Growing WA apprenticeships key to economic future

Chris Rodwell

CCIWA CEO

Securing the skilled workers our economy needs is imperative for Western Australia. The Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA (CCIWA) welcomes the Opposition’s commitment today to incentivise the employment of more WA apprentices and trainees.

The measures provide $10,000 to help businesses hire and retain new apprentices, and $5,000 for a trainee, conferred at the start and mid-point of training.

The package recognises an important aspect of WA’s challenge, being the long-term decline in apprenticeship and trainee commencements. Priority should also be given to safeguarding the existing pipeline of apprentices and trainees, whose positions are at risk as the economy begins to transition off emergency-level fiscal support, including JobKeeper.

As revealed in today’s CCIWA Consumer Confidence Survey, anxiety due to job insecurity was highest among young Western Australians at 38 per cent.

Together with Apprenticeship Support Australia, CCIWA is working to support hundreds of WA businesses and apprentices to navigate this complex time.

Apprenticeship Support Australia Manager Lena Constantine says the WA economy is creating opportunity for young people to secure a great career pathway, with businesses looking eagerly for their ideal apprentice.

“The pressures of skills shortages are already being felt by WA businesses. So the sooner we can boost the uptake of apprenticeships and traineeships, the better off our economy and businesses will be,” Ms Constantine said.

Additional fundamental reform to create a stronger and more competitive skills base is still needed to facilitate WA’s economy, as noted in CCIWA’s Pre-Budget Submission and Recovery Reform Roadmap. CCIWA looks forward to pursuing further skills reform that will bolster and sustain WA’s economic revival.

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