The Western Australian Government’s rescheduled Skills Summit will be held today in Perth, with approximately 130 business leaders, peak bodies, unions, government agencies and training representatives expected to attend.
Premier Mark McGowan, Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery and other Cabinet members will join industry leaders from a range of sectors including the resources, construction, agriculture, defence and healthcare industries.
The Summit is an opportunity for business leaders and other industry players to work collaboratively to develop immediate and long term strategies to address skills needs impacting the Western Australian economy.
After the Skills Summit was postponed late last month due to the COVID-19 lockdown, a number of immediate initiatives were put in place to begin addressing workforce needs and positive results have already been witnessed.
The expansion of the State Nominated Migration Program – which enables temporary visa holders already in Australia to fill positions not being met by local workers – has seen thousands of expressions of interest from workers around the country.
The new $5.2 million Jobs and Skills WA Adult Apprentice Employer Incentive to provide eligible businesses with up to $26,800 when they hire a mature age apprentice has also been fully subscribed – with all 100 places available this financial year now filled.
The extension to the Apprentice and Traineeship Re-engagement Incentive has also seen a marked increase in enquiries from employers and trainees.
The State Government expects additional initiatives to address WA’s skills needs will be announced following the Skills Summit.
The Premier said the event is about generating new ideas on how industry and government can work together to address the current workforce challenges being experienced.
“Western Australia is in an enviable position, with a thriving economy and a low unemployment rate, amid a global pandemic. But there are challenges that come with this,” Mr McGowan said.
“Our strong economic position is putting significant pressure on the availability of skilled workers in WA.”
“It is very encouraging to see the initiatives we implemented last month are already having a positive impact in addressing skills needs.”
“I look forward to hearing directly from industry leaders on how we can continue to collaborate to address these challenges and enable the WA economy to continue on its strong trajectory,” he said.