In recent months CCI has led the Save Our Skills campaign in an effort to stop the State Government from removing the Payroll Tax Exemption for existing worker trainees and those earning ordinary hours of work over $100,000 per annum.
Sadly, the legislation to remove the exemption passed the WA Parliament, with the support of the Nationals and the Greens. It’s already hurting WA business and workers, with a decline of more than a thousand existing workers accessing traineeships.
It’s important that you know the Save Our Skills campaign is not disappearing anytime soon. Why? Because it’s difficult to cite a time in recent decades where our vocational education and training (VET) sector has been so underfunded and where businesses have had to carry so much of the load of skilling the future workforce.
If we don’t get policy right, we risk the jobs of current and future generations.
So many WA businesses and workers have already engaged with Save Our Skills. You’ve written letters to the Premier, participated in roundtables, been a public voice in the media or shared your story on social media. Thank you to everyone who has stepped up and made a difference. We urge you to continue to tell us your story.
Tell us how this impacts you
What the changes mean for WA business
“We have a receptionist who has been our employee since 2008. I was going to give her the opportunity to up-skill to an administrative role in the organisation via a traineeship and complete a Certificate III in Business Administration (Medical). It was also a method of retaining excellent staff. The whole process was put on hold once the announcement was made by the Government.”
“We run many heavy haulage vehicles across WA which means that leadership and management of our employees is essential in not only providing a safe work environment for our employees, but in providing a safe environment for road users across the State. Unfortunately, we will now be hesitant to promote internally as the costs associated with training and development of staff with leadership skills will be a substantial hit to the business.”
“Providing new skills to our existing employees is important to our business’ continued growth and profitability. The impact of this change has been to reduce the number of trainees the business is able to provide training for.”
“Traineeships formed a critical component of our company’s adaptation to the end of the mining boom. Without it, I’m certain more jobs would have been lost and in critical roles needed in the recovery process.”
“Traineeships are integral to skill development and growth in our industry, WA and Australia as a whole. At a time when business in WA needs assistance it seems ridiculous to put such a restraint in place on primarily the education of our State’s workforce.”
“At the end of the mining and construction boom we have found the market for new work to be extremely tight. We have always attempted to train and upskill people within our business with a longer term view of minimising the impact on skills shortages, particularly in the trades area. By restricting training to new employees we will most likely need to reassess and reduce our training numbers due to the extra cost impost.”
“We are using traineeships to gear up the business for the defence sector but will look at pulling the program.”
“The detrimental impact of this intended decision cannot be underestimated. As a ‘high technology’ growth engineering company, it is critical that we continue to invest and reinvest in our people and their development in order to maintain domestic and international competitiveness. We are about to employ four apprentices who’s positions are now in jeopardy because of this Government policy.”
“We had trainees in the past and want to, but payroll tax itself is a huge barrier and there is no way we can afford trainees if no relief is provided.”
“We are a small business who endeavours to reward our hard working staff by investing in their development. Recently we have been able to achieve this by offering them traineeships and apprenticeships. This has been made possible because of the incentives provided by the Government like the payroll tax exemption. If this incentive is removed in the future, it will not be financially viable to offer these opportunities which will be a loss to our staff and our business.”
CCI Roundtable with Members of Parliament
On Wednesday, 18 April, CCI hosted an Industry Roundtable so businesses could share their stories directly with Members of the WA Parliament.