Western Australia’s peak business group has welcomed the Federal Budget’s focus on training and workforce development.
Apprenticeship Support Australia – WA’s largest Australian Apprenticeship Support Network provider, powered by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Western Australia (CCI) – said last night’s Budget commitment to a $1.5 billion Skilling Australians Fund was a positive step forward in re-focusing national attention on Australia’s apprentice and trainee system.
“The WA training sector welcomes the budget announcement as an important step forward in highlighting the urgent needs of the Australian training sector,” said CCI Chief Executive Officer Deidre Willmott.
“At peak levels in 2012, there were more than 45,000 Western Australians in training, but this number is predicted to drop to around 33,000 for 2016-17 – it is critical that Federal and State Governments commit to reinvigorating the training system so WA has a locally-equipped workforce ready-to-go for when the economy recovers.
“Apprenticeship Support Australia and CCI look forward to seeing further details on how the fund will be allocated and delivered to support apprentices, trainees and employers across WA.”
From July 1, 2017, the National Partnership on Skills Reform will be replaced with a National Partnership under the new Skilling Australians Fund.
CCI is seeking clarification on whether WA will receive less under this new funding arrangement.
Ms Willmott said there will be challenges for the new State Government given that the Skilling Australians Fund will be contingent on State Government contributions.
“The new Fund announced by Treasurer Scott Morrison will prioritise apprenticeships and traineeships for occupations in high demand, occupations with a reliance on skilled migration pathways, industries and sectors of future growth, trade apprenticeships, and apprenticeships and traineeships in regional and rural areas,” Ms Willmott said.
“It will be important that the new WA Labor Government look closely at its investment in training for WA apprentices and trainees – Apprenticeship Support Australia and CCI will work closely with the WA Labor Government to ensure WA’s share of the Skilling Australians Fund is maximised.
“Apprenticeship Support Australia also welcomes the Federal Government’s Budget commitment to establish the Industry Specialist Mentoring for Australian Apprentices service – we know that mentoring support boosts completion rates for trainees and apprentices and supports industries that are being challenged by structural change.”
CCI’s Apprenticeship Support Australia team supports WA businesses employ apprentices and trainees across 14 metropolitan and regional locations in WA.
For more information visit www.apprenticeshipsupport.com.au or call 1300 363 831.
Media contact: Kate Hodges – 0448 928 227