Record VET enrolments — Building WA’s future local workforce

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

Page last updated October 07, 2022