylorweir is the longest established private registered training organisation for hairdressing in WA. Their training delivery focuses on a client-driven approach, ensuring that students achieve their best outcomes with support from employers and the outstanding teaching skills of the organisation's trainers. With over 480 enrolled students, Taylorweir's 25-year journey continues to be one of learning, growth and change which has allowed it to maintain its position as the leader of hairdressing and barbering education in Australia. Taylorweir has won the Small Training Provider of the Year Award for the first time at a national level, having previously won at the WA Training Awards on two separate occasions; 2013 and 2022.

Runners up

Caitlin Bezuidenhout — Runner-up, Vocational Student of the Year: Certificate IV in Preparation for Health and Nursing Studies, Eastern Hills Senior High School
Inspired after visiting her nanna at an aged care facility, nine-year-old Caitlin was determined to make a positive change in the industry.  Caitlin is still at school, completing her Certificate IV in Preparation for Health and Nursing studies through Health Science Hub, and her Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing) through Australian Medical Association (AMA) WA. Through her work placement with Baptistcare, Caitlin has been able to gain hands on experience and is passionate about creating positive energy in her workplace.

Finalists

Stephen Delaney — Finalist, VET Teacher/Trainer of the Year: Painting and Decorating and Painters' Licensing with MPA Skills
For 20 years, Stephen has delivered training to his students with a pastoral and holistic approach. He readily participates in training to upskill, as well as adapting and improving his teaching style to navigate modern-day challenges. At MPA Skills, Stephen's passion is training pre-apprentices which he says is "challenging and rewarding" but where he can make the biggest impact. Stephen did not think he would be training for as long as he has been, but two decades later he is as passionate as ever and loves making a difference in people's lives.

Megan Hazelden — Finalist, Australian Apprentice of the Year: Certificate III in Engineering—Mechanical Trade (Mechanical Fitter ZA), South Metropolitan TAFE 
Growing up on a farm watching her parents work on machinery, Megan knew she wanted to become a mechanic. Now completing a Certificate III in Engineering and employed by Alcoa, she is well on her way to reaching her goal of becoming a mechanical fitter at Alcoa's Wagerup refinery. Megan has had the opportunity to represent women in the industry throughout her apprenticeship, presenting at schools and student career nights about career opportunities. Winning South Metropolitan TAFE's Apprentice of the Year 2021 gave her the confidence to encourage women to apply for an apprenticeship in mechanical fitting.

Sophia Pitaro — Finalist, Australian School-based Apprentice of the Year: Certificate III in Sport and Recreation, North Metropolitan TAFE
Driven to gain as much experience as she can while attending Applecross Senior High School, Sophia has already completed certificates in events management, tourism, and skills for work and vocational pathways. Now embarking on a traineeship through North Metropolitan TAFE, with employer Leisure Employment Australia and host employer BlueFit – Belmont Oasis Leisure Centre, Sophia is completing a Certificate III in Sport and Recreation and has completed qualifications including her first aid, lifeguard and CPR certificates while gaining on the job experience.

For the full list of this year's Australian Training Award winners, visit australiantrainingawards.gov.au.

Attending the event with the WA finalists, Minister for Education and Training Sue Ellery MLC said “The Australian Training Awards are an opportunity to put our State's best vocational education and training achievers in the spotlight by acknowledging the hard work of individuals across a range of sectors. With VET playing a vital role in the rebuilding of Western Australia’s economy, the overall community benefit is significant and should be celebrated. The McGowan Government continues to recognise the importance of VET and has invested significantly in the sector to support its vital role in our society and economy. Congratulations to all of the winners, receiving recognition at a national level demonstrates excellence at the highest level and is to be commended.”

View the full media statement here

New initiative to attract international students to regional WA

$5,000 bursary now available for 2023

A new initiative to attract international students to live, work and study at Western Australia’s regional TAFE colleges and help alleviate shortages in priority skill shortage areas in regional areas is set to begin next year.

A $5,000 bursary will be provided for up to 200 students in selected courses across the State’s regional TAFE colleges, as well as support to find part time work and accommodation. The $2.4 million package responds to ideas raised by industry leaders through the recent Perth and Regional Skills Summits, which emphasised the need for innovative solutions to address skills shortages and support regional industries.

The bursaries will target occupations such as aged and disability care, childcare and hospitality and tourism, which due to impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and low unemployment have a critical shortage of workers. Students will be able to study at campuses across WA's three regional TAFE colleges: North Regional TAFE, Central Regional TAFE and South Regional TAFE. Some students are anticipated to commence in February 2023, with the majority expected in Semester 2. On graduation, international students may be able to access migration pathways to extend their stay in Australia.

To help promote the initiative, TAFE International Western Australia (TIWA) is hosting the first agent familiarisation tour, showcasing regional WA to agents from across the globe to promote the two-year pilot program. The international education agents from key markets of Italy, Brazil, Philippines, Japan, Taiwan, Colombia, Korea, Sweden and Mauritius are seeing the best of Broome, Geraldton and Albany as part of visits to North Regional TAFE, Central Regional TAFE and South Regional TAFE this week. TIWA will host a second tour in early 2023, to showcase further regional locations.

Full details are available on TIWA's website at tafeinternational.wa.edu.au/spotlight/regional-bursary 

“The return of international students to Western Australia is a priority for our government. This initiative is a practical solution to attract international students to the regions in industry sectors with critical skills shortages." says International Education Minister David Templeman. "With quality programs, a great lifestyle and a wealth of employment opportunities, Western Australia is well positioned to provide international students with the knowledge, skills, support and connections they require to enter the increasingly competitive global job market. This program will also diversify the State’s economy through exporting vocational education and training in the regions.”

View the full media statement here

Heavy Vehicle Driving Operations skill set hits a big milestone!

More than 230 people now licensed and employed

The WA State Government’s $6.1 million Heavy Vehicle Driving Operations Skill Set has hit a key milestone, with 232 people now employed through the program, which started in April 2021, and more gaining employment as they receive their licences. The aim is to train up to 1,000 workers to combat skills shortages in WA's transport industry.

Developed in collaboration with industry, and in response to the truck driver shortage emphasised during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Australian-first program provides theoretical and practical hands on truck driving experience at the state of the art Driver Risk Management facility located at the Perth Airport.

Around 30 per cent of participants have been women, and this has has led to the development of a tailored course specifically for a women-only cohort now also available. 

  • The six-week course is currently available in metropolitan areas through Central Regional and South Regional TAFEs, in collaboration with industry.
  • Due to the program’s success, it has now been expanded to regional areas with a 10-week course running in the South West.

The skill set is fee-free for eligible students, and the Practical Driving Instruction Training and Assessment and licencing costs are $500 for concession students and up to $1,250 for non-concession students.

The program aims to train 500 new workers in Heavy Rigid (HR) licences, and upskill 500 existing workers from HR licences to Heavy Combination and/or Multi-Combination licences to combat skills shortages.

For more information about the program, visit jobsandskills.wa.gov.au/courses/heavy-vehicle-driving-operations-skill-set

You can also contact your local Jobs and Skills Centre on 13 64 64 for free information, support and assistance for training options and career planning.

“The McGowan Government continues to invest in affordable and accessible training programs to upskill and train Western Australians." says Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery. “Having collaborated with industry to deliver the Heavy Vehicle Driving Operations Skill Set, and successfully producing more than 230 workers for the transport and logistics, civil construction and mining industries, further highlights the Government’s commitment to deliver training solutions that meet workforce needs. This skill set provides real hands on experience with practical hours in heavy haulage and will help participants become job ready and to get more skilled drivers on our roads.”

Transport Minister Rita Saffioti says "Western Roads Federation and the Transport Workers' Union approached the Premier, the Minister for Education and Training, and myself in 2020 asking us to create a dedicated training course for truck drivers, and it's fantastic to see that this program is exceeding expectations. It is an excellent example of collaboration with industry to help match jobseekers looking to boost their employability with an industry in need of skilled workers. Participants are mentored and supported on the path to employment, connecting them to industry employers that are looking for workers before they've even completed their training."

CEO Western Roads Federation Cam Dumesny says that “This program has provided a much needed boost to the transport industry and we’re incredibility grateful for the WA Government’s support of our essential industry – because the only thing we don’t deliver are babies. We’re seeing a strong interest from women wanting to join the industry and the trend is very welcome news, as so many employers are keen to employ more female drivers because of the different skills and positive attributes they bring. Having a women only cohort and the supportive structure of the course, means it is also perfect for Women who feel that they may need time to build their confidence.”

Read the full media statement here

TAFE gets four new high-tech CNC machines

Supporting defence industry training and apprenticeships

The WA State Government is successfully progressing its strategy to build a strong defence industry workforce and support the sector’s role in economic diversification and job creation in Western Australia. As part of its $18 million package to build WA’s defence workforce capabilities, students at South Metropolitan TAFE (SM TAFE) will now be training on the latest equipment used by industry to manufacture components that support a range of industries — including defence —with exceptional precision and efficiency.

The four newly installed computer numerical control (CNC) machines at SM TAFE's Rockingham campus are being used to train apprentices in the use of programming, setting and operation of the latest CNC equipment with multi-axis and using a range of ferrous and non-ferrous materials. As well as learning manual techniques, students are able to gain hands on experience using the machines to manufacture components for key defence maritime trades. The many benefits of this game changing technology for industry include its potential to produce bigger quantities of parts with less manual labour, and the reduced likelihood of human error or injury. The technology can reduce the time by up to 50 per cent to machine important parts, such as a pump shaft, for vessels of any size or shape. The machines are programmed with Mastercam software to help address demand for CNC programmers and machine operators in the industry. The State Government’s investment also includes 16 new welding simulators at SM TAFE’s Naval Base campus, to equip the future welding workforce for the rapid scale-up of defence and shipbuilding projects in WA.

SM TAFE has been producing job ready workers for the defence shipbuilding and sustainment industry for more than two decades, and this investment will enable the delivery of post-trade training with advanced CNC operations and programming above Certificate III level. It also allows for delivery of two of seven new low-fee defence ready skill sets available to help get existing workers defence-ready.

To further boost WA’s defence industry workforce capability, the State Government recently announced funding of $11 million for a range of initiatives to support the industry’s professional and paraprofessional workforce, including through internship and graduate scholarships, and industry grants to upskill and reskill workers.

For information on defence industry training — including qualifications under the  Lower fees, local skills initiative with course fees reduced by up to 72 per cent for a range of defence related qualifications, visit the Jobs and Skills WA website.

jobsandskills.wa.gov.au/defence

You can also contact the dedicated defence industry team at the Rockingham Jobs and Skills Centre on 08 9559 8655, for free advice and information about training and careers in WA's defence industry.

Speaking at SM TAFE today, Premier Mark McGowan said “The McGowan Government continues to invest in the skills needed for priority industries such as defence to provide jobs and economic prosperity for Western Australians. The new CNC machines support training in blue collar trades needed for the maritime defence industry. Providing modern equipment to support the reskilling and upskilling of existing defence workers, veterans and new entrants to the industry is crucial for getting Western Australia ready for a rapid scale-up of defence and shipbuilding projects.”

South Metropolitan TAFE’s specialist training and facilities and links with industries ensure Western Australians are trained to industry standard to take up defence job opportunities." said Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery. "Strong investment in defence industry workforce initiatives by our Government has generated more than 430 new apprentices in the sector in the past two years. South Metropolitan was awarded Academic Institution of the Year at the Australian Defence Industry Awards last month, and is a shining example of our State’s defence industry training capabilities and contribution to the nation’s defence industry.”

Defence Industry Minister Paul Papalia added that “Western Australia is Australia’s frontline for defence in the Indo-Pacific region ,and a key contributor to defence requirements nationally. Our defence industry is competitive, flexible and resilient and contributing to its strength are our advanced manufacturing capabilities supported by world class tertiary institutions. Key areas of focus for this Government are future proofing the State’s sovereign workforce and creating opportunities for veterans to transition into defence industry jobs with wraparound support and guidance.”

Western Australian Defence Industry Workforce Development Plan 2022−27

WA Defence Industry Workforce Development Plan 2022−27

A joint force approach to building our defence industry workforce

The WA State Government has today released its blueprint to build a strong and sustainable defence industry workforce; leading the way with analysis, planning and investment to support the sector’s workforce and diversify the economy.

The Western Australian Defence Industry Workforce Development Plan 2022−27 (the Plan) is a ‘WA joint force’ approach to building defence capabilities across all five defence domains. The Plan was developed through the Department of Training and Workforce Development’s Western Australian Defence Industry Workforce Office (WADIWO). Co-signatories comprise of government agencies, Team WA universities, TAFE colleges and unions, working with the State’s defence industry and peak representative bodies.

A key focus of the Plan is boosting WA’s capability to develop a pipeline of skilled professional and paraprofessional defence industry workers, including university graduates, along with training skilled trades’ workers. The Plan’s strategic initiatives will be delivered to meet the needs of key WA defence industry stakeholders, while supporting national defence interests. It will guide the State Government’s work with the Commonwealth Government, industry and education and training sectors to support the enhancement of defence industry skills and capabilities to:

  • give WA a competitive advantage;
  • grow its ‘smart’ Industry 4.0 skill capabilities and the pipeline of skilled workers for defence work;
  • engage with individuals, veterans, businesses and the wider public to improve access to information, defence industry careers and job opportunities; and
  • provide the skills needed for the current and future defence industry workforce.

View the Western Australian Defence Industry Workforce Development Plan 2022−27 here

The State Government has to date invested $35 million to directly support the development of a strong and sustainable sovereign defence industry workforce — this includes the May 2022 announcement of $11 million to further build the WA defence industry's professional and paraprofessional workforce. The funding will support internship and graduate scholarships; industry grants to upskill and reskill workers; and enhancements to the articulation of courses between WA universities and TAFE.

Find out more about WA's defence industry and the opportunities it offers at jobsandskills.wa.gov.au/defence

“Through the Western Australian Defence Industry Workforce Development Plan 2022−27, my Government is taking its already significant work to support and grow Western Australia’s defence industry workforce to the next level.“ said Premier Mark McGowan. "Thanks to the commitment and shared vision of the Plan’s co-signatories, we have a solid roadmap for collaboration, and to drive our investment in the skilled defence industry workforce further. WA’s united team approach of government, industry and tertiary sectors working together will help this State continue to be a strong contender for defence projects as we continue to build the skilled and diverse workforce needed to deliver them.”

Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery said that “Attracting future defence work requires a workforce recognised as one of the most highly educated, qualified and skilled of its type in the world. Western Australia’s education and training system is ready to meet this challenge as evidenced by the valuable contribution of the WA universities and TAFE to the development and implementation of this Plan.”

“While the competition for skills are increasing across the nation, this Plan has the strategies to address forecast demand in the key occupations relating to WA’s defence industry over the coming decade." added Defence Industry Minister Paul Papalia. “Western Australia’s growing defence industry workforce is bringing a whole range of diverse, rewarding and long-term career opportunities, including in skilled professional and para-professional roles.”

An artist's impression of the South Metropolitan TAFE Armadale building

Ground breaks on $39 million Armadale TAFE campus!

Construction begins on exciting new training facilities

Construction has commenced on Western Australia’s newest TAFE campus in the heart of Armadale’s town centre. Premier Mark McGowan and Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery visited the Church Avenue site with Armadale MLA Tony Buti today to turn the first sod of the new purpose-built, multi-level South Metropolitan TAFE Armadale training centre.

The $39 million facility will deliver industry-relevant training across a range of areas including childcare, community services, business, education support and general education. It will have specialist training areas for information technology, emerging industries and cyber security, and house the Armadale Jobs and Skills Centre — connecting the local community with training and employment opportunities. Construction is expected to be completed in late 2024.

The new campus will consolidate vocational training in the area, replacing multiple leased premises that contain ageing facilities. The stand alone centre will almost double current student capacity and create a vibrant community hub close to shops, cafés and the Armadale train station.
 

  • Designed by Fremantle architectural practice Armstrong Collective, the building will also offer state of the art simulated childcare facilities for early learning education, classrooms, computer laboratories, simulated office space, a crèche, meeting rooms and a student hub.
  • Local construction company PS Structures has been appointed to build the campus, and will employ more than 500 workers throughout construction, including apprentices and trainees.
  • The new Armadale campus is part of the WA State Government’s record $215.8 million investment in TAFE capital works projects, which is delivering first class training opportunities and boosting the WA economy.

“The new $39 million campus is a significant project for Perth’s outer south eastern suburbs that will deliver world-class training to the local community". says Premier Mark McGowan. “Not only is it creating jobs throughout construction, once complete this will be a huge boost for local businesses, with the increased student capacity bringing life and vibrancy to the Armadale town centre.”

“The new $39 million Armadale TAFE campus is a significant project for Perth’s outer south-eastern suburbs and will deliver world class training to the local community.  Once complete, this multi-storey centre will be a huge boost for local students and businesses alike, with the increased student capacity bringing life and vibrancy to the Armadale town centre. “It will also significantly increase learning and training opportunities in the area  — particularly for young people.” added Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery.

Armadale MLA Tony Buti says “This is an incredibly exciting day for Armadale, with a brand new facility set to train the next generation of workers beginning to take shape in the heart of town. I’ve long advocated for an Armadale TAFE campus and the impressive facilities planned for this site are key to our community’s future. They will make studying locally a more attractive option, help to prepare students for the jobs of the future and of course aid the continued revitalisation of Armadale.”

Outdoor playground of a childcare centre

Industry partnership to grow early childhood education and care workforce

Job Ready program leading the way

The McGowan Government is partnering with Western Australia’s early childhood education and care sector to pilot a Job Ready pre-employment program leading the way to attract and upskill more early childhood educators for the local workforce.

The Early Childhood Education and Care Job Ready Program is the latest in a suite of new skill sets developed in collaboration with WA industries to deliver short, sharp training for job seekers and young people, enabling them to upskill or reskill in industries with a need for skilled workers. It combines a short course with a work placement to introduce participants to an early childhood educator’s working environment.

The entry level program is also includes wrap around support to reduce barriers for participants and guide them to completion of their training. The first three cohorts of students are starting the program this month through North Metropolitan TAFE in Leederville, registered training organisation Meerilinga Training College in West Leederville, and North Regional TAFE (NR TAFE) in the Kimberley.

The program is being offered either full time or part time to cater to the needs of identified job seeker cohorts. For example, Year 12 school leavers in the metropolitan area are undertaking the program full time for five weeks, while mothers returning to work in the Kimberley region are participating on a part time basis for 10 weeks. Graduates of the program gain credits towards a Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care and are supported to transition into a traineeship with an employer or undertake further training to become fully qualified early childhood educators.

The program complements a suite of training and workforce initiatives the McGowan Government has introduced to support the sector, which include:

  • $1 million in local government grants to assist with attracting and retaining childcare workers;
  • significantly reduced course fees for the Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care and a range of other care qualifications through the Lower fees, local skills initiative; and
  • low-fee existing worker traineeships for childcare workers.

The Early Childhood Education and Care Job Ready Program is a unique collaboration between the State Government, NR TAFE, Community Skills WA, Broome Local Jobs, and local industry. It is being delivered as an outreach program at Broome CIRCLE to provide local mothers returning to work with access to crèche facilities while they complete the training. Participants will also be supported by Nyamba Baru Yawuru through their Warrmijala Murrgurlayi (Rise up to Work), Sustainable Employment Program.

Job Ready programs are part of the State Government’s $5.5 billion investment in WA Recovery Plan initiatives to upskill the WA workforce and enhance employment and training opportunities following the COVID-19 outbreak. The training is free for job seekers of all ages, young people and eligible school students.

Employers of students who transition into traineeships will be able to access State and Australian Government incentives or wage subsidies. You can register your interest in the program on the Jobs and Skills WA website jobsandskills.wa.gov.au/pathways or call 08 6551 5049 or email ecec@dtwd.wa.gov.au.

“The Early Childhood Education and Care Job Ready program offers practical support to encourage Western Australians to start or restart their careers as early childhood educators." says Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery. “There has never been a better time to join WA’s early childhood education and care sector, which is in need of more workers, provides an essential service for Western Australians and their families, and supports our economy. Like many of the McGowan Government’s new training initiatives, this program has been designed to address barriers to participation in training and the workforce. “It will also link participants to employers and job and further training opportunities, helping to set them up for their new career.”

Student abseiling down tree

Remote and regional students to taste of the world of work.

Year 9 Career Taster Program now available to more WA students

Throughout Term 4, students in the most geographically isolated parts of Western Australia will have the opportunity to participate in the Year 9 Career Taster Program through a series of incursion workshops.

Supporting and Linking Tradeswomen Inc. (SALT), a not-for-profit organisation, will deliver 20 trade careers workshops to around 400 Year 9 students, and involving 22 regional schools. The 4.5 hour SALT workshops will showcase a variety of trades through hands on activities to demonstrate trade career pathways and will include collaboration with local tradespeople and the Regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry to highlight regional industries and provide information on local career pathways.

The School of Isolated and Distance Education’s (SIDE) industry roadshow plans to visit schools in the Pilbara region from 1—4 November. The roadshow, delivered by industry representatives together with the SIDE Career Practitioner, removes location as a barrier so that regional students have the opportunity to engage in the practical activities relevant in real workplaces.

The Career Taster Program gives students access to career information while helping them identify their existing skills and highlight how these are transferable to a range of potential careers. Launched late last year, the Career Taster Program was developed to spark Year 9 students’ ‘career curiosity’ and to provide an understanding of career pathways to assist students to make decisions about their subject selections for Years 11 and 12.

Up to June 2022, more than 4,900 students from 66 schools have participated in Career Taster Program activities. WA TAFE colleges have delivered tasters to more than 2,430 students from 52 WA schools covering 40 industry areas. More than a third of students come from priority cohorts including Aboriginal students, students with disability and students considered at educational risk.

The SALT workshops will be delivered to students at the following schools.

  • Leonora District High School
  • Meekatharra District High School
  • Newman Senior High School
  • La Grange Remote Community School
  • Derby District High School
  • Halls Creek District High School
  • Roebourne District High School
  • Dongara District High School
  • Jurien Bay District High School
  • Narembeen District High School
  • Bruce Rock District High School
  • Bridgetown Senior High School
  • Jerramungup District High School
  • Esperance Senior High School
  • Christian Aboriginal Parent-Directed School
  • Kambalda West District High School

Satellite schools

  • Mt Magnet District High School
  • Yiyili Community School
  • Wagin District High School
  • Gnowangerup District High School
  • Leinster Community School
  • Laverton College

    "These workshops are delivered by passionate professionals who offer hands-on practical career taster experiences and it's exciting that around 400 school students in regional and remote WA will have the opportunity to participate this term." says Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery. "Early engagement of young people through fun and practical career exploration activities provides them with the tools they need to make decisions about their future. All young people deserve access to career education, which is why the McGowan Government is making the investment to ensure all students get insight into opportunities available to them. "Importantly, these workshops will ignite students' career curiosity while making connections between education and post-school pathways and the opportunities available in their region."

      DTWD Annual Report.

      Annual Report 2021–22 now available

      A celebration of achievement for WA skills and training

      The Department is pleased to announce that our Annual report 2021–22 is now available.

      Each financial year, the report provides the Western Australian Parliament and the community with an overview of our performance; as well as budget papers and other strategic documents. It offers transparency, accountability, and compliance with legislative and government policy requirements, focuses on key areas of achievement and describes the functions, operations and performance highlights of the Department over the period.

      As noted by the Department’s Director General Karen Ho, 2021–22 saw a strong growth in the State’s economy and workforce participation. Employment reached record high levels, while unemployment rates fell. In addition; a shortage of skilled labour and industry diversification, border restrictions and staff absenteeism has made it difficult for business and industry to fill vacancies.

      Our Annual report 2021–22 highlights the Department's successful response to these workforce challenges. In the context of a 21 per cent increase in VET enrolments in 2021, compared to 2020, the annual report is a celebration of skills and training. In addition reporting progress against more than 20 actions; the State has undertaken to address workforce challenges, the report contains stories and testimonials from people whose lives have been positively impacted by training and employment programs and initiatives.

      View our Annual report 2021–22 at dtwd.wa.gov.au/about-us

       

      autism-academy-for-software-quality-assurance-student-scholarship-program-2022

      IT scholarships for people on the Autism Spectrum now open!

      Up to $5,000 available for VET study in 2023

      The Autism Academy for Software Quality Assurance (AASQA) at Curtin University is an Australian social innovation initiative with the vision of harnessing the special talents of people on the Autism Spectrum. The mission of the Academy is to enable individuals on the Autism Spectrum to leverage their awesome talents and skillsets. Their natural ability for extreme attention to detail, appreciation of predictability and capacity to focus, will augment their training in addressing business needs of the information communications technology (ICT) industry. In particular, ICT is facing challenges in attracting and retaining talents in areas like software development and testing, and cyber security.

      AASQA, the Autism Association of Western Australia and the Department of Training and Workforce Development have provided five scholarships for 2023, to a value of up to $5,000 each funded by the Department. Applications are now open for the 2023 scholarship program. 

      This scholarship is for students on the autism spectrum to study in the field of information technology. This includes software testing and programming, which both require high levels of attention over prolonged periods of time, which plays to the strengths of many individuals who are on the autism spectrum. Cyber security is another area of focus for this scholarship, offering fantastic pathways to a career in this growth area of IT.

      Scholarships will cover the cost of student fees for courses at Certificate IV and Diploma levels. Applications close on 2 December 2022. 

      WA Training Awards 2022 — Winners announced!

      Celebrating excellence in our vocational education and training sector

      Western Australia’s vocational education and training (VET) sector’s brightest stars celebrated tonight at the 2022 WA Training Awards presentation event at Crown Perth, with eight individual and five organisations announced as this year’s winners. Now in their 28th year, the awards recognise the outstanding achievements of apprentices, trainees, employers and training organisations with individual winners receiving $3,000; and WA winners could go on to represent the State at the Australian Training Awards in Adelaide on Friday 18 November 2022. This year, the awards attracted a surge in applications coinciding with record student enrolments in government-funded VET courses in 2021.

      South Metropolitan TAFE was named as WA Large Training Provider of the Year 2022, and was among five organisation winners that were recognised as industry leaders and important contributors to the work to build a pipeline of skilled local workers.

      The 2022 WA Training Awards are made possible thanks to continuing support from the State Training Board, MEGT, Apprenticeship Support Australia powered by CCIWA, Construction Training Fund, the Electrical and Communications Association of Western Australia, Maxima and the Training Accreditation Council WA.

      At the event this evening, Acting Education and Training Minister Rita Saffioti said that “The WA Training Awards provide an opportunity to shine a light on the brightest stars in the VET sector, showcasing excellence and outstanding achievement. The McGowan Government has invested significantly in training in recognition of its vital role in keeping WA’s economy strong and giving all Western Australians the opportunity to work in their dream career. Congratulations to all of the 2022 winners, who are to be commended for their dedication to their vocational training and for being exemplary ambassadors for the Western Australian training sector.”

      Read the full media statement here

      WA Training Awards 2022 winner profiles

      WA Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year: Wayne Ryder

      From school captain to captain of his football team, Wayne has paved the way for Aboriginal men walking a similar journey. One of his proudest achievements was creating the Waakal Moort Kaadadjiny Festival, a health and wellbeing festival for at-risk Aboriginal people. Wayne began working for Palmerston Association as a Community Aboriginal Worker, supporting individuals affected by drugs and alcohol following his lived experience. He later won a scholarship to study a Diploma of Leadership and Management with the Australian Institute of Management.

      WA Apprentice of the Year: Megan Hazelden

      Growing up on a farm watching her parents work on machinery, Megan knew she wanted to become a mechanic. Now completing a Certificate III in Engineering, she is well on her way to reaching her goal of becoming a Mechanical Fitter at Wagerup Refinery. Throughout her apprenticeship, Megan has had the opportunity to represent women in the industry, presenting at schools and student career nights about career opportunities. Winning South Metropolitan TAFE’s Apprentice of the Year 2021 gave her the confidence to encourage women to apply for an apprenticeship in mechanical fitting.

      WA Cultural Diversity Training Award: Feng Yang

      A birthday wish from Feng’s daughter for better lunches to take to school changed Feng’s life, and began his journey into a new and exciting career. After moving to Australia from China and wanting to make his daughter proud while learning more about nutrition, Feng enrolled in a Certificate III in Commercial Cookery at South Metropolitan TAFE. Aside from mastering different cuisines, Feng’s communication skills have improved, his daughter’s lunch box is the most popular at school and Feng is working towards his goal of becoming a chef.

      WA International Student of the Year: Yu-Chien (Eva) Cho

      It was the interactive learning environment in the training restaurant at South Metropolitan TAFE that captured Eva’s attention and cemented her decision to study a Diploma of Hospitality Management. Eva’s career pathway started in Taiwan, but since moving to Perth, she has completed a Diploma and is now studying towards the Advanced Diploma of Hospitality Management. Eva says her oral and written communication skills have improved immensely and she has gained an appreciation of working with students from other cultures.

      WA School-based Apprentice of the Year: Sophia Pitaro

      Driven to gain as much experience as she can while attending high school, Sophia has already completed a Certificates in Events Management, Tourism and Skills for Work and Vocational Pathways. Now embarking on a traineeship through North Metropolitan TAFE, Sophia is completing a Certificate III in Sport and Recreation and has completed qualifications including her First Aid, Lifeguard and CPR Certificates while gaining on-the-job experience with BlueFit — Belmont Oasis Leisure Centre.

      WA Trainee of the Year: Brittany-Leigh Wragg

      Being one of the first students to study a Certificate III in Defence Industry Pathways Program, Brittany cites the unwavering support from the team at South Metropolitan TAFE and Programmed Training Services that helped her feel confident about her chosen career pathway in a male-dominated industry. Brittany-Leigh has sampled different job roles while undertaking work placement rotations and gained real-life experience, all while building up a network of industry contacts. She hopes to begin an apprenticeship in defence on completion of her traineeship.

      WA Trainer of the Year: Stephen Delaney, Bibra Lake (MPA Skills)

      For 20 years, Stephen has delivered training to his students with a pastoral and holistic approach. He readily participates in training to upskill, as well as adapting and improving his teaching style to navigate modern-day challenges. At MPA Skills Painting and Plumbing, Stephen’s passion is training pre-apprentices which he says is “challenging and rewarding” but where he can make the biggest impact. Stephen did not think he would be training for as long as he has been, but two decades later, he is as passionate as ever and loves making a difference in people’s lives. Stephen says training students is a privilege. Imparting confidence, support and knowledge to pre-apprentices is what he finds the most rewarding. He is responsible for leading landmark art projects around Perth for which his pre-apprentices have proudly completed, including the Salvos Store in Maylands and the Morley City Library.

      WA Vocational Student of the Year: Caitlin Bezuidenhout

      Inspired after visiting her nanna at an aged-care facility, nine-year-old Caitlin was determined to make a positive change in the industry. Still at school, Caitlin is completing her Certificate IV in Preparation for Health and Nursing studies through Health Science Hub and her Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing) through Australian Medical Association WA. Through her work placement with Baptistcare, Caitlin has been able to gain hands on experience and is passionate about creating positive energy in her workplace.

      WA Small Employer of the Year: Matera Electrical

      Starting with just four staff, Matera Electrical has grown to over 90 employees, aiming for excellence in safety standards and high-quality work within the construction and oil and gas industries. With roughly 80 per cent of employees actively engaged in training, and spending on average 200 hours per month in training, the company is committed to a team-focused approach, fostering positive change and prioritising communication and training to ensure staff are fully engaged and equipped for superior results.

      WA Large Employer of the Year: Byrnecut

      Byrnecut is one of the world's leading underground contract miners with over 3,800 employees. Byrnecut’s training programs undergo continuous improvement, with input from experienced operators and management to ensure quality learning opportunities. With 21 per cent of employees undertaking a traineeship or apprenticeship within WA, Byrnecut are committed to world-class training and development, individualised learning plans, unlimited support and access to thousands of resources and networks to set employees up for successful, long-term careers with the company.

      WA Industry Collaboration Award: Making Tracks (Department of Justice)

      Making Tracks is a collaborative industry training and employment network of partnerships for prisoners across WA to ensure VET delivery within prisons is relevant and appropriate to the needs of both the prisoners engaged in training and the businesses that go on to employ them. Through collaboration with employers in key industries, the program reduces the stigma ex-prisoners face when seeking employment, while meeting the needs of the labour market, contributing to the economy and reducing reoffending.

      WA Small Training Provider of the Year: Taylorweir International School of Hairdressing

      Taylorweir International School of Hairdressing (Taylorweir) is the longest established private hairdressing RTO in WA. The training delivery focuses on a client-driven approach, ensuring that students achieve their best outcomes with support from their employers and the outstanding teaching skills of the organisation's trainers. With over 480 enrolled students, Taylorweir’s 25-year journey continues to be one of learning, growth and change which has allowed it to maintain its position as a leader of hairdressing and barbering education in Australia.

      Large Training Provider of the Year: South Metropolitan TAFE

      South Metropolitan TAFE is one of WA’s most diverse training providers. The college offers more than 340 qualifications, from foundation courses to apprenticeships and traineeships, to advanced diplomas and skill sets. The college is dedicated to working collaboratively with industry, ensuring their partnerships support economic and community development. With 12 campuses throughout the southern corridor; including major campuses in Bentley, Carlisle, Fremantle, Murdoch, Rockingham, Thornlie and Mandurah, South Metropolitan TAFE has more than 28,000 students across their Perth campuses as well as offshore students in a number of countries.

      Visit the WA Training Awards website to find out more

      Subsidised and free training for humanitarian migrants

      Training boost for Ukraine and Afghanistan humanitarian migrants

      Access to free skill sets and low-fee courses from January 2023

      From January 2023, access to free training and over 210 low-fee qualifications will be extended to humanitarian migrants (refugees and asylum seekers) from Afghanistan and Ukraine as they seek to take up job opportunities in Western Australia. Announced today by Acting Minister for Education and Training Rita Saffioti, this WA State Government initiative will support these new and often vulnerable members of the Western Australian community to gain skills and sustainable employment; and continue to build a pipeline of skilled workers to take up job opportunities in occupations experiencing skills shortages.

      Access to free and low-fee training will be made available from January 2023 for the following visa holders.
       

      • Ukraine nationals holding a Humanitarian Stay (Temporary) visa (subclass 449) or a Temporary (Humanitarian Concern) visa (subclass 786);
      • Afghanistan nationals holding a Humanitarian Stay (Temporary) visa (subclass 449); and
      • bridging visa holders with both study and work rights who have applied for a permanent Protection visa (subclass 866).

      This includes free and low-fee job ready skill sets, and over 210 qualifications with course fees reduced by up to 72 per cent under the Lower fees, local skills initiative.

      This latest expansion of subsidised training follows changes to WA's migration program, to coincide with an increased allocation of 8,140 places for WA for 2022–23 in the Commonwealth Government’s State Nominated Migration Program.

      In July this year, the McGowan Government launched a Skilled Migrant Employment Register to connect skilled migrants with WA jobs, accessible through the Migration WA website. All migrants with work rights can also access the register to help them find jobs. For more information about the register, and to access the migration portal, please visit migration.wa.gov.au.

      “Western Australians are known for their compassion, and this is just one of many reasons that our State is the most attractive place in the world to live, work and study.“ said the A/Minister. 

      Read the full media statement here

      South Metropolitan TAFE Australia’s leading defence trainer

      Recognised with a national defence award

      Congratulations to South Metropolitan TAFE (SMTAFE), who are celebrating their recognition as Australia's  leading defence industry trainer after it was named Academic Institution of the Year at the Defence Connect Australian Defence Industry Awards in Canberra. The national award highlights SMTAFE as an academic institution that delivers outstanding work, while strengthening Australia’s defence and national security capabilities through participation in the defence industry.

      Supported by the State Government’s five years of investment in TAFE infrastructure and equipment; SM TAFE has a long track record of providing specialist support and job ready defence, shipbuilding and sustainment workers. The TAFE’s dedicated defence industry trades campus at Naval Base was established to help meet growing demand for defence shipbuilding training, and has capacity to train 118 students per day across 45 welding bays with state of the art equipment. Its Maritime Training Centre in Fremantle also provides student opportunities to develop capability in an immersive, world class marine simulation centre, with multi-functional labs and a fleet of training vessels. SMTAFE is also collaborating with defence industries to drive the Defence Industry Pathways Program, funded by the Australian Government, which offers 12-month traineeships enabling people to get practical industry experience across a variety of defence career options and helps facilitate employment with world leading employers.

      Defence industry training and career support provided by SM TAFE also contributed to its awards success. A dedicated defence industry team located at the Rockingham Jobs and Skills Centre works with jobseekers and employers to provide advice on training pathways to employment in the defence industry. The team also promotes defence industries careers in schools, and has links with WA universities. The Rockingham JSC is one of 17 such centres located across WA, which can be contacted on 13 64 64.

      To find out more about jobs and careers in WA's defence industry, the training available at SMTAFE, and services available at the Rockingham JSC, visit the Defence page of the Jobs and Skills WA website.

      Acting Education and Training Minister Rita Saffioti says “South Metropolitan TAFE has a strong reputation in the defence sector and provides incredible opportunities for Western Australians to enter the industry or advance their careers, so it fantastic that this has been recognised and celebrated at a national level. I commend everyone involved in producing a world class training program that closely links TAFE with industry and ensures pipeline of skilled workers for our future workforce. 

      Defence Industry Minister Paul Papalia added that “This award shows WA’s Defence Industry is producing the leaders of tomorrow who will use expertise and innovation to help keep our nation safe. At a time when Australia’s Defence Force posture is under review, South Metropolitan TAFE’s recognition as the nation’s leading defence industry trainer is yet another reason why WA is best placed to play a bigger role in the nation’s defence. “

      "This national award recognises our defence industry training capabilities and reinforces our commitment to developing a pipeline of skilled talent for the industry. “With more than two decades of working with WA’s defence shipbuilding and sustainment industry, South Metropolitan TAFE has a proven track record of producing job-ready workers.” said SM TAFE Managing Director Ms Terry Durant.

      Read the full media statement here

      Online Trade Certificate Verification now available

      New self-service options in WAAMS

      Trade certificates that have been issued to apprentices who have successfully completed an apprenticeship in Western Australia can now be verified online through a new Online Trade Certificate Verification (OTCV) self-service available in Apprenticeship Office’s Western Australian Apprenticeship Management System (WAAMS) online client portal.

      Individuals can enter the tradesperson's first and last name and training contract ID into the Verify Trade Certificate section of the WAAMS portal, and if a matching trade certificate is found the system will return the name of the apprenticeship and the date that the trade certificate was issued.

      Apprentices are able to opt out of this service if they do not want their trade certificate details to be available via OTCV.

      Trade certificate copy

      A hard copy trade certificate is issued to every apprentice that successfully completes an apprenticeship in WA. Should an original trade certificate become destroyed, lost or stolen; an apprentice can now log into their WAAMS portal account to request a digital copy which will be automatically sent to the email address associated with their account.

      Apprentices and trainees also have an option in WAAMS to download an extract of their training contract.

      An application for a replacement hard copy trade certificate can be made by completing the Application for a replacement trade certificate form available from the Apprenticeship Office website.

      Further information and user guides for these new services are available on the Apprenticeship Office website at dtwd.wa.gov.au/apprenticeship-office#trade-certificates, or by calling 13 19 54.

      New $2M facilities upgrade for Central Regional TAFE's Northam campus

      $2M upgrade of Central Regional TAFE’s Northam campus complete

      New classrooms and trades workshops for Wheatbelt students

      The $2 million upgrade of Central Regional TAFE’s Northam campus is the latest to be officially opened as part of the State Government’s statewide rollout of improvements to essential TAFE infrastructure. Students studying at Northam TAFE are among the first to benefit from the modern trade training facilities, including the new metals and construction workshops.

      The upgraded facilities will help to meet the needs of industries in the Wheatbelt region, including metal fabrication and building and construction, by training students in industry-standard facilities so they leave the TAFE job ready.

      Designed by T&Z Architects and constructed by AE Hoskins Building Services, which are both Western Australian companies, the project included reconfiguration of existing classrooms to maximise space and provide an extra classroom, computer laboratory and six additional welding bays.

      The State Government is investing $215.8 million upgrading TAFE colleges across the State as part of the WA Recovery Plan.

      “The McGowan Government is investing in the largest ever TAFE capital works program to upgrade training facilities across Western Australia, including in regional areas,“ says Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery. "The Wheatbelt is an important contributor to the State’s economy, and these upgrades at Northam TAFE will help to deliver industries in the region with a pipeline of skilled workers who have trained in these contemporary facilities.”

      Agricultural Region MLC Darren West said, “The McGowan Government’s significant work to upgrade TAFE facilities across WA is delivering for the Wheatbelt, with these fantastic new facilities opening up opportunities for people to get quality training closer to home. The $2 million in upgrades will ultimately bolster the region’s workforce, helping local businesses’ access to the skilled workers they need to thrive.”

      Read the full media statement here

      Isabella Tomich at her desk

      Youth employment series: Meet Isabella Tomich

      In this series, we meet some of the valued trainees and graduates working at the Department.

      At the Department, we pride ourselves on an inclusive and diverse workforce. Workplace diversity means everyone benefits from a wide range of experiences and perspectives. This leads to a real boost in ideas, skills, and creativity in the workplace.

      Part of our workplace diversity involves supporting the career growth of younger Australians.

      Q&A with Isabella Tomich, graduate

      Isabella joined the Department as a graduate in the Policy, Planning, and Innovation directorate.

      Isabella Tomich 2.jpg

      Pictured: Isabell Tomich outside the Department's head office, Djookanup

      What attracted you to the graduate position at the Department?
      The role sounded like an amazing way to get hands-on policy experience, and work on a wide range of projects and tasks. Aside from the career-building benefits, the skills and training sector appealed to me because I know the value of an education and the opportunities it can provide, particularly to more disadvantaged members of our community. Helping to improve the education and employment prospects of people as my job seemed incredibly rewarding and it absolutely has been so far.

      What did you study at university?
      I completed a Bachelor of Arts at University of Western Australia, majoring in Political Science and International Relations, and Law and Society. After taking a semester off, I moved to Melbourne and completed a Master of International Relations at the University of Melbourne, with Second Class Honours. I did this degree via coursework rather than completing a thesis, and had a particular focus on counter-terrorism and international diplomacy.

      Where’s the best place you’ve travelled to?
      I’ve been pretty fortunate to have done quite a bit of travel throughout my life so far and there are some really amazing places out there. It’s hard to pick just one but I think Paris is my favourite. The Palace of Versailles is technically just outside of Paris but that has to be the best place I’ve ever visited. I’ve been lucky enough to recently do some travel with the Department recently and workwise, Karratha was definitely the best destination. It was a great thing to see the development of a regional town and how far it’s come in the last decade or so.

      What do you enjoy doing out of work?
      One thing I love about working for the Department is the great work-life balance culture that exists here. I have plenty of time outside of work to pursue the things I enjoy, which I think is important. I love to cook for friends and family and I’m always on the lookout for new recipes, especially anything that involves chocolate. I also spend a lot of time at the beach and dedicate time to volunteering with young disadvantaged children regularly.

      What advice would you give to other graduates?
      My first and probably most important piece of advice would be to be super organised! It can be hard going from university to full time work and having to balance a lot of different tasks and deadlines, and I find that staying organised with checklists has been great to make sure I am across everything I need to be. My second piece of advice is to be kind to yourself. Nobody expects you to know how to do everything straight away, particularly things you’ve never done before. People are always willing to help and all you need to do is ask.

      Read Write Now literacy program celebrates 45 years

      Thank you to all our volunteer tutors

      Imagine buying the same food products at the supermarket each week because you are unable to read food labels. For some Western Australians this is their reality, and literacy is a daily battle.

      For many of us; reading a bus timetable, a pharmaceutical prescription or even filling out a form at the doctors comes easy. But for varying reasons — including upbringing, education or original nationality — some adults struggle to read and write, which is why literacy programs such as Read Write Now are so important. It has been estimated almost half of Australian adults have low level literacy and for many Western Australians, Read Write Now has transformed their live, with the flow on effect also impacting those close to them.

      Thousands of Western Australians have sought assistance through the Department-funded initiative to improve their literacy skills, and this year the program celebrates its 45th anniversary. The epic milestone is thanks to the community-based volunteers who offer one on one tutoring throughout WA with the aim of improving adult literacy including reading, writing, maths, study or basic computer skills, which ultimately improves their social and economic wellbeing. The program operates from North Metropolitan TAFE's Leederville campus to deliver statewide services to 17 regions around WA.

      Students and volunteers meet either face to face or using online services such as Zoom, WhatsApp and GoogleMeet. Tutoring can also be offered at other venues such as TAFE colleges, libraries and community centres.

      Volunteer tutors are integral to the program, as they dedicate countless hours to prepare personalised lessons which supports students to achieve their study goals. Volunteers provide exceptional services in sometimes challenging circumstances and each dedicates 1.5 hours weekly to each student to provide tutoring and mentorship. The goodwill of the tutors who gift their patience and share their literacy skills is instrumental to Read Write Now’s longevity.

      This 45th anniversary celebrates and recognises the achievements, commitment and volunteering activities provided by tutors to people with literacy needs, to adults with vulnerabilities and learning difficulties, and in supporting the workforce in a technologically driven world.

      For more information visit read-write-now.org

      Trainee Amina and her colleague

      Youth employment series: Meet Amina Farah

      In this series, we meet some of the valued trainees and graduates working at the Department.

      At the Department, we pride ourselves on an inclusive and diverse workforce. Workplace diversity means everyone benefits from a wide range of experiences and perspectives. This leads to a real boost in ideas, skills, and creativity in the workplace.

      Part of our workplace diversity involves supporting the career growth of younger Australians. 

      Q&A with Amina Farah, trainee

      Amina Farah started the 18-month public sector school-based traineeship with the Department in February 2021, supported by her team in Human Resources. 

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      Pictured left to right: Supervisor, Riz Punzalan and school-based trainee, Amina Farah

      What motivated you to do a government traineeship?
      I wanted to get out of my comfort zone and challenge myself. I also wanted to gain new skills and knowledge.

      What are some key things you’ve learnt at the Department?
      Some skills I have gained working at in the Department are communication, social and teamwork skills. I have also attended professional development courses, including mental health training, Content Manager training, time management training and the Aboriginal and Cultural Awareness training.

      What are your favourite school subjects?
      My favourite subjects at school are Human Biology, Certificate II in Business and English. I like Human Biology because it is interesting learning about the body; and English has always been my favourite. I have learnt new things in the Certificate II in Business, such as how to use OneNote and OneDrive.

      What are your goals for next year?
      My goals for next year is to be competent in this traineeship, to pass all my subjects and to graduate high school. I also want to get my driver’s licence next year when I turn 17.

      What advice would you give to future trainees?
      To take all the advice and feedback you get from your colleagues. To learn as much as you can every day and to keep a diary. Don’t be shy to ask questions.

      Do you have a role model? Who is it and why?
      My role models are my parents, teachers and my colleagues. They all inspire me to be the best I can and to be successful in life.
       

      Defence Industry Existing Worker Incentive

      New training incentive to boost WA's defence industry workforce

      Upskilling workers to meet demands of technological advances

      As Western Australia continues to prepare for current and future defence work, the importance of occupations such as engineers, technicians and cyber security and ICT professionals to this growing sector has never been clearer. WA’s defence industry workforce has received a boost, with a new initiative launched to support upskilling of workers into critical roles.

      Eligible employers across the defence industry can now access the new Defence Industry Existing Worker Incentive (DIEWI), which provides financial assistance of up to $6,375 to offer existing workers the opportunity to upskill through an existing worker traineeship (EWT). The new $1.08 million program will support career progression of 120 existing workers into critical paraprofessional and professional roles, equipping them with the skills needed to meet the demands of technological advances across the industry.

      Under the DIEWI, existing worker traineeships are available in three key industry qualifications:

      • Certificate IV in Cyber Security;
      • Diploma of Applied Technologies (Applied Technologies Technician); and
      • Diploma of Engineering – Technical (Engineering Draftsperson).

      All three qualifications are also heavily subsidised, with course fees reduced by 72 per cent through the State Government’s successful Lower fees, local skills program, keeping training affordable and accessible across a range of in-demand occupations.

      Through the Western Australian Defence and Defence Industries Strategic Plan, the WA State Government has committed to making defence a priority sector; recognising its vital importance for economic diversification and job creation. The new DIEWI is among the $11 million worth of initiatives in the 2022–23 State Budget aimed at boosting WA’s defence-ready workforce, which will help to deliver a pipeline of skilled workers for this priority sector. It also builds on the State Government's previous $18 million investment to boost WA’s defence industry capabilities and trades workforce.

      The DIEWI program is delivered by South Metropolitan TAFE, the largest defence industry training provider in the State, with the ability to customise the training to meet business needs.

      For more information about DIEWI, go to jobsandskills.wa.gov.au/diewi

      Announcing the new incentive, Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery said “Western Australia’s world leading defence industry plays a vital role in the State’s economy and economic diversification. This new initiative will help build the skilled defence workforce required for the future, by supporting career progression of existing workers into critical roles. This is a great opportunity for WA businesses to take up this financial incentive to upskill their workers.”

      "Western Australia is home to some of the world’s most innovative defence suppliers, and the Defence Industry Existing Worker Incentive will help businesses to maintain their competitive edge and strong workforces, amid technological advances across the industry.” said Defence Industry Minister Paul Papalia.

      Read the full media statement here

      ICT traineeships

      New ICT and Cyber Security traineeships for career pathways!

      New school-based ICT traineeship and existing worker traineeships also now available

      Following industry feedback a new school-based ICT traineeship, new existing worker ICT traineeships, and three new higher level traineeships have been established to address skill needs for WA's crucial information communications and technology (ICT) sector.

      Three new  ICT traineeships
      In addition to the traineeships already available in the Certificate III and the Certificate IV in Information Technology, three new ICT traineeships are now available in the following qualifications.

      • Certificate IV in Cyber Security
      • Diploma of Information Technology
      • Advanced Diploma of Information Technology

      The Certificate IV in Information Technology traineeship has also been streamlined and now includes a broad range of specialisations such as gaming development, programming, networking and web development.

      These new higher level traineeships will help address critical skills needs in the ICT sector and provide an employment-based training pathway for new workers. Traineeship graduates will develop skills for a range of industries that require ICT specialists, such as defence, government, telecommunications, logistics and finance.as well as upskilling and re-skilling existing workers. These qualifications are also heavily subsidised through the State Government’s highly successful Lower fees, local skills initiative, keeping training costs affordable. 

      New school-based ICT traineeship
      Secondary school students will now have a pathway to higher level training, with the existing Certificate III in Information Technology traineeship now expanded to include a school-based traineeship for students seeking a career in ICT. This new qualification is in addition to the existing Certificate III in Applied Digital Technologies school-based ICT traineeship.

      Career opportunities arising from these traineeships are not just limited to the ICT sector, but extend to other industries that require ICT specialists such as defence; government; telecommunications; logistics; and finance.

      Existing worker traineeships in ICT
      To help employers enhance the skills of their workforce, to support current and future business needs, a limited number of existing workers will also be able to access these traineeships at low cost. All three traineeships have been added to the Existing Worker Traineeship (EWT) program, to support employers in this critical sector invest in their workforce. Trainees will gain a nationally recognised qualification that combines employment and training. Following the completion of the higher level traineeship, they may also progress to higher education studies. These EWTs are also heavily subsidised with course fees reduced by 72 per cent through the WA State Government's highly successful Lower fees, local skills initiative, keeping training costs affordable.

      Record results continue for apprenticeships and traineeships in WA

      Announced today at SkillsWest Careers & Employment Expo 

      While touring the SkillsWest Careers and Employment Expo today, Minister for Education and Training Sue Ellery MLC announced record-breaking numbers of Western Australian apprentices and trainees in training for June. The unprecedented numbers were bolstered by a record-breaking number of training contracts registered in July, eclipsing the March record.

      On the back of the WA State Government’s significant investment in the training sector, the number of apprentices and trainees in training climbed to a record of more than 47,700 by the end of June 2022. This is the first time the number has reached beyond 45,000 in 10 years. The record 4,490 training contract registrations recorded in July eclipses the previous record set in March this year.
       

      • Apprenticeships and traineeships continue to be a popular choice for Western Australians, with more than 10,300 people completing an apprenticeship or traineeship in 2021–22; up 16 per cent from the previous year.
      • Apprenticeships with the most significant completion increases were mechanical fitters (up 71 per cent), automotive electricians (up 70 per cent), heavy mobile mechanics (up 46 per cent) and heavy/welding fabricators (up 42 per cent).
      SkillsWest Careers and Employment Expo

      The results come as Perth hosts the SkillsWest Careers and Employment Expo —Western Australia’s biggest showcase of jobs, skills and training at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre, giving all West Aussies the advice and opportunities to follow suit. Now in its 13th year, the expo provides jobseekers and students with free advice and interactive experiences to inspire their future careers, with a strong focus on apprenticeships and traineeships. Up to 15,000 people including secondary students, graduates and career changers are expected to attend event, which brings 140 employers and training organisations together under one roof.

      Staff from TAFE colleges and Jobs and Skills Centres are on hand to provide free and practical advice on apprenticeship, training and career opportunities, including the State Government’s $22 million Career Taster Program. While at the expo, the Minister took part in an interactive experience from the program, which is providing Year 9 students around the State with access to career discovery and practical industry activities to support early experiences of the world of work.

      The expo also features an entire pavilion dedicated to WorldSkills regional competitions, where the State’s best are competing for medal positions in real time while showcasing their trade and skill talent.

      The expo is on until 27 August at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre. For more information, visit skillswestexpo.com.au.

      “The McGowan Government’s five years of investment in training and workforce initiatives is creating record training results and world-class learning and job opportunities for West Australians.“ said the Minister. "Apprentices and trainees are a valuable part of the State’s workforce, so this surge in their numbers is adding to the pipeline of skilled workers available. The SkillsWest Expo comes at an opportune time with Western Australia’s strongest economic performance in the nation and very low unemployment putting jobseekers in a prime position to enter training or the workforce and make their dream careers become a life-changing reality. The expo provides a window into the amazing array of careers, jobs and skills and training opportunities on offer, and the practical support available to help Western Australians of all ages and backgrounds to access training and jobs.”

      Read the full media statement here

      Disability Jobs Connecct

      New online platform supporting jobseekers with disability

      DIY profiles to showcase skills and experience to employers

      The new Disability Jobs Connect is an innovative online platform for people with disability to help overcome the challenges of gaining employment and connect with potential employers who recognise the unique skills and attributes they possess.  

      People with a disability can create a profile showcasing their skills, attributes, values, previous experience and more. Employers can then search on this information, view candidate profiles and connect with those best aligned to their business and available role. People or groups helping the candidate with their employment – including Disability Employment Service (DES) providers, the NDIS or a candidate’s legal guardian – can be linked into the activity between employers and candidates.

      National Disability Services, the peak body representing disability service providers, has developed the online platform in partnership with local WA technology company Studium. The development of the platform was funded by the WA State Government through a $400,000 Lotterywest grant, and incorporated a series of co-design sessions with people with disability and Disability Employment Services (DES) providers. This co-design process informed and shaped the platform, and has ensured the final product meets the needs of people with disability, DES providers and progressive employers seeking to employ people with disability. The platform will also assist employers to tap into underutilised expertise and improve their workforce diversity.

      Unlike traditional employment platforms where employers advertise vacant positions based on job descriptions and jobseekers use structured CVs and cover letters to apply, Disability Jobs Connect invites jobseekers to create their own profiles to showcase their skills, values and interests in the way that best suits and describes them. Employers can then search on this information, view candidate profiles and connect with those best aligned to their business and available role. Jobseekers and employers can make requests to connect and explore employment opportunities, and DES providers can also upload the profiles of people with disability and support them through the job search process.

      Visit studium.work/disabilityjobsconnect

      The new Disability Job Connect platform was announced by Hon Don Punch BPsych BSocwk MBA MLA —Minister for Disability Services; Fisheries; Seniors and Ageing; Small Business — on Wednesday 10 August 2022. You can view the full media statement here

      DTWD graduate Ashwini Bhat

      Youth employment series: Meet Ashwini Bhat

      In this series, we meet some of the valued trainees and graduates working at the Department.

      At the Department, we pride ourselves on an inclusive and diverse workforce. Workplace diversity means everyone benefits from a wide range of experiences and perspectives. This leads to a real boost in ideas, skills, and creativity in the workplace.

      Part of our workplace diversity involves supporting the career growth of younger Australians. In this series, we meet some of the valued trainees and graduates working at the Department.

      Q&A with Ashwini Bhat, graduate

      Ashwini joined the Department as a graduate in the Policy, Planning and Innovation directorate.

      Aswini 2.jpg

      Pictured: DTWD graduate Ashwini Bhat and her dog Rocky

      What attracted you to the graduate position at the Department?
      I applied to the Graduate Program because it looked like an excellent opportunity to develop my skills in policy and research. Being my first proper job out of university, the idea of completing four, six-month rotations appealed to me because it would provide me with a wide range of experiences and the opportunity to develop connections across the Department. Before applying to the Department, I had been contemplating studying a PhD, however I felt it was important to gain some solid work experience, which I’ve definitely been gaining so far in my time at the Department.

      What did you study at university?
      I studied a Master of Public Health and a Bachelor of Science majoring in Anatomy and Human Biology, both at the University of Western Australia. During my Masters, I completed a dissertation at Telethon Kids Institute where I studied novel interventions to increase young children’s physical activity. I specifically helped design, implement and analyse a pilot program that explored how dog walking and playing with the family dog could increase both structured and unstructured physical activity in 5–8 year old’s. It was such a fun research project, which really helped expand my knowledge and skills (and increase my GPA! I received a High Distinction for my dissertation).

      Where’s the best place you’ve travelled to?
      I have to say Toronto, Canada was amazing in winter! It was exactly like the movies with all the snow and Christmas festivities. But it was bitterly cold too, with temperatures reaching -15 degrees Celsius when I was there! Once borders reopen, I’d love to explore the rest of North America and see the Northern Lights.

      What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
      I often tell people that I enjoy reading and doing creative things like knitting and baking, but I don’t do these enough. I usually end up spending my time outside of work watching movies and TV shows, hanging out with friends and family, or finding a good café.

      What advice would you give to other graduates?
      It’s a bit of a cliché but be open to different opportunities and experiences because you never know where they’ll take you!

      WA Training Awards 2022 finalists announced

      WA Training Awards 2022 finalists announced!

      Representing excellence in vocational education and training

      Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery today announced the finalists for the vocational and education training (VET) sector’s prestigious WA Training Awards 2022.

      The Awards highlight outstanding individuals and training organisations that demonstrate exceptional work, excellence or innovation in the VET sector. As well as the recognition these respected awards bring, individual winners each receive $3,000 which can be used to further their training or kickstart their career, while organisation winners will be recognised as industry leaders.

      This year’s Awards showcase the diversity of people accessing training opportunities in WA, with 43 finalists — 30 individuals and 13 organisations — selected from a total of 118 entries in 13 awards categories. Applications were up 23 per cent from last year with regional applications also recording an increase, accounting for a quarter of the total applications, and for the first time since 2019; the Industry Collaboration Award has returned.

      Congratulations to the finalists!

      Individual categories

      WA APPRENTICE OF THE YEAR 2022

      • Josh Fraser, Bullsbrook
      • Megan Hazelden, Pinjarra
      • Dylan Kent, Heathridge
      • Jake Lee, Mount Claremont

      WA SCHOOL-BASED APPRENTICE OF THE YEAR 2022

      • Isabella Amey, Success
      • Desiree Baxter, Cloverdale
      • Khesharna Lee, South Hedland
      • Sophia Pitaro, Kardinya 

      WA TRAINEE OF THE YEAR 2022

      • Tenaya Ewings, Northam
      • Zoe Gillard, Nedlands
      • Emily Prickett, Hillbert
      • Brittany-Leigh Wragg, Mandurah

      WA VOCATIONAL STUDENT OF THE YEAR 2022

      • Caitlin Bezuidenhout, Chidlow
      • Corrie Ramsay, Singleton
      • Naomi Rigby, Maddington 
      • Christopher Smithall, Leschenault

      WA ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER STUDENT OF THE YEAR 2022

      • Courtney Charles, South Hedland
      • Jye Graham, Australind
      • Lieshia Green, Balcatta
      • Wayne Ryder

      WA CULTURAL DIVERSITY TRAINING AWARD 2022

      • Dilrukshi Muthuthanthrige, Walpole
      • Thanh Cong Luu, Wattle Grove
      • Feng Yang, Nedlands

      WA INTERNATIONAL STUDENT OF THE YEAR 2022

      • Yu-Chien (Eva) Cho, Cannington 
      • Sophie Giraud, Shoalwater 
      • Lea Krebs, East Perth

      WA TRAINER OF THE YEAR 2022

      • Robert Carter, South Regional TAFE, Narrogin campus
      • Stephen Delaney, MPA Skills
      • Sharleen Jordan, Central Regional TAFE, Northam Campus
      • Tania O'Dea, Marr Mooditj Training

      Organisation categories

      WA LARGE EMPLOYER OF THE YEAR

      • Byrnecut
      • Electricity Generation and Retail Corporation, T/A Synergy

      WA SMALL EMPLOYER OF THE YEAR

      • Consolidated Group (CG)
      • Matera Electrical

      WA INDUSTRY COLLABORATION AWARD

      • Defence Industry Pathways Program (South Metropolitan TAFE)
      • Making Tracks (Department of Justice)
      • NETTS – National Energy Technician Training Scheme

      SMALL TRAINING PROVIDER OF THE YEAR

      • Future Institute of Australia
      • Taylorweir International School of Hairdressing 
      • WA College of Agriculture Cunderdin

      LARGE TRAINING PROVIDER OF THE YEAR

      • Central Regional TAFE (CR TAFE)
      • LabTech Training
      • South Metropolitan TAFE (SM TAFE)

      You can find out more about this year's finalists on the WA Training Awards website

      Winners will be announced at a presentation ceremony on 21 September 2022, and could go on to win the national title at the Australian Training Awards in Adelaide in November 2022.

      Thank you to our sponsors
      The 2022 WA Training Awards are made possible thanks to continuing support from the State Training Board, MEGT, Apprenticeship Support Australia powered by CCIWA, Construction Training Fund, the Electrical and Communications Association of Western Australia, Maxima and the Training Accreditation Council WA.

      “The WA Training Awards are the pinnacle of excellence in the VET sector, celebrating the outstanding achievements of both individuals and organisations.“ said the Minister. "We have never experienced a more exciting time for Western Australia’s training sector, thanks to the McGowan Government's commitment ongoing commitment to accessible training available for all. This year’s list of  finalists showcases the diversity of people accessing training opportunities, including increased applications from Aboriginal people throughout all categories, and more female participation in school-based apprenticeships and traineeships. Congratulations to all of the finalists, they are fantastic ambassadors for Western Australia's training system.”

      Read the full media statement here

      Youth employment series: Meet Alison Obszanski

      In this series, we meet some of the valued trainees and graduates working at the Department.

      At the Department, we pride ourselves on an inclusive and diverse workforce. Workplace diversity means everyone benefits from a wide range of experiences and perspectives. This leads to a real boost in ideas, skills, and creativity in the workplace.

      Part of our workplace diversity involves supporting the career growth of younger Australians. In this series, we meet some of the valued trainees and graduates working at the Department.

      Q&A with Alison Obszanski, graduate

      Alison joined the Department as a graduate in the Policy, Planning, and Innovation directorate.

      Alison_youth employment.jpg

      Pictured: Alison Obszanski attending the Regional Skills Summit in Albany

      What attracted you to the graduate position at the Department?
      Training is an important pathway to improving lives and providing opportunity. Quality education is key to wellbeing and fulfilment, and I believe that skills training is uniquely positioned to better the lives of marginalised members of our society. I felt the Department’s remit was one I could get behind. I applied for more than 100 jobs before I was offered a position in the Department and I am grateful that someone gave me the opportunity to prove my skill, gain some experience and begin to realise my potential.

      What did you study at university?
      I did a double major Bachelor of Arts in Literary and Cultural Studies and Creative Writing at Curtin University. I then did an Honours year in Creative Practice, where I wrote a short film screenplay and accompanying exegesis, working within the discipline of cultural studies to critically examine cinematic depictions of climate change. I received a First-Class Honours for my hard work. I consider cultural studies to be my primary major. Cultural studies explores the construction and maintenance of meaning within a culture, and draws on sociology, philosophy, politics, linguistics, sex and gender studies, race studies, disability studies and literary analysis.

      Where’s the best place you’ve travelled to?
      I haven’t travelled very much, so my choices aren’t particularly broad. But without a doubt, Wanaka, New Zealand is my favourite, with Queenstown, New Zealand coming in a close second. The beauty of these landscapes is truly ineffable. I am temporarily outside of the graduate program working in Service Delivery to organise the Regional Skills Summit and have been fortunate enough to travel to some of the Summits. Kununurra is now the farthest north I’ve ever been – it was a great experience, but it was also 42 degrees.

      What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
      I’m very bad at ‘relaxing’, so I usually spend moments of ‘down time’ listening to podcasts or watching true crime documentaries while doing something else such as embroidery, playing a video game, doing a jigsaw puzzle, and always with a good cup of (green) tea. I also enjoy gardening, baking, going for walks in nature, spending time with my cat (Cairo), and my partner and his cat (Solaire), watching trash television and eating too much bad food.

      What advice would you give to other graduates?
      With radical change comes radical growth. Tackle uncomfortable and frightening tasks head-on, viewing them as an opportunity for growth. The more you can experience now, the better prepared you will be in the future. I would also like to encourage graduates and other staff to join me in adding their pronouns to their email signature to normalise self-identifying pronouns!

      South Hedland Jobs and Skills Centre opens today

      New Jobs and Skills Centre for the Pilbara!

      South Hedland JSC officially opened today

      Western Australia’s statewide network of Jobs and Skills Centres (JSCs) has been expanded in the State’s north, with Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery officially opening the South Hedland JSC at North Regional TAFE’s Pundulmurra campus today. Being such a vast region, the JSC can also provide outreach services to other locations throughout the Pilbara including Newman, Marble Bar, Yandeyarra, Warralong and Strelley.

      JSCs provide free professional and practical advice on training and employment opportunities including career guidance and apprenticeship and training information, as well as help with job searching and direct links into work. There is also recruitment support, workforce development and workshop assistance available to organisations. There are now 17 Jobs and Skills Centres located across Western Australia.

      The new South Hedland JSC is supported by Aboriginal organisation Bloodwood Tree, to help Aboriginal people across the Pilbara region get into training or access jobs. The team can provide culturally sensitive employment and career services, information on training options, access to job opportunities through the Aboriginal jobs board, help with resumés and job applications, and mentoring and support with referrals to other services. Working closely with local industries to identify job opportunities, the JSC can also assist employers and businesses to create a more culturally aware workplace to attract and retain Aboriginal employees.

      For more information about services available at JSCs, visit jobsandskills.wa.gov.au or contact your local JSC on 13 64 64.

      Speaking at the JSC opening, Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery said “The Pilbara region is known as the economic powerhouse of Australia, so it makes sense to have a Jobs and Skills Centre in Hedland to help connect local people with local jobs. The McGowan Government’s Jobs and Skills Centres benefit jobseekers and school leavers by providing a launch pad into training and job opportunities, as well as providing businesses with assistance to develop their workforce. This is an invaluable, free service now in 17 locations across Western Australia, supporting even more people to connect with work and training opportunities.”

      Read the full media statement here

      Upgrades for North Regional TAFE's Pundulmurra campus

      More exciting upgrades for Pundulmurra TAFE

      New trades, engineering and commercial cookery facilities

      Construction has commenced on major upgrades to North Regional TAFE’s Pundulmurra campus, with $48.9 million in new facilities set to deliver a substantial boost to trade training in the Pilbara region. Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery today visited the South Hedland site to turn the sod for the new trades training facility, and announce that Decmil Group has been appointed to carry out the construction.

      The significant project involves relocating the trades training activities from the TAFE’s South Hedland annex to the Pundulmurra campus; where new workshops, classrooms and specialist training areas will be built and set up with modern, industry relevant training equipment. The campus will also get a new commercial cookery training kitchen and classroom to cater for local secondary students, jobseekers and career changers. Its new state of the art facilities will deliver training for a wide range of in demand trades and specialist skill areas, including:

      • heavy automotive;
      • heavy mobile and fixed plant;
      • engineering trades; and
      • commercial cookery.

      Extensive consultation was carried out with the local community and industries – particularly the resources sector – throughout the planning stages of the project, to ensure the new facilities are designed to meet the Pilbara’s training needs. Construction is expected to be completed by the end of next year, with training planned to commence in Semester 1, 2024.

      Trades training facilities upgrades getting underway at the Pundulmurra campus include $43.2 million worth of improvements through the State Government’s Rebuilding our TAFEs initiative, and a $4.6 million facility for light automotive and automotive electrical training. A new $1.1m horticulture workshop was also completed earlier this year. These projects will significantly increase training capacity in the region, helping to meet demand for more skilled workers and apprentices and enabling North Regional TAFE to consolidate training delivery at Pundulmurra.

      The Pundulmurra Trade Expansion is part of the State Government’s record $215.8 million investment in TAFE capital works projects, delivering first class learning opportunities to students and boosting the WA economy by generating jobs.

      “This is a significant project for the Pilbara region, with the McGowan Government investing $48.9 million in upgrades to North Regional TAFE’s Pundulmurra campus." said Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery. “Extensive consultation was carried out to ensure the expanding trades training meets the specific needs of employers in the region, while increasing training capacity to meet local demand for more skilled workers. The new contemporary facilities and industry relevant equipment will make it easier for local businesses to employ local residents, and go a long way towards meeting the Pilbara’s current and future trade training needs.”

      Read the full media statement here

       

      Main image: Artist rendering of the new trades training and hospitality training facilities. 

      Kununurra JSC opens today

      New Jobs and Skills Centre for the East Kimberley region!

      Kununurra JSC officially opened today

      The network of Western Australia’s Jobs and Skills Centres (JSCs) continues to grow, with the opening today by Premier Mark McGowan and Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery of a new centre in Kununurra. Outreach services to smaller towns and communities including Halls Creek, Warmun and Wyndham are also supported through the JSC.

      JSCs provide free specialist training and career advice to jobseekers and young people, and this new centre further highlights the State Government’s commitment to supporting regional workforces. JSCs also offer free and friendly professional careers, training and employment advice to students, jobseekers, employers and industry.

      Located at North Regional TAFE’s Kununurra campus, the new centre is available to jobseekers looking for job application support and training or career guidance, while businesses are supported through practical and professional advice. The team can support local businesses by advertising their job vacancies and promoting career information, while providing access to trainee and apprenticeship information. 

      Aboriginal people are a key priority client group, and Aboriginal development organisation Wunan Foundation supports the JSC team with their extensive connections and expert knowledge in the East Kimberley region. The centre specialises in Aboriginal services, providing culturally sensitive employment and career services and access to job opportunities through the Jobs and Skills WA Aboriginal jobd board. For employers and businesses, the team offers advice on how to create more culturally aware workplaces to attract and retain Aboriginal employees.There are now 17 Jobs and Skills Centres located at TAFE colleges across Western Australia. For more information visit the jobsandskills.wa.gov.au website or contact your local JSC on 13 64 64.

      “My Government is delivering on its promise to expand Jobs and Skills Centre services around the State, both in regional and metropolitan areas.“ said Mr McGowan. "Our priority is to provide employment and training opportunities to all Western Australians so our regional communities are further strengthen and can enjoy the benefits of a strong local economy. "

      Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery says that “The new Jobs and Skills Centre in Kununurra offers the East Kimberley region access to an invaluable free service where opportunities to discover educational pathways, training and employment are offered for all people.”

      Read the full media statement here

      New Managing Director appointed for North Regional TAFE

      New Managing Director appointed for North Regional TAFE

      New leadership to meet workforce needs across north regional Western Australia

      Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery today announced the appointment by the Honourable Chris Dawson APM, Governor of Western Australia, of Helen Smart to the position of Managing Director at North Regional TAFE. Ms Smart will commence in the role on 8 August 2022.

      With a career spanning more than 30 years in the public sector Ms Smart has extensive experience in senior management roles across the training and education sector. She is currently employed as Director Training Infrastructure Management at the Department of Training and Workforce Development. In her 12 years in this role, Ms Smart has worked intensively with TAFE Colleges across WA and forged strong relationships with industry to lead strategic asset planning for the State training sector’s land and building portfolio, including directing the $215.8 million WA Recovery Plan capital projects.

      Born in Wyndham and raised in Kununurra in her early years, and later working for the Department of Health in Port Hedland, Ms Smart has broad local knowledge of both the Kimberley and Pilbara regions. Ms Smart holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Western Australia and a Graduate Diploma in Information and Library Science from Curtin University.

      The State Government is leading the way with increasing the representation of women in senior leadership, with all five TAFE colleges in Western Australia now having female Managing Directors.

      “I congratulate Ms Smart on her appointment and welcome her to the role of Managing Director of North Regional TAFE." said the Minister. “Ms Smart’s background across the training and education sector, coupled with her extensive regional knowledge, will be invaluable to the role. I thank Nerida Kickett for her service as Acting Managing Director of North Regional TAFE.”

      Read the full media statement here

      Skilled Migrant Employment Register

      New free register to connect skilled migrants with WA jobs

      Prospective workers can advertise their skills direct to employers

      The WA State Government has today launched a new Skilled Migrant Employment Register to attract workers to key industries, helping to deliver the skilled labour needed to support Western Australia’s strong economy and jobs market.

      The free register, available now, can be accessed through the WA Migration Portal and has been designed to support skilled migrants to settle in WA while giving employers visibility of new talent. The register will also support regional employers by linking migrants who indicate preferred employment in regional areas to employment opportunities in country WA. It is free for both employers and prospective migrants.

      For more information visit www.migration.wa.gov.au

      In addition, six more building and construction occupations have been added to WA’s skilled occupation list to support the continued high level of activity in the sector. These include project builders; surveyors; building inspectors; building and engineering technicians; roof tilers; and airconditioning and refrigeration mechanics.

      New statistics also show the McGowan Government’s efforts to rebuild the training sector over the past five years are delivering incredibly strong results, including in building and construction and electrical apprenticeships and traineeships.

      • There are now more than 10,000 building and construction and electrical apprentices and trainees currently engaged in WA  — an all-time record.
      • Building and construction apprenticeship completions rose from 3,166 in 2020 to 4,046 in 2021 — a 28 per cent increase.
      • Building and construction apprenticeship commencements have increased by more than 150 per cent in the past 12 months compared to the 12 months prior  — up from 1,065 in May 2020 to 2,232 in May 2022.
      • Electrical apprenticeship commencements have nearly doubled over the past two years  — from 1,146 in May 2020 to 2,232 in May 2022.
      • The number of building and construction apprentices in training has increased from 2,583 in May 2020 to 4,558 in 2022 — a 76 per cent increase.
      • The number of electrical apprentices in training has increased from 3,377 in 2020 to 4,872 in 2022 — a 24 per cent increase.

      There have also been significant increases in those undertaking apprenticeships for electrical mechanics and gas fitting, bricklaying, carpentry and joinery.

      These training and skills initiatives — including the $195 million Reconnect WA program — are working to address Western Australia’s workforce needs and help sustain the State’s very strong economy. In 2021, the State Nominated Migration Program (SNMP) was expanded to include 164 occupations; including 28 building and construction occupations to support WA's economic recovery.

      The State Government is also working to attract building and construction workers to WA through the Build a Life in WA campaign. Since the campaign’s soft launch in the UK and Ireland on 3 July, visits to the Build a Life website have increased by 101 per cent and referrals to SEEK have increased by 151 per cent from users in the UK and Ireland.

      Launching the register, Premier Mark McGowan said “My Government continues to work with industry to meet WA’s workforce needs. Our very strong economy continues to require skilled labour in a diverse range of industries and these measures are another important proactive step to address these issues. The new register will provide an opportunity for employers to connect with skilled migrants, identifying the capabilities they need, and adding to the pipeline of skilled workers in demand in WA. “

      Read the full media statement here

      ECEC Job Ready Program

      New program for pathways into Early Childhood Education & Care

      New FREE Job Ready Program includes training and work placement

      A new Job Ready Pathways Program has been developed to support Western Australia’s Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) sector.

      The Early Childhood Education and Care Job Ready Program has two components; in class training with an approved, accredited training provider, plus an industry work placement for hands on experience. The program will be available on either a full time (five weeks total) or part time (ten weeks total) study basis, and is 100% FEE FREE for eligible students including people aged 15—24, jobseekers, and concession card holders. The program is ideal for people of all ages and backgrounds who would love to start a career working with children, contributing to the learning and development of our future generations. Participation on this program requires no prior experience!

      Developed in consultation with industry and the Community Skills WA industry training council, the program includes four nationally recognised units of competency that will build skills and knowledge in how to support education and care programs for children, and entry level skills to work in an early childhood learning setting. These units will provide credit towards a Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care traineeship.

      On completion of the program, participants will have the opportunity to connect with employers who have traineeship opportunities available. Through a traineeship, they will be employed and paid while continuing their studies to complete the Certificate III qualification. Alternatively, participants may choose to undertake the full qualification outside of a traineeship arrangement, directly with an approved training provider. Either pathway will meet the regulatory requirements for working in the ECEC sector. Expressions of interest for the program are now open!

      Find out more on the Jobs and Skills WA website

      This is one of a suite of Job Ready Pathway programs available in a range of industry areas including ageing and disability support; bricklaying; infrastructure (civil construction); resources and mining (driller’s offsider); and hospitality (chef). More information about these programs is available at jobsandskills.wa.gov.au/pathways.

      Tender opens for preferred provider panels: VET programs

      RTOs invited for allocation of funded training places

      As Western Australia’s economy grows and diversifies, the outlook for jobs is constantly changing. Jobs and Skills WA is the way the State Government, through the Department, prioritises its investment in training to focus on courses that equip people to take up jobs that are, or will be, in high demand. Jobs and Skills WA provides a subsidised training place for eligible students enrolled in courses that are deemed State priority qualifications, where a training place is available.

      Under Jobs and Skills WA, contracting arrangement processes have been developed specifically to invite private training providers to receive WA Government funding for the delivery of VET programs in Western Australia. Through a competitive tender process, the Department selects suitable registered training organisations (RTOs) who are then offered a contract to be placed on a preferred provider panel for programs that meet the State’s priorities. Once on the panel, an RTO is then able to request funding under Jobs and Skills WA for student places.

      The Department of Training and Workforce Development is inviting applications from registered training providers interested in being appointed to one or more of the 2023—25 preferred provider panels for delivery of:

      • Apprenticeships;
      • Traineeships;
      • Priority Industry Training;
      • Participation—Equity; and
      • Participation—-Work Readiness programs.

      Contracted training places will be allocated to providers on preferred provider panels annually.

      The tender opens at 9 am on 11 July 2022, and closes at 4 pm on Friday 5 August 2022.

      Contact for enquiries:

      Name:            Ms Sanju Manji
      Title:                A/Manager Private Training Markets (Contracts)
      Tel:                  08 6551 5356
      E-mail:            Training.Markets@dtwd.wa.gov.au

      For further information about the preferred provider panel, visit dtwd.wa.gov.au/whats-new#tender-opens-for-preferred-provider-panels-vet-programs  

      Driller's Offsider Job Ready Program

      Getting ready for jobs in the WA resources sector

      New Driller's Offsider Job Ready Program a huge success!

      The WA State Government has joined forces with Western Australia's resources industry to encourage locals to take advantage of a new pre-employment pathway quickly and effectively guiding participants into employment in the sector.

      Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery today met with the second cohort of Driller's Offsider Job Ready Program participants who are training to help meet the strong demand for driller's offsiders in the resources sector. During her visit to a drilling rig at Welldrill in Cockburn, Minister Ellery also received an update on the program's early success from a reference group made up of the Resources Industry Training Council and key industry partners. The reference group is partnering with the Government to develop and oversee the program, which combines a short course and one-day induction delivered by industry.

      The training is free for all jobseekers, young people, and concession-eligible students, and low-fee for non-concession students.

      The pilot program is among a suite of new skill sets developed in collaboration with WA industries to deliver short and sharp training for jobseekers and young people, enabling them to upskill or reskill in industries with a need for skilled workers. Participants complete an industry induction, and are provided with skills to work safely on site, apply first aid and CPR, work safely at heights and operate and maintain a four wheel drive vehicle. Industry feedback on the program has been very positive, with the first seven students to graduate from the first program having already been connected with drilling companies. Two have gained employment.

      Through the program, on completion of the training students are connected with opportunities to transition into employment; undertake a traineeship with a participating employer; or further their training to gain a drilling operations qualification. Seventeen Western Australians have commenced the Driller’s Offsider Job Ready Program since it began in April 2022. Following the success of its first two rounds the program is now preparing for its third intake of participants, with applications now open for commencement in August 2022.

      You can find out more and register your interest in the Driller's Offsider Job Ready Program on the Jobs and Skills WA website at jobsandskills.wa.gov.au/pathways.

      You can also contact our Job Ready team on 08 6551 5049 or via email to DrillersOffsider@dtwd.wa.gov.au for further information

      The State Government's Lower fees, local skills initiative has significantly reduced fees for 210 courses, including drilling operations and a range of other mining qualifications. More information about Lower fees, local skills is available at jobsandskills.wa.gov.au/skillsready.

      “WA's resources sector is experiencing strong demand for skilled drillers and offsiders. To help address this shortage of workers, the McGowan Government has partnered with industry to quickly reskill new entrants to the drilling sector for the job opportunities on offer." the Minister said at today's event. "Our new Driller's Offsider Job Ready initiative is already proving successful, with both industry and participants providing extremely positive early feedback. Through strong industry involvement, the first cohort of students to complete the program have been connected with participating employers. Providing the training to jobseekers, young people and concession-eligible students for free, and to non-concession students for low fees, ensures all who want to take up an opportunity in this important industry are supported and encouraged to do so."

       

      Main photo:A drilling rig at Welldrill in Cockburn. Facing camera – Tim Westcott, Vice President Australian Drilling Industry Association and General Manager Welldrill. Far left – Rocket Anderson (Australian Training Management), with Driller's Offsider Job Ready Program students (L—R) Franceis Nogor, Naeem Runowanda, Thiha Htay, and Zachary Staff. 

      New automation equipment for Albany TAFE

      South Regional TAFE ahead of the curve with new automation equipment

      New cutting edge technology for Albany TAFE

      Students at South Regional TAFE’s Albany campus are future-proofing their career choices by learning vital skills in automation, boosted by new cutting edge technology. Automation has been identified as a priority training area for South Regional TAFE, with the new equipment enabling the college to provide industry-relevant training using the latest technology.

      The cost of the Certificate II in Autonomous Workplace Operations is heavily reduced under the State Government’s Lower fees, local skills initiative, keeping training fees low.

      The State Government’s $25 million investment in new state of the art equipment is being rolled out across Western Australia’s TAFE network, with South Regional TAFE receiving $1.115 million during Stage 1 of the Modern TAFE Equipment Program. Albany TAFE campus is receiving $438,000 as part of Stage 1 of the program, while the Collie campus is receiving $677,000. All five WA TAFE colleges are receiving new equipment as part of the four-year program to upgrade and modernise equipment to meet contemporary industry standards. The investment supports training demand and emerging industry training needs  — helping students, apprentices and trainees to become job ready.

      Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery was in Albany today to visit the newly fitted out workshop for autonomous workplace operations, complete with a brand new robotic track that uses radio frequency identification tags to hone in on targets. Other new automation equipment at the Albany campus includes a drone system, laser cutters, 3D printer, mobile communications unit, autonomous vehicle with smart controls and mobile processing plant.

      “Automation crosses all functions within industry and involves a broad range of technologies," saidthe Minister. “Industries are increasingly transitioning to the use of automation and predictive technology to maximise productivity, so it is important we are providing skills in this field for the jobs of the future. The McGowan Government is equipping Western Australians with resources and training so they have in-demand skills and finish their studies job ready.”

      $40 million redevelopment of Balga TAFE moving ahead

      Design finalised for contemporary new training facilities

      The vision for the major upgrade of North Metropolitan TAFE’s Balga campus is taking shape, with designs finalised for the $40 million construction and tender advertised for its construction.

      The redevelopment will include a new three-storey training facility to provide a world-class learning environment; replacing 22 run down transportable classrooms at the northern suburbs campus, originally built in the 1970s. The new facility will be used to deliver training across a range of areas including building and construction, community services and general education, as well as enhancing student services and staff amenities with student breakout spaces, meeting rooms, conference rooms and additional parking.

      There will be a mix of modern learning spaces; including an interactive student learning hub (contemporary library), contemporary and technology enabled classrooms, computer laboratories and large future trades training workshop to accommodate ‘smart building’ and emerging construction technologies.

      The Balga Jobs and Skills Centre will also have a new home in the new building, offering free, professional advice on training and employment opportunities to the local community.

      Perth architecture studio Hassell designed the new Balga facility, one of 14 major capital works projects taking place at TAFE colleges across WA as part of the  State Government’s $215.8 million investment in upgrading essential infrastructure.

      Tenders close 12 July 2022, with construction expected to begin in October 2022 and be completed by mid-2024.

      “The McGowan Government is investing heavily in training infrastructure across Western Australia to build a skilled workforce for now and into the future." says Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery. “North Metropolitan TAFE’s Balga campus is one of the leading facilities for training apprentices in the priority building and construction sector. These facilities will support the State’s construction industry train the next generation of workers at a critical time for the industry. This is a significant project for the northern suburbs, creating a first class learning facility for students as well as numerous jobs throughout the construction.”

      Read the full media statement here

      Train on busy freeway

      Construction of METRONET training facility reaches next stop

      Stage 2 of METRONET Trade Training Centre in Midland underway

      Construction of a $5.6 million specialist METRONET Trade Training Centre at North Metropolitan TAFE’s Midland campus has entered a new chapter, with Stage 2 works worth $4.6 million now underway.

      Developed in consultation with industry, the project will deliver Western Australia’s first dedicated public facility to support training for jobs in the rail industry and to meet the diverse training needs of the METRONET program.

      Stage 2 works will include construction of a dual-track level crossing, including a maintenance track and crossover; a stand-alone Signalling Equipment Room to enable hands on training in using and maintenance of signal equipment; and a section of rail line to train in the maintenance of various gauges of rail.

      The contract for the design and construction of Stage 2 works was awarded to John Holland Rail, and once completed, the METRONET Trade Training Centre will upskill workers for:

      • the construction and maintenance of the METRONET network and rail rolling stock; and 
      • rail operations and signalling to support WA’s wider rail networks owned and operated by the State Government and resource companies.

      The new facility will help to ensure local content on METRONET projects, which are creating job opportunities for local workers, pre-apprentices and apprentices.

      Stage 1 works, completed in October 2020 by builder M Construction Ltd, included the creation of rail signalling workshops and the introduction of electrical rail signalling qualifications to complement the range of engineering qualifications supporting METRONET manufacturing and maintenance. The work enabled a pilot group of employees from Rio Tinto, John Holland Group and Hitachi to commence the Certificate IV in Electrical Rail Signalling from Semester 1 2021, and people with a WA electrical licence to undertake the Certificate IV in Electrical Rail Signalling from Semester 2, 2021.

      The new facilities will also cater to the increased demand for training thanks to the expansion of the Lower fees, local skills initiative. Many courses included in the program are essential to METRONET including:

      • Certificate II and III in Automotive Electrical Technology;
      • Certificate II and III in Electrotechnology;
      • Certificate II in Engineering (Heavy Fabrication; Light Fabrication; Mechanical Fitter and Machinist);
      • Certificate III in Engineering - Fabrication Trade (Heavy/Welding YH; Light YC; Fitter and Machinist ZB; Mechanical Fitter ZA);
      • Certificate II in Engineering Pathways;
      • Certificate IV in Engineering;
      • Certificate IV in Electrical - Instrumentation; and
      • Diploma of Engineering - Advanced Trade. 

      Construction of Stage 2 is expected to be completed in October 2022, with training to commence in January 2023.

      “The McGowan Government is committed to ensuring Western Australians have the skills they need to capitalise on our huge investment in transport infrastructure and to meet the demand of work," said Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery. “Major projects such as METRONET are creating thousands of local jobs and opportunities for local businesses. The METRONET Trade Training Centre is the first dedicated public facility of its kind and industry helped shape its development. This is further to the McGowan Government investing a record $215.8 million to carry out significant TAFE upgrades across the State, creating world-class learning opportunities and generating a pipeline of jobs.”

      Anne trains in the gym with personal trainer

      Life experience leads to unique and rewarding opportunities

      How Anne's training helped her overcome obstacles

      Living with disability has not stopped Anne Raheb from accomplishing her life goals which has helped her confidence soar in her personal and professional life.

      “Never say no to anything and never think that you can’t do something until you attempt it at least once. You can do anything you dream about doing,” Anne said.

      Seven years ago Anne started training with personal trainer Clint Vargas to help build up her strength, and importantly her confidence. For Anne, Clint’s motivational support was central to achieving her goals.

      “Through training constantly, I live a better life as I am stronger and able to improve the strength in my body. This also helps with mental support by viewing myself as worthy and knowing I can achieve anything I put my mind to,” she said.

      For Clint, training Anne has been a privilege. “Her achievements have been seven years in the making and she has been able to overcome huge obstacles, for example doing simple things like getting up off a chair to conquering challenges like using the battle ropes at the gym,” Clint said.

      “We have been working together to achieve a common goal and if it wasn’t for the trust she gave me, and the promise I made her that we would achieve this together, we would not have been able to reach her goals.”

      Anne and Clint recently starred in the Department of Training and Workforce Development’s ‘Life Experience’ campaign which highlights the value of life skills and experience and aims to empower people to successfully participate in the workforce. 

      “It is extremely important to have support in training and the workforce,” Anne said. “Through training with Clint, I have been able to gain confidence in everyday life. “I would never have thought I’d be approached to be involved in something as amazing as this, and I feel extremely privileged to be able to do something as important as this campaign.”

      Today Anne works at the Department of Education and has never been happier.

      A friendly careers specialist at your local Jobs and Skills Centre can help you translate your life experiences and skills into job ready skills and knowledge — whether it's a new job, starting training, or career planning support.

      Jobs and Skills Centres are one-stop shops for careers, training and employment advice and assistance. Services are free, and accessible to all members of the community. The centres are located on TAFE campuses throughout Perth and regional WA, with additional outreach locations for regional areas. 

      To find out how to turn your life experience into a career, contact the firendly team at your local Jobs and Skills Centre on 13 64 64 or visit jobsandskills.wa.gov.au/lifeexperience

      Image caption: Anne Raheb trains at Loftus Recreation Centre with personal trainer Clint Vargas 

       
      People exchanging paperwork at expo

      Get job ready at Recruit WA & Perth Tradie Expo!

      Jobs and Skills Centres attending with free career advice

      Western Australia’s Jobs and Skills Centres (JSCs) are taking their employment advice and assistance on the road, with an exhibit at Recruit WA. Recruit WA will co-locate with the Perth Tradie Expo at Ascot Racecourse from today until Sunday (17—19 June) to showcase a range of careers in the construction, mining, infrastructure, engineering and transport industries and connect jobseekers and employers.

      Jobs and Skills Centres will be on hand to show jobseekers how they can explore exciting training pathways to employment, as well as inform employers about the many initiatives available to them. JSCs are one-stop-shops for free, friendly and professional careers, training and employment advice. Whether you’re looking for an apprenticeship or traineeship, need help finding an employer, or considering a pathway into a trade through a pre-apprenticeship or pre-traineeship, Jobs and Skills Centres can help you on your journey.

      With WA’s strong economic position and record high job vacancy rates, there has never been a better time to upskill or learn a trade. The WA State Government is continuing to support jobseekers and employers through a range of new initiatives to future-proof the workforce, with career changers, jobseekers and under 25s in the box seat to start a life changing career.

      Initiatives to boost the trades workforce include the highly successful Job Ready programs, which through the combination of a short course and work placement provide pathways to employment, apprenticeships and traineeships in chef, bricklaying, infrastructure (civil construction) and driller’s offsider roles.

      “The McGowan Government is investing in a range of initiatives to support the training sector, as well as working closely with industry to address skill shortages," said Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery. “Right now there is a large number of exciting programs and projects happening right across Western Australia, creating a pipeline of work and fantastic opportunities across many industries. Western Australia’s Jobs and Skills Centres are the gateway to the local VET sector, with free services and accessible to everyone – be sure to pay them a visit at Recruit WA.”

      To find out more about Job Ready programs and how the Jobs and Skills Centres can help you with your next career move, visit jobsandskills.wa.gov.au or call your local centre on 13 64 64.

      New Jobs and Skills Centre for Collie.

      New Jobs and Skills Centre to open in Collie

      Support for workers under the Collie Just Transition Plan

      The WA State Government has established a new service to support the transition of Collie workers into new jobs, as the world and local workforce moves away from coal and coal-fired energy production. The initiative is part of an ongoing collaborative effort between the State Government, industry and local community to attract new industries and employment to Collie. The service will support locals to capitalise on unprecedented investment in Collie to diversify the local economy and secure the town’s future through the $60 million Collie Industry Attraction and Development Fund and  responds to ideas raised by industry leaders through the Perth and Regional Skills Summits, which emphasised the need for innovative solutions to create regional jobs and diversify regional economies.

      The 2022–23 State Budget will provide $4.8 million for the expansion of the Collie Just Transition Plan, supporting the establishment of a new Collie Jobs and Skills Centre (JSC). Funding will also support South Regional TAFE’s appointment of two training transition consultants to a newly established TAFE Transition Team to coordinate the retraining of workers providing free skills assessments and training to affected employees and progress the training element of the Collie Just Transition Plan; working on location with employers, employees and other training providers to help workers upskill or reskill for new jobs.

      The service provides a central point from which industry and the community can access practical assistance to make individual and tailored work transitions. A key part of the team’s role is coordinating knowledge and skills assessments and training solutions for workers who are seeking alternative employment or who want to remain with an organisation but require retraining or upskilling.

      "My Government is absolutely committed to supporting Collie's economic diversification to create new industrial and blue collar jobs in town." said Premier Mark McGowan. "Through our $662 million Collie Transition Package we will provide opportunities for workers and the community impacted by the retirement of State-owned coal power stations. The package will work to attract new industries and create jobs, provide grants for local businesses, and support new training and career pathways for workers."

      Read the full media statement here

      Two people creating pottery

      $4M Geraldton TAFE creative industries hub officially opened

      New state of the art training facilities for the Mid-West

      Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery today officially opened the new state of the art creative industries hub at Central Regional TAFE's Geraldton campus. The project is the latest to be completed as part of the McGowan Government's record $215.8 million investment to fund essential infrastructure upgrades at TAFE colleges, which continues to be rolled out across Western Australia. 

      Budding creatives, artists, fashion and jewellery designers and media specialists from across the Mid-West region will now be learning in the dynamic state of the art creative industries hub; where Central Regional TAFE will deliver its successful creative industries, visual arts and multimedia training programs.

      The TAFE's formerly ageing visual arts building has been extended and refurbished; complete with modern art studios, workshops, classrooms and a technology centre. The new facility will be used to deliver training for fashion and textiles, multimedia, photography, graphic design, jewellery making, pottery and glass-making, ensuring students are learning in industry standard facilities so they graduate job ready. It was designed by Geraldton architecture firm Eastman Poletti Sherwood Architects and construction was carried out locally by Crothers Construction.

      "The McGowan Government is investing in the largest ever TAFE capital works program to upgrade training facilities across Western Australia, including in regional areas." said the Minister. "This impressive new facility will make it possible for locals from right across the Mid-West region to stay close to home and train in contemporary new arts facilities in Geraldton. We want all Western Australians to be able to access quality, practical training that will lead to jobs and help to secure our future workforce.".
       

      Read the full media statement here

      Central Regional TAFE

      New Managing Director appointed for Central Regional TAFE

      New leadership to meet workforce needs across central regional Western Australia

      Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery today welcomed the appointment, by His Excellency the Honourable Kim Beazley AC, Governor of Western Australia, of Jo Payne to the position of Managing Director at Central Regional TAFE.

      Ms Payne has been appointed for a five-year term commencing in May 2022. With more than 32 years of experience working in vocational education and training in the region, Ms Payne’s appointment provides Central Regional TAFE with strong leadership to meet the workforce needs across central regional WA.

      As the TAFE college’s former Director of Training Services, Ms Payne has extensive local and regional knowledge, and has forged strong relationships with industry, community and key stakeholders. Ms Payne holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Western Australia, a Graduate Diploma in Library and Information Studies from Curtin University of Technology, and a Graduate Certificate in Management (Professional Practice) from Charles Sturt University.

      Ms Payne’s appointment comes at a critical time for the college, which recorded an increase of over 23 per cent in course enrolments in 2021, while apprenticeship and traineeship commencements increased by 26 per cent in 2021.

      “Ms Payne’s extensive regional experience in the training sector will be invaluable in this role." the Minister said. "Ms Payne has demonstrated strong commitment to working with regional stakeholders to ensure training meets the needs and expectations of students, industry and the community. I congratulate Ms Payne on her appointment and welcome her to the role of Managing Director of Central Regional TAFE”."

      Read the full media statement here

      Two female nurses reviewing medical folder

      Actions to build future social assistance and allied health workforce

      Report and strategic action plan now available

      The State Government today released its blueprint to address the growing demand for skilled workers in the State’s rapidly expanding social assistance and allied health sector. The strategic action plan addresses 25 recommendations put forward by the State Training Board and the government’s chief industry advisory body on WA’s training and workforce needs, in its Social Assistance and Allied Health: Future Workforce Skills report published today.

      The report and its recommendations, which specifically aim to develop the Aboriginal health and wellbeing, mental health and alcohol and other drugs support workforces, were informed by extensive consultation with the social assistance and allied health sector across WA, undertaken in conjunction with Community Skills WA. Twenty four of the report’s 25 recommendations have been supported by the State Government.

      The healthcare and social assistance sector employs more than 191,600 Western Australians and this number is forecast to grow by more than 15 per cent, or an additional 30,000 employees, over the next five years. The State Government, through the State Training Board and its industry consultation as part of the WA Skills Summits, has been proactive in identifying this emerging issue early and preparing the sector for future growth.

      Initiatives already targeting the social assistance and allied health sector include:

      • lowering fees for 25 courses targeting jobs in the care sector including through the Lower fees, local skills initiative;
      • collaborating with industry to introduce a new pre-employment Job Ready program in ageing and disability care;
      • introducing 12 free and low-fee skill sets to enable new entrants to take up job opportunities in the sector;
      • making the Integrating Mental Health Practice and Introduction to Direct Support skill sets course fee-free for all students;
      • piloting pre-traineeships to prepare high school students for traineeships in aged care and disability services and community health and wellbeing;
      • providing low-fee existing worker traineeships in childcare and aged and disability care; and
      • funding a dedicated NDIS Job Matching Service across WA to link job seekers and graduates with jobs and NDIS providers.

      State Government agencies, including the Department of Training and Workforce Development, Department of Health, WA Country Health Service, Mental Health Commission and Department of Communities, are already working collaboratively with industry and non-government organisations on initiatives that specifically target the report’s recommendations. The report builds on the State Training Board’s extensive work in the sector, which included the establishment of a cross-government steering committee in 2017 and the development of an initial workforce strategy for the social assistance and allied health sector, released by the State Government in 2019.

      The report and State Government action plan are available on the State Training Board’s website at stb.wa.gov.au/our-work#social-assistance-and-allied-health-workforce

      “I thank the State Training Board, Community Skills WA and all involved in producing this report, which is a valuable tool for government." said Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery MLC. "Priorities identified in the report will ensure our Government’s significant investment in training continues to support the social assistance and allied health sector’s current and future workforce needs.".

      Read the full media statement here 

       

      New trades training equipment for Carlisle TAFE announced.

      Carlisle TAFE first to benefit from $25M equipment rollout

      Ensuring quality industry training for WA TAFE students

      Students at South Metropolitan TAFE’s Carlisle campus are the first to benefit from the State Government’s $25 million investment in new state of the art equipment being rolled out across Western Australia’s TAFE network.

      Automotive refinishing and industrial coating students, who had been learning on ageing equipment, will now train using state of the art large high-tech spray painting booths that meet industry standards and Australian requirements. The new equipment includes:

      • three full down draft spray booths;
      • one semi-down draft spray booth;
      • a paint mixing room;
      • two gun cleaning stations; and
      • four preparation bays.

      Upgrades and additions have also been made to the TAFE's extraction systems, including installation of a new filter wall, new breathing apparatuses and new hose reels.

      The project has been funded through the Training Equipment Refresher Program – a four-year program to upgrade and modernise equipment to contemporary industry standards. All five TAFE colleges are receiving new equipment as part of the program to support training demand and emerging industry training needs — helping students, apprentices and trainees to become more job ready.

      The State Government's highly successful Lower fees, local skills initiative has contributed to substantial growth in TAFE enrolments, with a record of more than 150,000 publicly funded course enrolments reported in 2021. There have been more than 51,300 publicly funded enrolments across the initiative so far this year.

      "This investment in state of the-art equipment will ensure those students leave TAFE work ready and equipped with skills that are desirable to employers." said Premier Mark McGowan, announcing the rollout today. "In the recent 2022—23 State Budget we are continuing to deliver more for training, with $76.5 million allocated to provide more targeted training opportunities for Western Australians to take up quality jobs.".

      "This new high-tech automotive spray-painting centre at Carlisle TAFE is the only public training facility of its kind in Western Australia." added Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery. "Our $25 million investment in modern equipment for Western Australia's TAFEs will ensure that students are being trained on industry standard equipment so they are ready to start using it out in the workforce. Our highly successful Lower fees, local skills initiative has seen a huge uptake in vocational education and training courses, and our investment in new equipment ensures TAFE training results in highly employable graduates with skills matched to industry needs.”.

      Read the full media statement here

      VET enrolments reach record highs in WA.

      Record VET enrolments — Building WA’s future local workforce

      Plus record levels of new apprenticeships and traineeships!

      Thanks to the WA State Government’s strategic investment in the training sector, more Western Australians than ever are getting the skills needed by local industry.
       

      • WA’s vocational education and training (VET) sector is experiencing a major surge, with new data showing more than 150,000 publicly funded course enrolments were reported in 2021 – the highest ever recorded – with the number of students enrolling in training up 21 per cent from 2020. 
      • WA employers are also signing up apprentices and trainees at record levels — for the first time ever, 10,000 apprenticeship and traineeship contracts have been registered in the first three months of 2022. In March 2022 alone there were over 4,000 registrations – the highest monthly number on record.

      So far this year, publicly funded private providers have continued to show solid growth. TAFE enrolments remain at historically high levels, up almost 30 per cent compared to the same point in 2019.

      The substantial growth in publicly funded VET courses reflects the State Government’s significant investment in the training sector and initiatives resulting from the WA Skills Summits that respond to workforce issues raised by industry leaders at the Perth and Regional Skills Summits including:

      • extending the highly successful Lower fees, local skills initiative;
      • supporting mature age apprentices;
      • boosting Aboriginal youth employment opportunities; and
      • extending the Apprenticeship and Traineeship Reengagement Incentive.

      Industries that have a critical need to upskill workers — including civil construction, childcare, and aged and disability care — can now also access low fee existing worker traineeships to help meet the skills needs of these sectors.

      The State Government is also investing $215.8 million for essential infrastructure upgrades to TAFE colleges across the State, as well as a further $25 million to modernise equipment to support training demand. Building on the McGowan Government's significant work to revitalise the TAFE sector, the 2022—23 State Budget invests an additional $76.5 million in targeted opportunities for Western Australians to take up quality jobs — this includes additional funding to keep TAFE fees low; boosting the defence industry's professional and paraprofessional workforce; supporting WA's in demand construction industry; and helping mature age jobseekers into jobs.

      "Our Lower fees, local skills initiative has been greatly successful, delivering the highest VET course enrolments on record." said Premier Mark McGowan today. "Ensuring we can provide affordable training options for Western Australians doesn't just benefit individuals, it benefits the whole State by providing a steady supply of skilled local workers."

      "As part of our efforts to revitalise the TAFE sector, we continue to invest significantly in quality training that is not only accessible, but can connect people to local jobs." added Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery. "Making training affordable for all Western Australians is an essential strategy in creating jobs and addressing skills shortages.".

      Read the full media statement here

      Year 9 Career Taster Program

      Career exploration and discovery for Year 9 students now just a click away!

      New Career Taster Program portal launched today

      Premier Mark McGowan and Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery were at North Metropolitan TAFE’s East Perth campus today to see the Year 9 Career Taster Program in action and officially launch the program’s new portal. Students from La Salle College participated in practical activities in emerging technologies in the resources sector using radio equipment to control haul-trucks and diggers in a simulated miniature pit. They also performed hands on mechanical fitting tasks that form the basis of skills required in a number of mining, mechanical engineering and maintenance trades.

      Through the program Western Australia’s Year 9 students can engage in interactive activities to explore a range of industries and occupations, and the skills needed for them. Following a successful pilot, the program is being delivered across the State this year; giving Year 9 students a taste of the world of work through practical industry experiences and sparking their ‘career curiosity’.

      The new Career Taster Portal supports program delivery, and is a one-stop resource connecting schools with industry taster experiences through a searchable database. The portal also provides schools with access to resources to plan and deliver their program, and a function where employers can nominate to provide an experience. With more than 100 experiences already available and comprehensive teaching resources, schools have the flexibility to design career exploration experiences that meet the needs of their students and local context.

      Co-designed with industry, education experts, TAFEs and school sectors, the Career Taster Program offers an exciting opportunity for Year 9 students to extend their thinking through practical industry experiences to learn more about the jobs they are interested in and experience the world of work. Providing early access to career information and education pathways will help students make informed decisions about future subject selections for Years 11 and 12.

      Further information on the Career Taster Program and the new portal can be found at jobsandskills.wa.gov.au/careertaster

      At today's launch, Premier Mark McGowan said “The Career Taster Program has been specifically designed to give Year 9 students a taste of the world of work. The program provides early access to career information and education pathways to young people, it will arm students with the tools they need to make informed decisions about their future.” .

      “Typically, secondary students’ first exposure to the range of post-secondary training options doesn’t occur until in Year 10 when students are just about to make important decisions on which subjects they will study in Years 11 and 12. “ said Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery. "By giving Year 9 students real world experiences and showing the many exciting opportunities and careers available, they are making connections between training and education pathways and occupations they are interested in at an earlier stage.”

      Read the full media statement here

      New trades workshop for Albany TAFE

      New trades workshops power ahead for Albany TAFE

      $20.5M investment in specialist trades training

      Plans for the $20.5 million trades workshops at South Regional TAFE's Albany campus are moving ahead, with the design finalised and the project now out for tender.

      The state of the art workshops will replace the campus’ existing 50-year old trade facilities, and will be used to deliver training in metals and engineering, automotive; building and construction; and carpentry and joinery trades.

      The WA State Government’s investment in specialist trades training in the Great Southern will ensure local young people and jobseekers have access to world class training opportunities to meet the workforce needs of local industry. Providing modern facilities will ensure students, including apprentices, are provided with relevant and contemporary knowledge and skills in facilities that reflect real life working environments. Construction is anticipated to start in September 2022, and be completed by June 2024.

      The project was announced in July 2020 as part of the WA Recovery Plan, incorporating a record $215.8 million investment to fund upgrades to essential infrastructure across the State’s five TAFE colleges. The schematic designs were developed by Great Southern architectural firm H+H Architects, which is headquartered in Albany with offices in Kalgoorlie and Bunbury. H+H Architects has worked on several major educational projects in the region including the UWA Science Building in Albany, Great Southern Grammar and Albany Residential College.  

      “This is a significant investment in world-class trades training that will deliver huge benefits to people living in the Great Southern region.“ says Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery. "Albany’s new trades workshops will be used to deliver industry relevant training and produce job ready and highly skilled workers in traditional trades, including for the in demand automotive and building and construction industries. The McGowan Government is revitalising Western Australia’s training sector to get Western Australians into long-term jobs and to support the workforce needs of industries to keep our State and economy strong.”.

      Read the full media statement here

      Welcoming skilled migrants and international students to ReconnectWA

      Welcoming skilled migrants and international students to Western Australia

      New initiatives to ReconnectWA and meet workforce needs

      The WA State Government is implementing new initiatives to attract skilled migrants and international students to Western Australia, to help alleviate skills shortages. The new initiatives also respond to strategies to address skills shortages following industry consultation at the Perth and Regional Skills Summits.

      Occupations added to GOL
      As part of the  $195 million ReconnectWA strategy, an additional 194 occupations have been added to the Graduate Occupation List (GOL), taking the total number of occupations to 331, to attract more international students to study in WA. Expansion of the GOL will help attract a broad and diverse range of skills that align with the State’s current and future workforce needs. The skilled migration pathway will also provide international students graduating in WA the option to apply for permanent residence.

      Expansion of skilled migration crieria
      Along with prioritising applicants who are already in WA and Australia, the State Government has expanded the skilled migration criteria to allow offshore candidates to apply for WA State nomination.

      These changes will simultaneously support the international education sector, while adding to WA’s pipeline of skilled workers in priority areas.

      For further information visit the Migration WA website at migration.wa.gov.au

      “Meeting Western Australia’s skilled workforce needs to support our State's strong economic growth and pipeline of works is a priority for the State Government.“ says Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery. "With world class education, healthy job opportunities and strong public health management, there is no better or safer place to live, work and study.".

      International Education Minister David Templeman said that “International students are an important part of the WA community – they make a positive contribution to the State's diversity and vibrancy, and support local jobs in a variety of industries. Providing a skilled migration pathway is key for attracting international students to Western Australia to retain their capabilities once they have completed their studies.".
       

      Read the full media statement here

      An artist rendition of the new Armadale TAFE campus.

      Vision for new $33M Armadale TAFE is taking shape!

      New purpose built contemporary campus for 2024

      A new TAFE campus in Armadale is a step closer to reality, with the finalisation of designs and tender advertised for the $33.8 million project.

      South Metropolitan TAFE will have a purpose-built, multilevel campus to deliver industry relevant training across multiple areas including childcare; community services; mental health; business; education support; and general education. The contemporary facilities will also have specialist areas for logistics; information technology; emerging industries; and cyber security.

      The new training campus will enable South Metropolitan TAFE to consolidate vocational training in the area, with learning currently dispersed across three ageing leased premises in the Armadale town centre.

      Designed by Armstrong Collective architects; the campus will be a vibrant community hub that will help revitalise the local area, located on Church Avenue within the town centre, a short distance from the train station. State of the art facilities in the multi level building will include simulated childcare for early learning education; classrooms; computer laboratories; simulated office space; meeting rooms; crèche; and a student hub which will include food and drink preparation areas.

      The Armadale Jobs and Skills Centre will also relocate to the new campus, connecting the local community with training and employment opportunities. Local jobs will be created with the construction of the building, and once the new campus is open it will have a positive flow on for local businesses, with an increase to student capacity bringing more people into the town centre.

      Construction is expected to commence late 2022 and be completed in 2024, for students to begin training in the second semester of, 2024.  

      “The new $33.8 million purpose-built TAFE campus will deliver a first class learning environment in Armadale. " said Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery. “The state of the art facilities will provide more opportunities for locals, particularly youth, with a boost to student capacity leading to pathways into long term jobs. This project is part of the WA Recovery Plan, with the McGowan Government investing a record $215.8 million to fund infrastructure upgrades across the State’s TAFE colleges.”.
       

      Read the full media statement here

      New budget initiatives for the building and construction industry in WA

      $14.3M investment to support building and construction industry in WA!

      Plus new tool rebate for apprentices and trainees

      The WA State Government today announced a $14.3 million investment in the 2022—23 State Budget to support the development of Western Australia’s construction industry workforce, and provide financial support to apprentices and trainees.

      The $14.3 million Construction Training Fund (CTF) investment includes $4.5 million for a new tool rebate to support apprentices and trainees purchase trade-related tools and safety equipment, enabling eligible apprentices and trainees to claim up to $500 each for purchases made between 1 July 2022 and 30 June 2023.

      To support the introduction of a new apprenticeship pathway for the civil construction sector, the CTF is providing eligible employers with a wage gap subsidy to cover the difference in wages paid between the new apprenticeship and outgoing traineeship. The $5.1 million program will run over the next four years.

      The State Government’s Skills Summits in 2021 identified access to a driver’s licence as a common barrier to employment as an apprentice. The new initiatives from CTF includes a $1.3 million initiative to assist young people with gaining the experience and skills they need to obtain a driver’s licence for entry into a construction trade apprenticeship; and an additional $1.6 million of incentives for employers and apprentices involved in rebuilding disaster-affected regions to support communities impacted by the Wooroloo bushfires and Cyclone Seroja. Under the scheme, employers can claim up to an additional $6,000 from the CTF over two years and apprentices can receive up to $2,000 over the same period.

      A further $1.9 million has been allocated to identify and promote training in trades with a declining number of workers through online resourcing for target employers, advertising and apprentice mentoring programs.

      For more information on these initiatives, visit ctf.wa.gov.au.

      “My Government is committed to investing in training Western Australians to build a skilled workforce for now and for the future." says Premier Mark McGowan, announcing the new initiatives today.  “These important initiatives, delivered through the Construction Training Fund, will support the Western Australian construction industry to attract and retain workers. The tool rebate will provide financial support to thousands of construction apprentices in regional and metropolitan areas, helping them to follow their chosen career path and promote safety in their workplaces. Similarly, the driver’s licence training support will help to remove barriers to apprenticeship employment by providing young people with skills and experience to safely operate a vehicle.”

      Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery said “The McGowan Labor Government has been working directly with industries to increase the capability of their workforces and produce more skilled workers to meet growing industry demand. This suite of initiatives, funded through the 2022—23 State Budget, responds to workforce issues raised by industry leaders at what is a critical time for building and construction. The civil construction apprenticeship program will improve the quality of training in civil construction and create robust career pathways into the industry, with the $5.1 million wage gap subsidy to ensure a pipeline of junior and mature-age qualified apprentices. The McGowan Government is also investing to get more tradies on the ground in disaster-hit areas to help with recovery efforts, with $1.6 million in incentives on offer for apprentices and trainees who go where they’re needed most.”

      Read the full media statement here

      $76M investment in training — Low fees extended!

      $76.5M investment in training and jobs for WA!

      WA State Budget investing in a skilled workforce for the future

      The WA State Government is providing more targeted training opportunities for Western Australians to take up quality jobs, with the announcement of a $76.5 million boost to training in the 2022—23 State Budget. This significant investment to build a skilled workforce for the future supports the Government's WA Jobs Plan and work to diversify the WA economy and create local jobs.

      Initiatives in the 2022—23 State Budget have been developed to meet skill shortages and informed by ideas and outcomes from the Perth and Regional Skills Summits. 
       

      • An additional $38.4 million to keep TAFE fees low and annual fee caps across 210 priority courses through our successful Lower fees, local skills initiative. This initiative has helped training enrolments grow to a record of more than 150,000 places and increased apprenticeships and traineeships by a massive 31 per cent last year.
      • $11 million to further build the WA defence industry's professional and para-professional workforce, which is estimated to need more than an additional 1,000 workers by 2027.
      • An additional $4.9 million has been provided for the Collie Just Transition Plan, which includes the establishment of a new Jobs and Skills Centre and a TAFE Transition Team to support affected employees through career and training services.
      • A new $5.5 million program to provide expanded jobseeker support to 500 mature-age jobseekers, and pilot support for 100 ex-offenders, to help them into employment and support their safe transition back into the community.
      • A $2.4 million Regional TAFE International Student Strategy, which responds to feedback received at the Regional Skills Summits held across WA and aims to attract international students to live, work and study in regional WA. Commencing in 2023, the initiative will provide 200 places over two years and target in-demand occupations such as aged and disability care, childcare and hospitality and tourism, which have a critical shortage of workers. The strategy further supports the McGowan Government's multi-million dollar Reconnect WA package to support the return of international students and recovery of tourism markets, and secure business events following the reopening of the State's borders.
      • A $14.3 million investment, through the Construction Training Fund, will deliver a suite of new targeted training initiatives to support the development of a safe, skilled and sustainable building and construction workforce.
      • Continued roll out the TAFE capital works program, with $216 million committed over the next four years to deliver state of the art facilities providing high quality, industry relevant training across WA.

      "My Government's sensible management of the finances enables us to set up WA's long-term future." said Premier Mark McGowan today. "Key to WA's long term success is having a skilled workforce to take up the jobs we are creating by diversifying our economy, and through our record infrastructure spending. Our significant work over the past five years to revitalise WA's neglected TAFE and training sector has resulted in significant increases in enrolments  — putting more Western Australians on the pathway to quality local jobs and providing skilled workers to support key industries. Thanks to our extensive industry consultation through the WA Skills Summits, the 2022-23 State Budget initiatives will build a workforce for the future.".

      Minister for Education and Training Sue Ellery said "Our investment in targeted workforce initiatives and training has been key in building and diversifying Western Australia's economy and delivering major projects. Training is now significantly more affordable and accessible for Western Australians than it was when we came to Government in 2017, and will continue to be central to our work to invest in and attract new industries to WA, reduce barriers to business growth and deliver a pipeline of work across the State.".

      For more information, visit ourstatebudget.wa.gov.au.
       

      Read the full media statement here

      You bring your life experience, we'll help you turn it into a career

      Support for under-represented groups to enter training and work

      New "Life Experience" campaign responding to feedback from Skills Summits

      The State Government has launched a new Life Experience campaign, which aims to encourage Western Australians to develop the skills and confidence they need to successfully participate in the workforce. The targeted campaign to increase participation among people from groups who are under-represented in the WA workforce is part of the State Government's commitment to continue to work with industry to address the State's skilled worker needs, and is one of a series of post-Skills Summit initiatives announced in August 2021 to attract and retain skilled workers in WA.

      Aligned with the WA Jobs Plan, the campaign highlights the value of life skills and experience in the workplace; while promoting the training, career and employment support available through WA's Jobs and Skills Centres. It targets participation in vocational education and training (VET) and the WA workforce by women, mature age workers and retirees re-entering the workforce; youth at risk; Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people; people from culturally diverse backgrounds; and people with lived experience of disability, and aims to open up training opportunities and create more jobs for all Western Australians.

      The campaign is supported by information on the Jobs and Skills WA website to highlight the career support and training options available for these groups.

       

      The campaign's series of multi-media advertisements emphasise there has never been a better time to get into a job, make a career change, upskill or re-enter the WA workforce. Training in WA is more affordable and accessible than ever, and plenty of support is available to help people of all ages and backgrounds access and attend training and find the right job. Available support includes a range of specialist programs and services; free and low-cost training opportunities; pre-employment pathways; and free career support through the statewide network of Jobs and Skills Centres. There are also free and subsidised courses in foundation skills, and support to assist people with disability gain skills for success in their studies and the workplace.

      All Western Australians are encouraged to contact their nearest Jobs and Skills Centre; which is a one-stop-shop for free, friendly and professional career, training and employment advice. Jobs and Skills Centre services are also accessible to all members of the community, with specialist services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and culturally diverse people, and through outreach locations for regional areas.

      "The McGowan Government is committed to supporting people of all ages and backgrounds to develop the confidence and skills they need to be successful in training and the workforce." said Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery, announcing the campaign. "The Life Experience campaign highlights the value of life skills and experience in the workplace for people from groups who are under-represented in the workforce to connect with training and employment. The campaign is also part of our work with WA industry to address their skilled worker needs by getting even more local people into local jobs. Workplace diversity has shown to have extremely positive impacts on workplace productivity and innovation, and through this campaign we're also encouraging employers to consider these benefits."

      Read the full media statement here

      Exciting news for agricultural training in Western Australia.

      Historical Muresk Institute to get exciting new expansion!

      Sod turned on $9.9M of new agriculture training facilities

      Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery has visited Muresk Institute in the Wheatbelt to view the upgraded shearing workshop facilities and "turn the sod" to mark the beginning of construction for a new specialist agricultural training facility. Muresk Institute is a working farm, ensuring industry-driven education and training opportunities are available to meet demand for skilled workers.

      Find out more about Muresk at dtwd.wa.gov.au/mureskinstitute

      The works to modernise essential agricultural training facilities at the site are part of a $9.9 million expansion, with the project's second stage getting under way. The new facilities will provide students with high quality training in wool handling and shearing, with the best possible interactive experience.
       

      • The first stage of the project was to provide a new $800,000 industry-standard shearing shed, which is crucial to Muresk's role as a working farm and agricultural training provider.
      • The second stage will expand Muresk's facilities to include a new specialist Agricultural Machinery Training Centre; providing new workshops, classrooms, information technology laboratories and student facilities.
      • An adjacent 1940s cottage will be renovated into an administration space for lecturers and a breakout space for students.

      The project will provide new industry-relevant training facilities for courses approved for reduced fees under the State Government's highly successful Lower fees, local skills program. Muresk and Central Regional TAFE (CRT) have worked closely with industry in the development of the Certificate III in Agricultural Mechanical Technology apprenticeship, with first-year training taking place this year at the CRT Northam campus before moving to the new Muresk facilities from 2023. Once their training is complete, the qualified technicians will service all types of agricultural machinery across Western Australia's broadacre farming industry, including the servicing of specialised technology such as precision spraying and seeding equipment.

      Regional WA commercial builder ACorp Construction Pty Ltd is carrying out the majority of construction, while another regional WA company GBSC Yurra constructed the new shearing shed. Approximately 100 workers will be employed throughout the project at Muresk Institute, including apprentices and trainees. It is anticipated that construction of the new facilities will be completed in January 2023, with training to commence in semester one. This project is part of the State Government's $215.84 million record investment in TAFE capital works projects, delivering state of the art learning opportunities for students and boosting the WA economy by generating jobs.

      "Muresk Institute has been the home of agricultural training in Western Australia for almost 100 years, and this expansion will help to ensure that Muresk can continue to serve that purpose for a long time to come." said Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery. 

      Read the full media statement here

      New Driller's Offsider Job Ready Program now available!

      New FREE training program for jobs in WA's resources sector

      Applications now open for Driller's Offsider Job Ready Program! 

      The WA State Government is partnering with Western Australia’s resources industry to pilot a new Job Ready pathways to employment program that connects participants with entry-level employment opportunities in the drilling sector.

      The new Driller’s Offsider Job Ready Program is among a suite of new skills sets developed in collaboration with WA industries to deliver short course training for people to upskill or reskill in industries of identified skills need. This new program will provide participants with skills to work safely on site, and teaches how to apply first aid and CPR; working safely at heights; and how to operate and maintain a four wheel drive vehicle in preparation for working on a mining or exploration site as a driller's offsider.

      Expressions of interest for the new program are now open, with the first intake of students scheduled to start the program with registered training organisation Australian Training Management in May 2022.

      The training is free* for jobseekers, people aged 18—25, and concession holders; and low-fee for non-concession students.

      Prior to commencing the training, participants will undertake a one-day induction delivered by industry to introduce them to a driller’s role and working environment. On completion of the course, students will be connected with opportunities to transition into employment, or they may be offered an opportunity to undertake a traineeship with a participating employer or further their training to gain a drilling operations qualification. Employers of students who transition into traineeships will be able to access State and Australian Government incentives or wage subsidies.

      The Driller’s Offsider Job Ready Program was developed in consultation with the Resources Industry Training Council and key industry partners, who form part of a reference group that oversees the program.

      Job Ready Programs are part of the State Government’s $5.5 billion investment in WA Recovery Plan initiatives to upskill the WA workforce and enhance employment and training opportunities following COVID-19. The State Government’s Lower fees, local skills initiative has significantly reduced course fees for 210 courses, including drilling operations and a range of other resources and mining qualifications.

      You can register your interest in the Driller’s Offsider Job Ready program on the Jobs and Skills WA website.

      Go to jobsandskills.wa.gov.au/pathways#drillers-offsider-job-ready-program

      You can also contact our Job Ready team by email to DrillersOffsider@dtwd.wa.gov.au or by phoning 08 6551 5049.

      More information about Lower, fees, local skills and qualifications reduced by up to 72 per cent is available at jobsandskills.wa.gov.au/skillsready.

      Announcing the new Driller's Offsider program today,  Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery said “There is a strong demand for driller’s offsiders and the McGowan Government is continuing to deliver new training programs to meet workforce needs across the resources sector. The new Job Ready Program offers a low cost and fast track training option to help Western Australians into entry-level driller’s offsider jobs while providing a pathway to full drilling operations qualifications and employment. Strong industry involvement in the program helps to link participants with employers and orientation with the working environment to ensure the industry is a good fit for them.”

      Read the full media statement here

      *Please see website for eligibility criteria

      New course list for Jobs and Skills WA website

      New course list launched for Jobs and Skills WA website

      New features making your course search easy!

      A new course list has been launched on the Jobs and Skills website today, with a range of new features and functionality to make your course search easy.

      With over 700 courses listed on the website, this is great news for anyone looking for a skill set, course or qualification to get skills ready for that new job or career move. With the new course search, you can now:

      • search quickly and easily for free courses, and qualifications with course fees reduced by half or more;
      • find courses with specific training options, such as apprenticeships and traineeships;
      • find qualifications that are available as VET programs for secondary school students, including school-based apprenticeships and traineeships;
      • search quickly and easily for courses in particular industry and study areas; and
      • search for and view course information more easily on your mobile device.

      We have also added a ‘favourites’ option, so that you can tag courses that you’re interested in and add them to your own personal list. You can then come back and view the courses on your list at any time, rather than have to search for them again.

      Each course now opens on its own website page, where we have made information about the course, the TAFE colleges and private training providers who deliver it and the occupations the course aligns with easier to view.

      Last but not least; you can now share a course page on your own social media channel, if you want to let family and friends know what you’re studying or about a course you’re interested in.

      Take a look: jobsandskills.wa.gov.au/course-list 

      DIVES scholarship

      New $5K scholarship supporting veterans into new careers

      Training for veterans in non-service defence industry jobs

      The WA State Government has joined forces with Western Australia’s defence industry to support veterans wanting to continue their defence industry careers in non-service roles. Eligible veterans will be able to apply for at least 80 scholarships of up to $5,000 each through the Defence Industry Veterans Employment Scheme Scholarship Program (DIVES), which is funded by the State Government and supported by industry.

      Speaking about the program, Premier Mark McGowan said “Every year, around 300 Australian Defence Force members transition to civilian life and settle in WA. The transition from service life to civilian employment can be difficult without structured pathways. In many cases, veterans need to undertake additional study or training to gain access to other career pathways in the defence industry. Our partnership with industry in this scholarship program will enable us to support defence veterans who have sacrificed so much for our community to enter engineering trades and upskill into non-trade defence industry careers.” .

      The scholarship program is part of a broader $18.34 million package designed to build WA’s defence manufacturing workforce, and ensure our state is well positioned to take on opportunities across all the defence domains. This package also includes financial incentives for employers; new maritime defence industry TAFE courses; and facilities upgrades at South Metropolitan TAFE (SM TAFE).

      The DIVES program will help veterans to cover eligible vocational education and training (VET) and university study costs that are relevant to defence industry careers; including tuition and other compulsory fees, textbooks and equipment. Eligible veterans will also be able to access career planning support from the program to identify training or further study leading to defence career pathways.

      The program is being managed by the dedicated Defence Industry Team located at SM TAFE’s Rockingham Jobs and Skills Centre. 

      More information and how to apply for DIVES can be found at jobsandskills.wa.gov.au/defence

      “The sacrifice and commitment of veterans must be recognised beyond end of service, and this program provides strong support for their transition back to civilian life. Veterans have valuable skills and experience that can be effectively used by the defence industry and makes them highly desirable defence industry employees." said Defence Industry and Veterans Issues Minister Paul Papalia. "As a workforce cohort; veterans are disciplined, have a strong work ethic, and experience using the products created by the defence industry. WA is committed to supporting veteran pathways into civilian employment to ensure that veterans find a new sense of purpose and identity.”

      A heavy plant apprentice mechanic.

      Jumbo development drill donation to deliver huge training benefits

      Getting SM TAFE heavy automotive apprentices industry ready

      South Metropolitan TAFE’s capacity to service Western Australia’s growing demand for skilled heavy automotive workers has received a boost with the arrival of a ‘Jumbo’ development drill donated by underground mining service employer Barminco.

      The refurbished drill, which is used for underground operations and worth about $1.8 million new, has lived out its full mine life but will continue to serve the industry training plant mechanic apprentices, trainees and students at South Metropolitan TAFE’s Heavy Vehicle Mechanical Training Centre. Located at the college’s Thornlie campus, the Heavy Vehicle Mechanical Training Centre is home to current industry equipment that mirrors real life working environments, to equip students with the  job ready skills desired by employers. The donated Jumbo will be a valuable tool for students to practice a range of skills including understanding hydraulic systems and servicing techniques. In its lifetime, the donated Jumbo has drilled more than 1372km  — the equivalent distance of Perth to Newman via Geraldton and Mt Magnet  — while supporting development at four Barminco mining operations across WA.

      The donation of the development drill, which is known as a ‘Jumbo’, complements the WA State Government’s $25 million investment in modern equipment for WA TAFE colleges, as part of a four-year program to upgrade TAFE equipment to align with contemporary industry standards. The donation is an example of how South Metropolitan TAFE collaborates with industry partners to ensure its training results in graduates being highly employable with skills matched to industry needs.

      Barminco is a Perenti Group company. With more than 400 apprentices and trainees across its Barminco, Ausdrill and BTP companies, Perenti is one of Western Australia’s largest private sector employers of apprentices and trainees. Barminco is one of South Metropolitan TAFE’s largest employers of apprentices across a range of training areas, with 89 active apprentices include 56 heavy automotive apprentices training in the TAFE’s Certificate III in Mobile Plant Technology and Certificate III in Engineering – Mechanical Trade (Plant Mechanic) qualification. These and a range of other automotive, engineering and mining qualifications are among 210 courses with their fees significantly reduced under the State Government’s Lower fees, local skills (LFLS) initiative.

      More information about LFLS qualifications is available on the Jobs and Skills WA website at jobsandskills.wa.gov.au/skillsready or by contacting your local Jobs and Skills Centre on 13 64 64.

      “I thank Barminco for investing in training and the State’s future mining and heavy automotive workforce with the donation of this development drill. “The McGowan Government’s investment in training and strong links with industry are helping to ensure students leave TAFE work ready and equipped with skills that are desirable to employers" said Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery. “Skilled heavy automotive and mobile plant professionals are in high demand and reduced-fee training options are available. Providing work ready students with experience operating contemporary machinery used on site by industry is key to addressing skills needs.”

      View the full media statement here

      Student Satisfaction Survey report 2021

      2021 WA Student Satisfaction Survey report now available!

      Measuring the quality of service by WA TAFEs

      The 2021 WA Student satisfaction survey — Public training providers report is now available. The report contains information about the satisfaction levels of students at Western Australian TAFE colleges and the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) during 2021; and is used to measure the quality of service provided by Western Australia's TAFEs and gain a better understanding of their customers and their needs.

      The figures and information in the report are derived from the 2021 WA student satisfaction survey carried out in 2021, for which fieldwork and research was conducted over approximately nine weeks from 16 September to 19 November 2021. Students from the five TAFE colleges, WAAPA, and 158 private training providers* were invited to participate in the survey via an online survey, a telephone interview, or a hard copy survey. The mixed methodology approach was used to ensure maximum accessibility for students.

      The latest (2021) survey shows 87.3% of students were satisfied with their training. Students experienced the highest levels of satisfaction with the:

      • physical safety and security measures (92.0%);
      • quality of trainers / instructors (87.7%); and
      • how likely it is that the course will lead to a job/career (85.5%). 

      Satisfaction with the cost of the course (75.5%) was significantly higher in 2021, when compared to 2020 (71%).

      The survey, and the report, are done by an independent company.

      For more information on the student satisfaction rates, you can read the Student satisfaction survey 2021 WA State Report — Public providers here

       

      *Survey results for private training providers are not included in this report.

      New pilot program for WA's civil construction industry traineeships and apprenticeships

      Skills boost for civil construction through industry-backed program

      Pilot program to change traineeships to apprenticeships

      The State Government has joined with Western Australia's civil construction industry to establish a new pilot program to increase the number and quality of new workers entering the sector. This pilot program will help build a skilled local workforce in the civil construction industry to support the State Government's $13 billion commitment to civil infrastructure projects over the next four years.

      Under the program specific civil construction qualifications in WA are changing from a traineeship to an apprenticeship, extending training from 24 months to 36 months with the aim of improving skills and employment opportunities. The move will result in the first cohort of civil construction apprentices, who will receive a trade certificate on completion of their Certificate III qualification, boosting qualified civil construction trades.

      Funded by the Construction Training Fund (CTF) and developed in conjunction with the Civil Contractors Federation WA (CCFWA) and Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU), the $5.99 million program will cover a wage gap created by the transition, ensuring employers and apprentices are not disadvantaged by the transition to the new qualifications.
       

      • A wage subsidy of up to $14,000 will be provided to employers who employ junior apprentices (under 21), and there will also be wage gap funding for 50 direct employment mature age civil construction apprenticeships.
      • The CTF has also increased its base grant for employers from $8,000 to $10,000.

      The CTF apprenticeship support grant is available to eligible employers, and is intended to cover the costs incurred by the employment and training of an apprentice during the term of the training contract. Throughout the four-year pilot program, it is anticipated that around 250 junior apprentice wages will be subsidised and more than 1,200 new apprentices are expected to commence in the civil construction sector.

      For more information, please read the CCPP FAQs available at dtwd.wa.gov.au/apprenticeship-office#useful-fact-sheets or at ctf.wa.gov.au.

      Announcing the pilot program today, Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery said “The McGowan Government is committed to building a skilled local workforce. This program will improve the quality of training in civil construction while creating robust career pathways into the industry and ensure a pipeline of junior and mature age qualified apprentices. This initiative was developed extensively with industry, and will go a long way in assisting the civil construction industry to train employees and deliver on key civil infrastructure projects.”
       

      Read the full media statement here

      Disability Access and Inclusion Plan 2022—26

      NEW Disability Access and Inclusion Plan 2022—26

      Improving access and inclusion for people with disability in training and employment

      Training has a critical role to play in providing people with accessible learning pathways and support to identify, enter into and maintain fulfilling careers and employment.

      The Department of Training and Workforce Development provides ongoing support to assist Western Australia’s workforce and vocational education and training (VET)  sector to be more accessible, particularly for people with disability. Our new Disability Access and Inclusion Plan 2022–26 builds on our achievements to date and provides the commitment and direction for further progress in improving access and inclusion for people with disability in training and employment.
       

      View the DAIP here to find out more about the strategies it contains

      If you require the document in an alternative format, please telephone 08 6551 5064 or email daip@dtwd.wa.gov.au.

      Supervisor, Jasmine Romaro and school-based trainee, Ace Sharp

      Youth employment series: Meet Ace Sharp

      In this series, we meet some of the valued trainees and graduates working at the Department.

      We pride ourselves on an inclusive and diverse workforce here at the Department of Training and Workforce Development. Workplace diversity means everyone benefits from a wide range of experiences and perspectives. This leads to a real boost in ideas, skills, and creativity in the workplace.

      Part of our workplace diversity involves supporting the career growth of younger Australians. In this series, we meet some of the valued trainees and graduates working at the Department.

      Q&A with Ace Sharp, trainee

      Ace Sharp started his 18-month public sector school-based traineeship with the Department in February 2021, supported by his team in Human Resources.

      website-ace-500x250.png

      Pictured left to right: Supervisor, Jasmine Romaro and school-based trainee Ace Sharp

      What motivated you to do a government traineeship?
      The encouragement of my family and friends to step out of my comfort zone and expand my skill set.

      What are some key things you've learnt at the Department?
      What an office job is actually like and how to do a job, such as processing work, scanning and printing, using Empower and Content Manager.

      What are your favourite school subjects?
      Science, as I get to work with others to find a conclusion in experiments and recess/lunch (because who doesn't like recess or lunch).

      What are your goals for next year
      Complete this course, pass all my school subjects and find the best way to relax.

      What advice would you give to future trainees?
      Don't think it's like what movies show you. There's a lot more work than you would think, and everyone will be friendly towards you.

      Do you have a role model? Who is it and why?
      My work mates. They inspire me to keep going through with the job, and they are also fun to be around.

      Jobs and Skills WA: Free mental health training

      Integrating Mental Health Practice skill set now FREE!

      Short course to build essential mental health support skills

      With the COVID-19 pandemic increasing the need for mental health support in community services and the care sector, the State Government is making the Integrating Mental Health Practice Job Ready Skill Set course fee-free for all* students. The change, made in response to industry demand, will encourage workers who come under a non-concession category to access the training fee-free. The skill set, which consists of selected nationally accredited units focusing on mental health support, is designed to build the capacity of workforces to support clients with mental health and/or alcohol and other drugs conditions to provide support for vulnerable Western Australians. It teaches about responding to crisis situations, managing personal stress in the workplace and working with people from diverse backgrounds.

      The course will be free for all students, including existing workers looking to upskill.

      Completion of the units in the skill set may lead to further training opportunities in alcohol and other drugs; community services; disability; mental health; and youth work qualifications for those who are interested in further developing their skills in mental health support.

      The Integrating Mental Health Practice skill set was previously course fee-free for youth under 25, jobseekers and concession students, but attracted a regulated fee for non-concession students. Under the new fee-free structure, non-concession students, including people aged 25 and over and existing workers, can save up to just under $430 in course fees.

      The Department of Health and the Mental Health Commission are seeing a significant increase in the number of clients presenting with mental health and/or alcohol and other drugs conditions, particularly due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Industry feedback estimates up to 3,000 people could complete the skill set across WA if all frontline and essential workers working directly with mental health and/or alcohol and other drugs conditions clients choose to undertake the training. 

      For more information or to register your interest in enrolling in the skill set, visit the Jobs and Skills WA website at jobsandskills.wa.gov.au/skillsready

      You can also contact your local Jobs and Skills Centre on 13 64 64 for further information or free advice about training options.

      Announcing the free training today, Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery said “Training is an important part of our Government’s response to the pandemic and the upskilling of Western Australia’s workforce. By making the Integrating Mental Health Practice Skill Set course fee-free we are supporting Western Australia’s community services and care sector, as well as a range of other workforces that come into contact with clients who need this kind of assistance. Employees with well-developed soft skills and the capacity to provide person-centred, recovery-focused care are valued by the community mental health sector.”

      Read the full media statement here

      *Some elibigility criteria apply, see website for details.

      WA Training Awards 2022: Applications now open!

      A new search for WA VET sector’s brightest stars begins!

      WA Training Awards 2022 applications open 1 March

      Applications are now open for the WA Training Awards 2022, which recognise the outstanding achievements of apprentices, trainees, employers and training organisations. Now in its 28th year, the Awards provide an opportunity for the vocational education and training (VET) sector to showcase excellence and reward best practice, while putting Western Australia's best achievers in the spotlight.

      If you’re an apprentice, trainee or vocational student, the WA Training Awards can open doors to new career opportunities and highlight your skills and achievements. For organisations, the Awards are an opportunity to be recognised as an industry leader and provide a platform to network with other businesses and training providers in WA and around Australia.

      Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery is encouraging eligible individuals and organisations to apply, with applications opening on Tuesday 1 March, and closing at 5:00 pm on Friday 29 April 2022.

      "Vocational education and training plays a vital role in the rebuilding of Western Australia's economy, so it is fitting we can applaud the high achievers.” the Minister says. “The WA Training Awards are the State's premier training awards, showcasing excellence and highlighting our best VET talent.”

      In 2022, there are eight individual and five organisational Award categories.

      Individual categories

      • WA Apprentice of the Year
      • WA Trainee of the Year
      • WA Vocational Student of the Year
      • WA Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year
      • WA School-based Apprentice of the Year
      • WA Trainer of the Year
      • WA Cultural Diversity Training Award
      • WA International Student of the Year

      Organisational categories

      • WA Small Employer of the Year
      • WA Large Employer of the Year
      • WA Industry Collaboration Award
      • WA Small Training Provider of the Year
      • WA Large Training Provider of the Year

      As well as the recognition these respected Awards bring, individual category winners will receive $3,000 which they may use to further their training or kickstart their career, while organisation winners will be recognised as industry leaders.

      To apply, and for more information about the WA Training Awards, visit the WA Training Awards website

      Winners will be announced at a presentation ceremony, and may go on to represent WA at the Australian Training Awards in November. Last year saw all seven of the 2021 WA Training Award winners up for national recognition, which included Trainer of the Year Maryke Gray and Vocational Student of the Year Zoe Tucker.

      Read the Minister’s full media statement here

      Group Training Organisation (GTO) Wage Subsidy

      New $32M wage subsidy supporting record infrastructure investment

      Creating 300 new building and construction apprenticeships and traineeships 

      The State Government has joined with Western Australia's civil construction industry to establish a new pilot program to increase the number and quality of new workers entering the sector. This pilot program will help build a skilled local workforce in civil construction industry to support the State Government's $13 billion commitment to civil infrastructure projects over the next four years.

      Under the program specific civil construction qualifications in WA are changing from a traineeship to an apprenticeship, extending training from 24 months to 36 months with the aim of improving skills and employment opportunities. The move will result in the first cohort of civil construction apprentices, who will receive a trade certificate on completion of their Certificate III qualification, boosting qualified civil construction trades.

      Funded by the Construction Training Fund (CTF) and developed in conjunction with the Civil Contractors Federation WA (CCFWA) and Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU), the $5.99 million program will cover a wage gap created by the transition, ensuring employers and apprentices are not disadvantaged by the transition to the new qualifications.
       

      • A wage subsidy of up to $14,000 will be provided to employers who employ junior apprentices (under 21), and there will also be wage gap funding for 50 direct employment mature age civil construction apprenticeships.
      • The CTF has also increased its base grant for employers from $8,000 to $10,000.

      The CTF apprenticeship support grant is available to eligible employers, and is intended to cover the costs incurred by the employment and training of an apprentice during the term of the training contract. Throughout the four-year pilot program, it is anticipated that around 250 junior apprentice wages will be subsidised and more than 1,200 new apprentices are expected to commence in the civil construction sector.

      For more information, please read the CCPP FAQs available at dtwd.wa.gov.au/apprenticeship-office#useful-fact-sheets or at ctf.wa.gov.au.

      Announcing the pilot program today, Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery said “The McGowan Government is committed to building a skilled local workforce. This program will improve the quality of training in civil construction while creating robust career pathways into the industry and ensure a pipeline of junior and mature age qualified apprentices. This initiative was developed extensively with industry, and will go a long way in assisting the civil construction industry to train employees and deliver on key civil infrastructure projects.”
       

      Read the full media statement here

      2022-2023 State Training Plan released

      State Training Plan 2022—23 released!

      Priorities set for WA's vocational education and training future

      The State Training Plan 2022—23 is now released. This plan guides the State Government's investment in the vocational education and training (VET) sector over the next two years, and ensures public investment in VET delivers skills needed by WA industries for future WA jobs.

      "As our State's training needs and priorities continue to grow and evolve, it is paramount for our Government to maintain strong links with industries and workforces across WA." says Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery. "Priorities identified in the new State Training Plan will ensure our Government's continuing and unprecedented investment in training initiatives continues to support current workforce needs and prepares us for industries and opportunities of the future."

      Led by the industry-backed State Training Board, the plan outlines eight priorities to guide a well-funded, responsive and innovative VET sector that supports the strategic development of the State's industries and the economy.

      These eight priorities include:

      1. skills to support WA's economic growth and diversification;
      2. raising the profile of VET across industry and the school system;
      3. growing the proportion of young people who are engaged in VET;
      4. maximising participation in VET;
      5. focusing on regional training solutions;
      6. supporting employment based pathways;
      7. skills to meet the growing demand of WA's Social Assistance and Allied Health workforce; and
      8. enhancing links between WA's industries and the VET sector.

      To read the full plan, visit the State Training Board website

      Djookanup signage

      Optima Centre renamed in recognition of Noongar people

      Signage designed by Pinjarup-Whadjuk artist Chloe Calyon

      The head office building for the Departments of Finance, and Training and Workforce Development has been renamed 'Djookanup', meaning 'place of young women harvesting food', in the local Noongar language.

      The new name of the Osborne Park building, formerly known as 'Optima B', was unveiled by Finance and Aboriginal Affairs Minister Buti, and Directors General Nicki Godecke and Karen Ho. The name was selected in consultation with local Noongar business Moodjar Consultancy, following engagement with Traditional Owners, and representatives from each department.

      "The names we give to landmarks or places across Western Australia help convey their significance and history, which helps to pass on knowledge." says Minister Buti. "The former name 'Optima B' does little to inspire so it is appropriate to rename the building to Djookanup, recognising and paying respect to the language and history of the Whadjuk Noongar people."

      The executive report provided by Moodjar Consultancy outlines that "the first people to use this site were the local Noongar people, the Yellagonga, who call the area 'Ngur gen boro'." The area's freshwater lakes were used to gather and harvest food sources, a role typically undertaken by young women. Pinjarup-Whadjuk artist Chloe Calyon's vibrant signage design shares Djookanup's story, celebrating the area's rich history.

      Student in VR headset

      Western Australia – It’s like no other

      WA is an ancient, energetic land, brimming with opportunity ready for you to discover. It’s like no other.

      The State Government recently launched ‘Western Australia – It’s like no other’ to promote the safe, stable and strong lifestyle WA has built despite the threat from COVID-19. 

      Western Australia is an ancient, energetic land, brimming with opportunity ready for you to discover. Share an adventure with family and friends, learn at our outstanding education institutions or work in our thriving economy. Wherever the journey takes you, we look forward to welcoming you to Western Australia.
       

      • Visit – Wide open spaces and otherworldly adventures await you. The unique and splendid beauty of a Western Australian adventure is an experience you will remember for a lifetime. 
         
      • Study – Begin, return or extend your student journey in Perth. WA’s world leading institutions are ready and waiting for you here. With quality programs, a great lifestyle and a wealth of employment opportunities, we’re excited to welcome you to our community. 
         
      • Invest – Western Australia offers the world a unique set of strengths and capabilities. Our highly-skilled workforce and abundant resources coupled with outstanding innovation and expertise has built our global reputation for delivering outstanding quality.
         
      • Work – Western Australia is home to the nation’s most affordable capital city to buy a house, offering a significant pipeline of work. We’re creating employment opportunities and offering secure quality jobs across a variety of industries throughout Western Australia.
         

      More information on the new attraction campaign can be viewed by visiting likenoother.wa.gov.au.

      The campaign marks the initial stage of the WA Government's $65 million marketing campaign to promote WA, which is comprised of a number of marketing initiatives to be launched across various target markets and industries.

      Premier Mark McGowan says, “Western Australians enjoy the kind of lifestyle many people across the world only dream about.”

      Jobs and Skills WA: New traineeships information page for employers

      New! Traineeships guide for employers

      Supporting employers to grow their business: With incentives!

      Traineeships offer employers the opportunity to skill up their workforce, through nationally recognised and accredited vocational education and training (VET) qualifications. Training can be customised and aligned to business operations, and because they are delivered mainly through on the job training, trainees do not require long absences from the workplace. 

      Employers may also be eligible for financial incentives and wage subsidies of over $20,000 — depending on individual circumstances — to assist with the costs of hiring a trainee.

      Setting up a traineeship for your business takes just a few simple steps, and free services are available to help employers through the process. We have developed new information for employers, including a guide: Traineeships — A quick guide for employers that outlines the process of hiring a trainee and commencing a traineeship, and a series of useful case studies highlighting the financial incentives available to eligible employers — available on the Jobs and Skills WA website. There is also a list of all traineeships available in Western Australia, in all industry categories. 

      View Traineeships — A quick guide for employers    

      With financial incentives and a range of quality training available, there's never been a better time to grow your business through traineeships! 

      Artist impression of the upcoming Roebourne redevelopment

      TAFE upgrade underway for Roebourne

      New facilities to connect local Aboriginal community to vocational education and training

      Construction has started on a transformational project for Roebourne, with a significant upgrade to North Regional TAFE’s Minurmarghali Mia campus.

      The $7.9 million project will deliver contemporary multi-purpose training facilities to the campus, which plays a key role in connecting the local Aboriginal community to vocational education and training. The new facilities will include four new classrooms to replace the ageing transportable buildings, including:

      • an IT laboratory and art classroom;
      • a new industry workshop for construction trades training; and
      • an upgrade of the existing light automotive workshop.

      The contract was awarded to Western Australian construction company Devlyn Australia which will employ more than 200 workers throughout construction, as well as 16 apprentices and trainees. Lead architect Iredale Pederson Hook Architects were briefed to design culturally appropriate, contemporary facilities, and consulted extensively with the Roebourne community during planning stages to create diverse learning and job opportunities.

      The major redevelopment of the adjacent Roebourne District High School will also be a boost for the region, both during construction and once complete.

      There are currently more than 3,500 students in publicly funded vocational education and training courses in the Pilbara across TAFE and private providers – a 25 per cent increase on the same time last year. The Pilbara community is also taking up the opportunity to access more affordable training through the McGowan Government’s Lower fees, local skills initiative, which has seen a 31 per cent increase in the region.

      Construction is expected to be completed in late 2022, with training to commence in January 2023.

      "The Pilbara region is vital to Western Australia’s economic prosperity, and making local training available is an important part of building a skilled workforce." said Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery. 

      "This wonderful new TAFE will make it a really attractive place for locals to come and learn." said Pilbara MLA Kevin Michel. "Projects like this ensure people from the Pilbara can live in the region, have access to state-of-the-art training and then use those skills to gain local job opportunities."

      Future energy sources to be a focus for VET

      WA leading the charge in the battery value chain!

      Keeping VET responsive to innovations and new technologies

      A research collaboration involving the WA State Government, South Metropolitan TAFE and the Future Battery Industries Cooperative Research Centre (FBICRC) is working to give Western Australia and Australia a competitive edge in the growing battery value chain, which could contribute up to $7.4 billion to Australia’s economy and create 34,700 jobs by 2030. With demand for batteries forecast to accelerate up to 10-fold over the next decade, the collaboration has identified vocational workforce development opportunities to maximise Australia’s share of the potential benefits.

      An Australian-first plan, funded and launched by the FBICRC today, reviews the extent to which national training package qualifications cover the vocational skills and knowledge needed in Australia’s future battery industries. The findings will help guide Australia’s vocational training for future battery industries — including at WA TAFEs which already provide resources, electrical and mechanical industry training. The report found current training package qualifications are well suited for most skills needed by future battery industries, but identified some areas of future need as the changeover to battery energy systems grows. These needs include:

      • skills to use and maintain systems involving automation,
      • artificial intelligence and big data;
      • workers with both electrical and mechanical skills;
      • first responders, electricians and mechanics trained in electric vehicles and battery energy systems; and
      • new skills for recycling facility workers in the safe handling of lithium-ion batteries.

      It also identified the potential for current TAFE courses to be customised to meet emerging and growing needs, including in battery minerals refining activities. The new plan: The Australian future battery industries: Vocational skills gap assessment and workforce development plan is available on the FBICRC website.

      View the plan at fbicrc.com.au/publications

      A key partner in the research collaboration, SM TAFE already works closely with BHP’s Nickel West, providing training for workers at its nickel sulphate plant. SM TAFE also trains electricians in battery energy storage systems installation, applied engineering, and in light automotive (mechanics) to de-power and initialise electric vehicles. The SM TAFE campus located at Munster in the Kwinana Industrial Area and Western Trade Coast precinct means the college is well placed to assist companies moving into battery minerals refining and chemical production to skill and reskill workers for future jobs.

      North Metropolitan TAFE is training Western Power and Horizon workers in the installation and maintenance of standalone power systems; and is moving into training for the maintenance and management of network battery, wind and solar power. NM TAFE is also training mining workers in minerals extraction, both relevant to the mining and processing of battery minerals.

      “Western Australia’s training system is leading a charge to prepare for a battery-led future.“ says Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery. "Today’s report is Australia’s first comprehensive look at vocational education and training needs for future battery industries. The report will help TAFEs and private training providers remain responsive to growing battery industry innovation and demand.”

      Energy Minister Bill Johnston said “Western Australia’s training system is well-placed to help Australia progress to the next step of the battery value chain, which is minerals refining. “As a resources rich state, the battery value chain brings opportunities ripe for the taking for Western Australia’s economy, businesses, jobseekers and environment will benefit.”
       

      Read the full media statement here

      Albany skills summit

      Regional Skills Summit series wraps up today in Albany

      The tenth and final WA regional skills summit for 2021!

      Western Australia's Great Southern region is today hosting the last of a series of 10 Regional Skills Summits that have been hosted around WA by the State Government since August 2021. Strong industry representation throughout the Regional Skills Summits has seen total attendance for the series reach more than 350, and this final event fulfils the State Government's commitment to take their skills summits statewide before Christmas.

      Local business and government leaders met today to generate innovative ideas and practical actions to grow the skilled workforce in the Great Southern region, with around 40 people from a range of sectors attending — including the Great Southern region’s biggest employing industries of agriculture, forestry and fishing; healthcare and social assistance; retail; education and training; and construction. Insights from today's summit will form the basis of a local action plan to meet the region’s unique workforce needs.

      Recognising the importance of training to build a skilled workforce and retain people in regional areas, the State Government has been working to ensure its investment in training initiatives reaches all corners of the State.

      • Great Southern locals are snapping up affordable training opportunities offered through the State Government’s Lower fees, local skills (LFLS) initiative, with a 17 per cent increase in LFLS enrolments in the region this year
      • Employers have responded by taking on more apprentices and trainees in the region in 2021, with commencements up by more than 98 per cent in the 12 months to 30 September 2021

      The State Government recently expanded the LFLS program by a further 30 courses from 2022, to include a total of 210 courses with heavily reduced course fees in priority industry areas including hospitality, healthcare, construction, retail and others. Workers in industries which have a critical need to upskill workers – including childcare, aged and disability care, and civil construction – will be able to access low fee existing worker traineeship places to help meet the skills needs of these sectors.

      The new initiatives respond to workforce issues raised by industry leaders at the Perth and regional skills summits held to date, and are jointly funded through a $103.5 million agreement between the State and Commonwealth governments under the expanded JobTrainer Fund agreement. Other initiatives progressing from the Perth Skills Summit include:

      • attracting onshore skilled migrants to fill jobs in demand in WA;
      • supporting mature age apprentices;
      • promoting the tourism and hospitality industry to school students to grow the workforce;
      • extending the Apprenticeship and Traineeship Reengagement Incentive;
      • freezing regional Government rental accommodation to attract public sector workers to the regions; and
      • boosting Aboriginal youth employment opportunities.

      The State Government is also providing support for jobseekers experiencing disadvantage to obtain a driver’s licence; progressing targeted advertising campaigns to attract interstate workers and increase participation of under-represented groups in WA; has smoothed the pipeline of construction work; and run the series of 10 Regional Skills Summits wrapping up in Albany today.  Fostering strong links between regional TAFE colleges and government, industry and the education sector, the VET Regional Partnerships Program also continues to grow. With a focus on creating more apprenticeships and traineeships in regional WA, the Program supports the Government’s plan to increase the number of jobs in regional WA by 30,000.

      “Today’s Regional Skills Summit in Albany completes a thorough, state-wide examination of the unique skills needs of regional WA.“ said Eduation and Training Minister Sue Ellery. "Our Government has now heard directly from industries across the State about their ideas to increase the capability of their local workforces and to fill local jobs.”.

      Albany MLA Rebecca Stephens said "I am really pleased to be hosting the final Skills Summit here in Albany. Having worked as a training and careers manager before entering Parliament, I know that it is critical for business to work alongside government and the broader community to ensure we have enough local people to fill local jobs.".
       

      Read the full media statement here

      Happy Holidays from the Department.

      Business closure over the Christmas and new year period

      Best wishes for a happy festive season!

      All Department of Training and Workforce Development offices, including:

      • Apprenticeship Office; 
      • the Jobs and Skills WA Resource Unit;
      • Muresk Institute;
      • Migration Services;
      • the Office of the State Training Board;
      • TAFE International (TIWA);
      • the Training Accreditation Council (TAC); and
      • the Training Markets branch 

      will be closed from 4.30 pm WST on Friday 24 December 2021 — reopening at 8.30 am WST on Tuesday 4 January 2022.

      Please note that the ground floor reception desk area at the Optima building in Osborne Park will also be closed during this period. The Prospect Place building in West Perth will also be closed over this time.

      You are welcome to contact us via email during the closure period, and we will respond when our offices reopen from 4 January.
       

      We would like to wish all of our customers, colleagues and stakeholders a safe and happy festive season — we look forward to working with you again in 2022.

      Apprenticeship Office customers

      The 13 19 54 Apprenticeship Office Helpline will not be operational during this time. Please email your enquiries to ApprenticeshipOffice@dtwd.wa.gov.au and they will respond to your enquiry when they reopen in the new year.
       

      • Training contracts can continue to be lodged during the closure, and will be assessed from when the office reopens on Tuesday 4 January 2022.
      • Training contracts changes can still be submitted via the Western Australian Apprenticeship Management System (WAAMS) online client portal during the closure period.
      • Emails or other training contract related requests received during the closure will be actioned from 4 January 2022.

      Jobs and Skills Centres

      The metropolitan and regional Jobs and Skills Centres will also be closing over the Christmas and new year period. Please check the Jobs and Skills website for details of business hours over the holiday period for each JSC.

      WA TAFE colleges

      Each of the WA TAFE colleges will be closing over the Christmas and new year period. Please check the TAFE's website for details.

      Year 9 Career Taster Program

      New $19.2 million Year 9 Career Taster Program to launch in 2022!

      Expanding career and learning opportunities for 17,000 students across WA

      Around half of Year 9 students across the State will get a taste of the world of work and post-school opportunities through the new $19.2 million Year 9 Career Taster Program (CTP)
       
      The program will support Year 9 students to become career curious and extend their thinking, through practical activities and meaningful experiences with the world of work. It gives schools the flexibility to design career exploration experiences that allow students to learn about different industries, current and emerging occupations and career pathway, and will provide secondary students with the tools to make more informed choices and position vocational education and training (VET) as a viable alternative to university.

      The program has been co-designed through an extensive consultation process between the Department and industry, education experts, TAFEs, school sectors and community stakeholders across Perth and regional WA.

      • Program delivery is planned to commence from Term 1, 2022 and run for four years.
      • Pilot programs have commenced, with Year 9 students from Rockingham Senior High School being in the first cohort. 
      • Once fully rolled out, the program will be delivered to around 17,000 Year 9 students annually.

      As part of the program, an online career taster portal is being developed to provide a one stop resource for students, schools and industry including career taster events, activities, resources and information. 

      More information is available at jobsandskills.wa.gov.au/careertaster

      “Innovative programs like the Career Taster Program will give students real world experience and inspire their future career choices.” said Premier Mark McGowan today. “We have invested significantly in infrastructure, programs and initiatives that provide brighter futures for the next generation."
       

      2021 Australian Training Awards

      WA stars continue to shine

      Congratulations to all eight WA finalists

      The 2021 Australian Training Awards (ATAs) have once again delivered a successful virtual event! 

      The ATA gala dinner usually takes place in a host capital city, but with border restrictions and interstate travel out of the question for many, the ATAs once again live-streamed a virtual presentation. Each State and Territory was invited to host a local event to watch the results as they were announced. 

      WA had eight finalists in the running for national awards, seven of whom were 2021 WA Training Award winners and one who was a direct-entry finalist. To make it a special day, the Department of Training and Workforce Development hosted an event for finalists, their family members, employers and training providers as well as the WATA sponsors to watch the live stream together. While other state finalists attended dinner events, watch parties and dialled in from home, WA guests enjoyed a high tea at the Duxton Hotel as the results were announced. 

      Western Australia once again held its own in a large and competitive field from around the country, scooping recognition in the following: 

      • Maryke Gray, Runner-up Australian VET Teacher/Trainer of the Year
      • Zoe Tucker, Runner-up Australian Vocational Student of the Year.

      Both Zoe and Maryke were at the event with family members, and were able to enjoy a cheer and a round of applause as their names were called. 

      Looking forward to 2022, WA has six new ambassadors who are all living proof that a VET pathway is the best decision you can make - and they are all ready to get out there and spread the word. Our six 2021 winners and the names to look out for are: 

      • Maryke Gray, Runner-up Australian VET Teacher/Trainer of the Year
      • Zoe Tucker, Runner-up Australian Vocational Student of the Year
      • Amber Ugle-Hayward, WA Trainee of the Year
      • Courtney Short, WA School-based Apprentice of the Year
      • Kevin Wilson, WA Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year
      • Christian Ferrone, WA Apprentice of the Year.

      The 2022 ATAs will be hosted in Adelaide!

      dtwd-news-story-wata-600x400.jpg

      Photo: Zoe Tucker (Runner-up Australian Vocational Student of the Year) and Maryke Gray (Runner-up Australian VET Teacher/Trainer of the Year)

      Skills Summit actions to grow the local skilled workforce

      Mandurah—Peel Regional Skills Summit happening today!

      Actions to grow the local skilled workforce

      Local business and government leaders are meeting in Mandurah today to generate innovative ideas and practical actions to grow the skilled workforce in the Peel region. The Mandurah-Peel Regional Skills Summit is the ninth of a series of 10 Regional Skills Summits hosted by the WA State Government since August 2021, and insights from today's event will form the basis of a local action plan to meet the region’s unique workforce needs."I am thrilled to be able to host one of the Skills Summits in Mandurah." said Mandurah MLA David Templeman. "The region has unique skills needs and I am interested in hearing about new ways of ensuring we can continue to grow our local workforce to support local jobs."

      More than 40 government and regional business leaders from a range of sectors are attending; including the region’s biggest employing industries of retail, health care and social assistance, construction, education and training, manufacturing and accommodation and food services. 

      Recognising the importance of training to build a skilled workforce and retain people in regional areas, the State Government has been working to ensure its investment in training initiatives reaches all corners of WA.

      • Peel locals are snapping up affordable training opportunities offered through the Lower fees, local skills (LFLS) initiative, with a 27 per cent increase in LFLS enrolments in the region this year.
      • Employers have responded by taking on more apprentices and trainees in the Peel region in 2021, with commencements up by more than 75 per cent in the 12 months to 30 September 2021. The LFLS program has recently been expanded by a further 30 qualifications from 2022, to include a total of 210 courses with heavily reduced course fees in priority industry areas including hospitality, health care, construction, retail and others.
      • Workers in industries which have a critical need to upskill workers – including childcare, aged and disability care, and civil construction – will be able to access low fee existing worker traineeship places to help meet the skills needs of these sectors.

      The new initiatives respond to workforce issues raised by industry leaders at the Perth and regional skills summits held to date, and are jointly funded through a $103.5 million agreement between the State and Commonwealth governments under the expanded JobTrainer Fund agreement.

      Other initiatives progressing from the Perth Skills Summit include:

      • attracting onshore skilled migrants to fill jobs in demand in WA;
      • supporting mature age apprentices;
      • promoting the tourism and hospitality industry to school students to grow the workforce;
      • extending the Apprenticeship and Traineeship Re-engagement Incentive;
      • freezing regional Government rental accommodation to attract public sector workers to the regions; and
      • boosting Aboriginal youth employment opportunities.

      The State Government is also providing support for jobseekers experiencing disadvantage to obtain a driver’s licence; progressing targeted advertising campaigns to attract interstate workers and increase participation of under-represented groups in WA; has smoothed the pipeline of construction work; and is running a series of 10 Regional Skills Summits, including the one being held today.

      "Through Skills Summits our Government and industry leaders are working together to increase the capability of local workforces across the State." said Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery. "Ideas and discussions captured at the Mandurah Skills Summit will inform local action plans to address changing workforce needs in the Peel region, with a focus on local solutions for local issues."

       DTWD Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan January 2022–December 2023 (RAP)

      New Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) 2022—23

      Outlining our vision for reconciliation

      The Department is proud to have launched our new Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan January 2022–December 2023 (RAP) at a recent event for all staff, with special guests including Whadjuk Elder Sharon Gregory. founding Co-chair of Reconciliation Australia Hon. Fred Chaney AO, and Justine Bennell from Site Skills Training.

      Acting Director General Karen Ho pledged this third Innovate RAP it will be our last. "Over the next 24 months you will see us transform into a culturally informed and responsive organisation to prepare for our transition into a Stretch RAP.".

      Our vision for reconciliation

      Our vision for reconciliation sees Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities thriving and accessing the real economy
      through their engagement in meaningful education, training, employment and business activities.

      Our new Innovate RAP strengthens the voice of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees in shaping the strategies and initiatives which influence their working environment. It deepens our engagement with external Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stakeholders and other government agencies, and continues the Department’s focus on maximising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s participation in training and sustainable employment. Its development was informed through the results of a staff survey and workshops with our RAP Steering Group and Corporate Leadership Group,with support from our Aboriginal Policy Planning and Reconciliation branch and  Reconciliation Australia.

      View and download our Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan 2022–23

      The artwork featured in this RAP is titled ‘Moving Mingas’, by artist Noeleen Hamlett. Minga means ‘ant’ in the Wajarri Yamatji language, and the many vibrant elements in the artwortkexemplify the roles we all play in achieving reconciliation. The ants model harmony, hard work and planning, and the goanna signifies the important role of leadership – ‘the boss that looks over and guides the employees,’ as described by Noeleen. Bold, contemporary colours and patterns portray a landscape of varied terrain; rolling hills, rivers and water holes, which represent the challenges on our journey. Noeleen Hamlett is a Wajarri Yamatji artist and former North Metropolitan TAFE student with a lifelong passion for art. Noeleen undertook her Certificate IV in Visual Arts in 2015 and was the winning artist in the logo competition for NMTAFE’s Koolark Centre for Aboriginal Students. She now has many public pieces and community projects around Perth.

      Workforce diversity and inclusivity.

      Workforce Diversification and Inclusion Strategy 2021—25 released!

      Creating a diverse and inclusive work environment