300 more trainees and apprentices as part of WA Jobs Plan

Posted on February 21, 2021
  • Additional 300 trainees and apprentices to be funded for Group Training Schemes under WA Labor
  • $32.4 million commitment to create a pool of skilled workers available for small and medium businesses
  • Better outcomes for businesses to work on big Government contracts and meet training targets
  • Builds on McGowan Labor Government’s significant investment in training courses
  • Part of WA Jobs Plan to create 125,000 Western Australian jobs

A re-elected McGowan Labor Government will invest $32.4 million over four years, to provide small and medium businesses with access to an additional 300 apprentices and trainees through Group Training Organisations (GTOs).

The training boost is part of the WA Jobs Plan to create 125,000 Western Australian jobs, which prioritises training opportunities for Western Australians.

GTOs play an important role in the training sector, providing businesses who may not have capacity or enough ongoing work to take on an apprentice or trainee full time, with access to skilled workers across a range of trades when they need them.

Under WA Industry Participation Plans and the Priority Start Policy, contractors are required to meet a commitment to employ apprentices and trainees on Government projects. This announcement will assist many to meet this commitment through GTO employed apprentices and trainees.

The commitment by WA Labor will ensure businesses are not precluded from getting access to big State Government contracts and WA’s Pipeline of Work because they are unable to commit to employing an apprentice for a full four year period.

If the McGowan Labor Government is re-elected, the funding commitment will give 300 people access to training and skills development, through the GTOs, making them highly employable and industry ready.

This will provide a boost to the skilled workers available to meet workforce needs across the pipeline of government projects outlined in the WA Recovery Plan, and provide businesses with access to a pool of apprentices and trainees they can draw from to meet training requirements under government contracts.

Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan:

“WA Labor is committed to creating jobs and opportunities for Western Australians and this initiative will provide 300 people with skills and training, as well as providing industry with a pool of skilled workers.

“Importantly, small and medium businesses will be able to meet the requirements set under State Government contracts, increasing their chances of securing government contracted work.

“With 300 additional apprentice and trainee opportunities on offer, even more Western Australians will be able to get a start in the local WA workforce.

“It is all part of our WA Jobs Plan to keep Western Australia strong through jobs, education and training. Over the past four years, my Government has reignited training in Western Australia, and we are committed to building on that record in future years. 

“We made a commitment to maximise the amount of local businesses through both the build of METRONET railcars and the other major State Government projects taking place all across WA, and our contribution is making a difference.”

Media contact: Lannie Le-Patterson 0419 698 504

Facts on apprentices and trainees on big Government contracts:

  • In 2019-20 there were 1,310 apprentices and trainees employed on building and construction State Government funded projects in scope of the Government Building Training Policy and Priority Start Policy.
  • In 2019-20 there were also 119 apprentices and trainees employed by GTOs and working for contractors on building and construction State Government funded projects in scope of the Government Building Training Policy and Priority Start Policy.
  • The State Government has $27.1 billion worth of infrastructure projects planned or underway over the next four years – it is crucial we have a skilled workforce that can deliver these major works.
  • The Infrastructure Ready short course is an example of training programs developed in consultation with industry to ensure students gain the skills needed for entry-level civil construction jobs.
  • The course is a vital launch pad to entry-level jobs in civil construction that will provide pathways to full qualifications.
  • The free short training courses aim to give graduates the job-ready skills they need to be immediately employable on our major infrastructure projects – and it is working.
  • The program will help engage displaced workers, including young people, women and mature age job seekers, to meet immediate and emerging skills requirements.
  • With nine METRONET projects under construction this year, and several more in the procurement phase, we are creating thousands of local jobs and opportunities for local businesses.
  • So far 27 trainees have been offered employment opportunities on civil construction projects, including METRONET, since completing the ‘Infrastructure Ready’ TAFE course introduced by the McGowan Labor Government.
  • On large Government projects an SME may be contracted for three to four months during the life of the project making it difficult for them to commit full time to taking on apprentices in order to win contracts.
  • Through a Government Trading Enterprises, employers can access apprentices and trainees that meet their needs, in a range of skills areas, for agreed periods of time.