Childcare the centrepiece of $103.5 million training expansion
The McGowan Government’s Lower fees, local skills program has been extended again – with another 30 TAFE courses discounted, along with the introduction of reduced fees for workers in critical industries needing to upskill.
The new initiatives are being jointly funded through a $103.5 million agreement between the McGowan Government and the Commonwealth Government.
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 traineeships’.
These courses will see thousands of dollars of savings for workers looking to upskill.
For example, childcare workers will be able to benefit from massive discounts to the Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care ($7,256 non-concession saving).
The childcare industry has an urgent need to upskill existing workers to meet the sector’s mandatory accreditation requirements for a qualified workforce.
The low fee places for childcare commenced this month to address this immediate need.
Workers looking to upskill in aged and disability care, and civil construction sectors will also be able to access savings in the thousands when the low fees for existing worker traineeships in those sectors come into effect from January 1.
These initiatives respond to workforce issues raised by industry leaders at the recent Perth and regional Skills Summits.
In addition to the existing worker traineeships, the Lower fees, local skills initiative has been expanded by a further 30 courses, to now include a total of 210 courses with heavily reduced fees.
These cover a wide range of industries including train driving, veterinary nursing, crane operations, surveying, laboratory technology, wool classing, hospitality management and others.
The initiative reduces fees for priority courses by up to 72 per cent, and has so far trained more than 72,600 Western Australians in 2021, adding more capability to the local workforce.
The new fees for the expanded courses will be in place from January 1, with applications now open through TAFEs and training providers.
The Commonwealth’s investment is through the national JobTrainer programme.
“Through our Skills Summits, we have listened and are implementing initiatives that address industry needs.
“The low fee existing worker traineeships will target specific qualifications in the key sectors of childcare, aged and disability care, and civil construction, which have a critical need to upskill workers.
“This will add to our efforts to revitalise Western Australia’s training sector, which has experienced a 21 per cent increase in publicly funded course enrolments from last year.” said Premier Mark McGowan.
“Training is vital in creating skilled workers to support our local businesses and communities.
“We will continue to invest in training to ensure the Western Australian economy has access to a pool of highly skilled workers to support key WA industries.
“We are skilling West Aussies for jobs in demand and this will provide a significant boost to industries including hospitality and health care, which will benefit from a highly skilled and locally available workforce.” said Minister for Education and Training Sue Ellery.
“We know we need more skilled childcare workers, so this is wonderful news for the sector.
“Childcare is critical for so many families. By investing in the industry with initiatives like these we not only help working parents, but provide important upskilling opportunities for the State’s thousands of childcare workers.” said Minister for Community Services Simone McGurk.