In Education

Western Australia Minister for Training and Workforce Development Murray Cowper

Skilling WA On Track

Victor P Taffa

  • Report card shows WA’s workforce development plan on track

The first comprehensive ‘report card’ for Western Australia’s workforce development plan has highlighted record levels of West Australians enrolled in Government-funded training and increased workforce participation under the Liberal-National Government.

‘Skilling WA  A workforce development plan for Western Australia’ was released by the State Government in December 2010 in response to the State’s continuing high demand for skills and labour. The ‘Skilling WA Progress Report June 2012’ is the first full review of the plan.

Training and Workforce Development Minister Murray Cowper said the report was developed with input from stakeholders including government agencies, training councils and industry peak bodies and detailed the progress of all Skilling WA priority actions.

Highlights of the report’s findings included:

  • Record levels of West Australians enrolled in Government-funded training, with more than 144,000 enrolments in 2011
  • Workforce participation increasing through initiatives such as course fee exemptions for the unemployed and rebates on workers’ compensation premiums for employers of apprentices
  • Barriers to workforce participation have been reduced, with increases to district allowances for regional public sector employees and removing the discrimination against older workers in Workers Compensation legislation
  • Aboriginal Workforce Development Centre Network increased with branches in key regional centres
  • Initiatives to tackle youth unemployment has started  with activities, programs and training to better target the transition from secondary school to further education and training
  • Investment in region building initiatives such as Pilbara Cities and SuperTowns, and the release and implementation of the State Government’s Affordable Housing Strategy
  • Implementation of the ‘Western Australian skilled migration strategy’ to supplement the local workforce through targeted use of the National Migration Program.  This included successfully advocating for the designation of Perth as a region under the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme and increasing the number of visa nominations under the State Sponsored program.

Mr. Cowper said the report reinforced that the Liberal-National Government’s plan to enable all West Australians to contribute to the State’s prosperity was working well.

“’Skilling WA’ is a blueprint for shaping the State’s current and future workforce.” Mr. Cowper said.

“It presented a list of 68 priority actions and, in less than 22 months, the Government has either completed or made progress in achieving each of them.  This is a remarkable achievement.”

 “This progress report shows that working collaboratively with other government agencies, industry and training providers deliver good outcomes, and I look forward to building upon the success of this program.” Mr. Cowper said.

 “Its success has been affirmed by a recent Western Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI) scorecard of the Government’s performance, where the Government’s work on skill shortages through the implementation of ‘Skilling WA’ was given a score of 8.5 out of 10.”

 “This is the highest rating in CCI’s overall scorecard, and a great endorsement that the Government is excelling in this area.” Mr. Cowper said.

Fact File

  • Liberal-National Govt funded more than 500,000 training places 2008-11 at cost of $1.9 B
  • Further $99.1 M provided in 2012-13 State Budget, including $38.2 M to cover Federal Government funding shortfall for 2012 and 2013 through the new National Partnership
  • State Govt invested more than $90 M on training sector capital projects since Sept 2008

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