Local business and government leaders are meeting in Mandurah today to generate innovative ideas and practical actions to grow the skilled workforce in the Peel region. The Mandurah-Peel Regional Skills Summit is the ninth of a series of 10 Regional Skills Summits hosted by the WA State Government since August 2021, and insights from today's event will form the basis of a local action plan to meet the region’s unique workforce needs.
More than 40 government and regional business leaders from a range of sectors are attending; including the region’s biggest employing industries of retail, health care and social assistance, construction, education and training, manufacturing and accommodation and food services.
Recognising the importance of training to build a skilled workforce and retain people in regional areas, the State Government has been working to ensure its investment in training initiatives reaches all corners of WA.
- Peel locals are snapping up affordable training opportunities offered through the Lower fees, local skills (LFLS) initiative, with a 27 per cent increase in LFLS enrolments in the region this year.
- Employers have responded by taking on more apprentices and trainees in the Peel region in 2021, with commencements up by more than 75 per cent in the 12 months to 30 September 2021. The LFLS program has recently been expanded by a further 30 qualifications from 2022, to include a total of 210 courses with heavily reduced course fees in priority industry areas including hospitality, health care, construction, retail and others.
- Workers in industries which have a critical need to upskill workers – including childcare, aged and disability care, and civil construction – will be able to access low fee existing worker traineeship places to help meet the skills needs of these sectors.
The new initiatives respond to workforce issues raised by industry leaders at the Perth and regional skills summits held to date, and are jointly funded through a $103.5 million agreement between the State and Commonwealth governments under the expanded JobTrainer Fund agreement.
Other initiatives progressing from the Perth Skills Summit include:
- attracting onshore skilled migrants to fill jobs in demand in WA;
- supporting mature age apprentices;
- promoting the tourism and hospitality industry to school students to grow the workforce;
- extending the Apprenticeship and Traineeship Re-engagement Incentive;
- freezing regional Government rental accommodation to attract public sector workers to the regions; and
- boosting Aboriginal youth employment opportunities.
The State Government is also providing support for jobseekers experiencing disadvantage to obtain a driver’s licence; progressing targeted advertising campaigns to attract interstate workers and increase participation of under-represented groups in WA; has smoothed the pipeline of construction work; and is running a series of 10 Regional Skills Summits, including the one being held today.
"Through Skills Summits our Government and industry leaders are working together to increase the capability of local workforces across the State." said Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery today. "Ideas and discussions captured at the Mandurah Skills Summit will inform local action plans to address changing workforce needs in the Peel region, with a focus on local solutions for local issues."