The Western Australian Government has revealed a $185 million package aimed at promoting the state overseas as safe and full of opportunity, with a focus on addressing the current skills shortage in the mining sector.
The package, called Reconnect WA, complements WA’s Safe Transition Plan, and ensures businesses and industries have the competitive edge when WA welcomes back vaccinated travellers from overseas and jurisdictions with COVID-19.
Premier Mark McGowan said new campaigns would be tailored to specifically address the skills shortage by attracting workers, including skilled labour for key industries like the mining and resources sector.
“We will announce a date when our borders will transition very soon, which is why we are now delivering a comprehensive $185 million Reconnect WA package, to attract tourists, workers and students to what is one of the safest places in the world,” McGowan said.
“The message to the world when we transition our borders is that Western Australia is one of the safest places in the world, and full of opportunity for everyone.
“Our Reconnect WA package aims to leverage what we have achieved in managing the pandemic by offering a safe and vibrant place to visit, work or invest in.”
In a statement, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA (CCIWA) welcomed the package.
“It is the booster our economy needs, especially for industries that have found the going particularly tough through this pandemic,” CCIWA stated.
“The re-establishment of tourism flight routes and funds to attract and incentivise tourists, international students and skilled workers will play a role in rebuilding these important markets for our state.”
In June, Western Australia’s Chamber of Minerals and Energy revealed than around 40,000 extra resources workers may be needed in the next two years to overcome the state’s skills shortage.
CME stated that a peak shortfall of 33,000 workers could be expected during the skills shortage.
“There just isn’t a magic wand by which we can suddenly conjure up tens of thousands of Western Australians with the qualifications and experience needed within the timeframe the market needs them,” CME chief executive officer Paul Everingham said in June.