WA skills summits to boost regional workforce

The Western Australian Government has hosted 10 regional skills summits across the state progressing practical actions to address the workforce needs of regional industries.

The 10 regional skills summits were held in Albany, Bunbury, Broome, Geraldton, Kalgoorlie, Karratha, Kununurra, Northam, Mandurah and Port Hedland between August and December 2021.

Workforce-boosting initiatives from the skills summits have also been implemented including a pilot program to encourage Aboriginal people and women into the resources sector, expanding skilled migration, and targeted advertising campaigns to attract new workers to live and work in WA.

Other initiatives include the expansion of low-fee training for priority industries, practical support to encourage people from underrepresented groups into training and jobs and programs to address specific barriers to training and employment for Aboriginal youth.

Regional Action Plans have been developed following each of the skills summits which have been informed by the feedback provided by regional industry leaders and will be implemented by Regional Coordinating Committees (RCCs) to deliver practical actions that respond to a region’s unique workforce needs.

Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery said the WA Government’s support for training initiatives is key to continue building a skilled workforce and retaining people in regional areas.

“Through the regional skills summits, we heard ideas directly from industries across Western Australia to increase the capability of local workforces and fill local jobs,” she said.

“These Regional Action Plans respond to the workforce issues raised by industry leaders and will progress ideas from the summits.

“Through practical actions, we can help all Western Australians to overcome barriers in education, training and employment, getting more people into jobs in regional areas and ensuring the unique workforce needs each region are met.”

As the economy drives demand for workers across the state, the WA Government continues to consult and work with regional industries to ensure there are enough local workers to meet the high demand for skilled workers in the regions.

Prior to the regional skills summits, the State Government invested heavily in training, including the ‘lower fees, local skills’ initiative, which has seen fees reduced by up to 72 per cent across 210 courses in priority industry areas.

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