Our work

Our work

The State Training Plan 2018–2021, developed by the State Training Board, lays the foundation to build a highly skilled workforce through an innovative, sustainable and contemporary education and training system which provides the skills needed by Western Australian industries and enables people to realise their potential. It contains strategies that will contribute to achieving the State Government’s major goals and visions for the Western Australian economy and labour market; such as increasing employment opportunities through training to meet industry's requirements for skilled workers.

In order to achieve these strategies, the Board undertakes projects, tasks and activities aligned with the priorities set out in the State Training Plan. We work closely with industry, employers and business, training providers and other key stakeholders to develop solutions that will address our training and workforce development needs now and into the future.

Here we will share our current work, and keep you up to date with progress and achievements. If you would like to find out more about this work, or get involved, please use our online enquiry form to tell us about your area(s) of interest and we will contact you.

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WA Plan for Jobs

Plan for Jobs

Western Australia's vocational education and training sector provides training and skills needed by trade, non-trade and para-professional workers for all of Western Australia's industries, and plays a vital role in the economic, social and industrial development of our State. Through careful planning and investment the sector can contribute to the WA economy and avoid the implications of long-term skill shortages on the labour market. Well-targeted training programs will provide the workforce required by industries in Perth and regional Western Australia., enabling the economy to become stronger and more resilient to fluctuations and global pressures. 

Maximising the State’s workforce participation rate requires people to be able to access and obtain the ‘right skills’ at the ‘right time’; however, the reality is that most jobs in today's labour market require a post-school qualification and this trend is expected to continue into the future, further emphasising the need for the VET sector to align with industry needs.

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How the Board is supporting WA jobs

Plan for Jobs places emphasis on creating a vibrant and diversified economy with a broader range of industries and jobs for WA, requiring increased effort in areas such as science, technology, manufacturing, tourism, services, education services and agriculture. The State Training Board has an important role in supporting the Plan for Jobs through quality training aligned with industry needs and future workforce requirements.

The Board's State Training Plan 2018–2021 sets out the priorities for the State’s training sector and identifies funding and policy priorities to support the State Government’s Plan for Jobs.

The State Training Plan 2018–2021 aims to grow WA's skilled workforce by increasing the range and number of people undertaking training at Certificate III level or higher, and we are actively supporting measures to increase enrolments and completions in the more than 650 apprenticeships and traineeships available across almost every industry ranging in AQF level from Certificate I to Advanced Diploma. We are also establishing ways to encourage and boost participation in training across regional WA, and for people under-represented, disengaged or marginalised from the labour market including Aboriginal people, people with disabilities, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and the long-term unemployed.

To support these directions, we are working to ensure that funding is directed to skills and qualifications critical to WA's social and economic development including:

  • occupations listed on the State priority occupation list;
  • occupations with strong links with education, healthcare and social assistance due to the critical nature of these occupations in the community;
  • science, innovation and technology;
  • tourism, hospitality, retail and events;
  • logistics, transport and maritime; and
  • infrastructure and manufacturing projects to support METRONET, Defence industry contract work and supporting our emerging industries to prosper in the global economy.

Consultations with employers, industry representatives, unions and the training sector

A robust training sector is essential for the Government’s Plan for Jobs agenda and the State Training Board plays an important role in providing a direct link between industry needs and the government’s economic direction.

The State Training Board and industry training councils provide a formal way for employers, industry peak bodies, and unions to engage with the State’s training system. We regularly engage with stakeholders in both metropolitan and regional areas of WA. 

Strategies to grow apprenticeships and traineeships in Western Australia 

Strategies to grow apprenticeships and traineeships is the culmination of Statewide industry forums hosted by the State Training Board between August 2017 and March 2018. The consultations helped the State Training Board to understand what industry needs from the State’s training sector and inform future strategies.

There was overwhelming agreement that apprenticeships and traineeships are important to Western Australia’s future. This State was built by tradespeople and relies on tradespeople to keep it going. Apprenticeships and traineeships provide valuable pathways for young Western Australians entering the workforce, as well as older people wanting to upgrade or reskill to find new employment opportunities.

The State Training Board set out to understand Western Australian industry needs and understand the common issues and barriers that employers face when employing apprentices and trainees. It is evident that there are wide-ranging issues and diverse opinions about what is needed to help grow apprenticeships and traineeships.

The issues identified throughout the consultations were:

  • The apprenticeship system is complex and difficult to navigate
  • There are cost pressures associated with the employment of apprentices and trainees.
  • Apprenticeships and traineeships are not widely promoted or understood by young people and the community.
  • Businesses want greater flexibility from the training sector.
  • Jobs and Skills Centres need to collaborate with industry and VET stakeholders to support users of the system.

The State Training Board proposes five broad strategies to address these issues:

  • Strategy 1: Make it easier for participants to navigate the apprenticeship system.
  • Strategy 2: Reduce costs for employers and apprentices/trainees to make training more affordable.
  • Strategy 3: Promote the VET sector and the opportunities available through apprenticeships and traineeships.
  • Strategy 4: Make training adaptive to industry needs and foster structured partnerships.
  • Strategy 5: Be customer focussed and provide reliable information, advice and support through the TAFE Jobs and Skills Centres.

We thank the large to small employers, industry associations, unions, industry training advisory bodies and government agencies that participated in the consultation process and took time to provide feedback. Your input has been invaluable and has helped the Board understand the training system from your perspective.

By working together, the State can grow our apprenticeship and traineeship numbers and the proportion of people with post-school qualifications and provide opportunities for all Western Australians to participate in the labour market.

View Strategies to grow apprenticeships and traineeships

View the executive summary

View the McGowan Government's response 

Consultations papers 

View the Growing apprenticeships and traineeships consultation paper

View the TAFE Industry Skill Centres consultation paper

Strategies to grow apprenticeships and traineeships

Did you know...
Research shows a marked improvement in an individual’s participation in the labour market, and in the likelihood of employment and job security, if they hold a post-school qualification at the Certificate III level or higher.

Updates for this project will be available here on our website, as work progresses. If you would like to know more, please use our online enquiry form and we will make sure your enquiry is handled as quickly as possible so that we can get back to you with the information you’re looking for. If you would like to be added to our email list and be kept up to date with the latest news and information from the Board, please indicate this on the form.

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Technology and innovation

Technology and innovation

Although the rate of adoption of innovation and technology is, and will be, different for some industries, businesses and occupations, the demand for new skills, specialised skills and multi-skilling will create the need for a new approach to education and training to upskill and cross skill the workforce.  In short, we need to equip our workforce for success in a technologically-rich environment.

We must encourage the uptake of relevant skills by raising profile and awareness of the importance of new and emerging technologies for a range of occupations. We also need to encourage cross-industry collaboration to identify transferable skills that can alleviate structural adjustment changes within industries and support vulnerable workers to transition to new employment. A broad and inclusive education and skill strategy is essential, and this is a key focus for the Board.

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How the Board is supporting technology and innovation

Our vocational education and training system will need to be flexible and adaptive in order to help people to adapt to changes in technology and innovation in work practices and the evolving skill requirements that result from this. The State Training Board has commenced a project to examine current and emerging technology and innovation advances that are likely to impact key industries in WA, and their implications for education, training and workforce development over the short, medium and long-term.

We are collaborating with industry, employers, educators and training providers to develop strategies that will:

  • encourage our schools, TAFE and private training providers to support and embed foundation skills, including science, technology, mathematics, and engineering as appropriate at primary, secondary and tertiary levels;
  • establish new or redesigned education and training programs that align with current and emerging technologies;
  • develop a fresh approach to service delivery that enables more responsive and flexible training; and
  • introduce options for multi-disciplinary courses, short course skills training, or in-house training for existing workers, to address specific workforce needs.

The McKinsey Global Institute has identified 12 emerging technological innovations which are expected to have significant disruptive potential over several industries by 2025. These include cloud technology, advanced oil and gas exploration, robotics, 3D printing and renewable energy. These technologies are expected to:

  • experience accelerated or discontinuous rates of change in terms of price/performance relative to substitutes;
  • have broad ranging impact on industries giving rise to a wide range of new applications, products and services; and
  • have the potential to affect significant economic value through additions to profit pools and gross domestic product or by rendering capital investments of substitutes obsolete.
Terms of reference: Technology and innovation project

The State Training Board’s  aims to work with employees, managers and employers, parents, industry practitioners and advocates, education and training providers and Government to complete the following tasks.

Task 1: Appraise how current and emerging innovation and technology advances are changing the nature of work in some of Western Australia’s key industries (to be determined by the working group), particularly in relation to the following.

1.1 Skills needs (existing and emerging) that will be demanded by industries

1.2 New types of jobs that are expected to be in demand

1.3 Existing jobs that are expected to change in design

1.4 Specific vocational education and training products (skills, qualifications and training package design) required to close the gap between the supply and demand for skills in the short, medium and long term

1.5 The pathways from vocational education and training to higher education qualifications required to meet the skills needs demanded by industries.

Task 2: Reference how supply side and other broader environmental factors (eg migration patterns, ageing demographic, global business supply chains, etc.) are likely to change the demand for skills and new types of jobs and affect the work landscape.

Task 3: Identify foundational skills that will enable people to participate productively in the knowledge- economy of the future, as jobseekers, entrepreneurs, business owners and innovators. These foundational skills include, but are not limited to: science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills; digital literacy; enterprise skills such as communication, creativity and innovation; financial literacy; analytical and critical thinking; project management; change management and adaptability.

Task 4: Develop education, training and other strategies to increase the supply of local talents to meet the new and existing skills identified and embed and encourage these and foundational skills as appropriate at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels.

Task 5: Identify the changes in policy necessary to ensure an appropriate response to these skills needs and strategies.

Did you know...
The McKinsey Global Institute has identified 12 "disruptive technologies" that have the potential to reshape the world economy.

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Social assistance and allied health workforce

Western Australia's aged care, disability, allied health and community service sectors have undergone significant change in recent years. The ability for consumers to choose who provides their care and support will create a more competitive and innovative market, but will present challenges and opportunities for the workforce and service providers; such as remuneration, working conditions, staffing ratios and career pathways.

Medical advances and changes in technology and patient care will require continuous training and skills development. These advancements mean that in order to provide best-practice patient management and residential care services, workers must be updating their skills on an ongoing basis; particularly in areas where boundaries are often challenged and new areas explored, such as managing patients with cognitive issues.  These factors highlight the importance of providing opportunities for skill development both for existing workers and for new workers joining the industry.

Click here to download the Social Assistance and Allied Health Workforce Strategy.

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Page last updated July 02, 2017