Welcome to the WA State Training Board


The State Training Board is a statutory body established by Part 3 of the Vocational Education and Training Act 1996. We are the peak industry training advisory body to the Minister for Training and Workforce Development in Western Australia. Our key focus is to ensure WA has a quality vocational education and training system that enables people to develop skills and knowledge that support and meet the needs of industry. Our Chair and eight Board members, drawn from WA’s key industries and employer and employee groups, contribute their industry experience and expertise, providing a direct link between industry needs and government direction that informs our work. We actively encourage industry and employers to engage with training, not only to meet the growing, dynamic and diverse needs of our State’s workforce but also to contribute to the development of training programs that meet their needs.

We are working closely with industry, training providers and other stakeholders to establish and implement strategies that will support the WA Government’s Plan for Jobs, which aims to create a vibrant and diversified economy with a broader range of industries and jobs. By increasing training options and creating apprenticeships and traineeships at every opportunity, our training system can deliver real job opportunities for all Western Australians.

Use these links to jump to a section, or browse the page to find out more about the Board.


Office of the State Training Board

The Board is supported by a secretariat – the Office of the State Training Board – which provides executive and research support to the Board's members and committees. The Office handles all State Training Board enquiries and can be contacted via email: ostb@dtwd.wa.gov.au or by phone at 08 6551 5593.

Alternatively, please use our online form if you have an enquiry, would like to offer feedback for the Board or make a complaint.

OSTB is a branch of the Department of Training and Workforce Development.



Meet the Board

Photo of Mr Jim Walker
Mr Jim Walker, Chair (1 December 2014 to present)

Jim Walker has over 45 years of experience in the resources, construction, and agriculture sector, working with Caterpillar dealerships WesTrac and Hastings Deering and Morgan Equipment.

Mr Walker’s current directorships include Non-Executive Chair of Austin Engineering Ltd, Chair of the Diggers and Dealers Forum, and Chair of the Motor Museum of WA, a not-for-profit entity. Mr Walker is a member of the RAC Council, Chairman of RACWA Holdings Pty Ltd, RAC Finance Ltd and RAC Insurance Pty Ltd.

Mr Walker was formerly Non-Executive Chairman of Macmahon Holdings Limited, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of WesTrac Pty Ltd. He was formerly Chair of Wesley College, and past National President of Australian Institute of Management (AIM) and AIM Western Australia.

Mr Walker is a graduate member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD). Mr Walker’s focus on apprentices and training was recognised when he was awarded the GJ Stokes Memorial Award at Diggers & Dealers in August 2014.

Photo of Captain Angela Bond, RAN
Captain Angela Bond, RAN, Member (1 January 2018 to present)

Captain Bond was the Commanding Officer at HMAS Stirling and the Senior Naval Officer of Western Australia prior to transferring to the Naval Reserve in March 2017.

In 2020, Captain Bond joined the ADF COVID-19 Joint Task Group in WA as the RAN Liaison Officer. In February 2021, Captain Bond has continued with Reserve Service as the Defence Lead for the Defence Industry Pathways Program. 

Captain Bond has extensive experience in executive positions and human resource management. She is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management WA and a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Captain Bond is the Warden at the Fremantle War Memorial and the Patron of the Ex WRANS and RAN Women’s Association. Captain Bond has achieved a Master of Business Administration degree and a Master of Defence Studies (Management) degree from the University of Canberra.

Photo of Fran Kirby
Fran Kirby, Member (1 January 2018 to present)

Ms Fran Kirby was born in Northern Ireland. She immigrated to WA in 1987 having completed a Bachelor of Hospitality and Business from the University of Ulster. Having gained significant hotel operational experience in Ireland and Australia, Fran was appointed Human Resources Manager at Observation City Hotel in 1992 until 1999. Thereafter she spent 3 years as Human Resources Manager at the Esplanade Hotel in Fremantle. In 2003 Fran joined Accor Hotels as the Regional Human Resources Manager for Western Australia and the Northern Territory and was responsible for 18 hotels across the Regions. Fran was admitted to the Australian Hotels Association “Hall of Fame” in 2008 for services to the Hospitality Industry in Western Australia. After semi-retiring in 2020 Fran continued to work as a Consultant for Accor Hotels. In 2022, she commenced a role as Senior Workplace Relations Advisor at The Australian Hotels Association in WA.

Fran has been a member on the State Training Board since January 2018. She is a Board Member of Hospitality Group Training and Deputy Chair of the Tourism and Hospitality Consultative Committee for Edith Cowan University.

Photo of Professor Juli Coffin
Professor Juli Coffin, Member (1 January 2019 to present)

Professor Juli Coffin is an Aboriginal woman, with traditional ties to her grandparents’ Nyangumarta country in the Pilbara region. She is recognised as a prominent Aboriginal researcher, with expertise in cultural security, education and research across a diverse range of settings including chronic diseases, community development, health promotion and equine assisted learning.

Professor Coffin has been awarded numerous competitive grants throughout her career, with the most recent being awarded in 2020 from Healthway and the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC). Professor Coffin has worked in the Aboriginal youth space for many years and while in this role, Professor Coffin designed the Yawardani Jan-ga Equine Assisted Learning research program, which is the first of its kind in the Kimberley, Australia and the world.

In 2022, Professor Coffin commenced a new position as Ellison Professor Aboriginal Young People’s Social and Emotional Wellbeing at Murdoch University’s Ngangk Yira Institute for Change.

Photo of Stephen Moir
Stephen Moir, Member (1 April 2019 to present)

Mr Stephen Moir is the Group Chief Executive Officer of the Motor Trade Association of Western Australia (MTA WA), a position he has held since February 2010. The MTA WA is the peak representative body for the automotive retail and services sector. The automotive sector in WA consists of approximately 7,000 businesses, which employ 35,000 people.

Prior to joining the MTA WA, Mr Moir was the Managing Director of the Small Business Development Corporation where he had responsibility for the development and sustainability of the State’s small business sector. He was also responsible for the management of the State’s skilled and business migration program and established one of the most respected, innovative and successful programs in Australia. Stephen was a member of the Federal Minister for Immigration’s Consultative Panel, which determined the future shape of Australia's skilled migration program. Mr Moir has held senior management positions in the retail sector, industrial relations, marketing and human resource professions.

Photo of Debra Zanella
Debra Zanella, Member (1 January 2023 to present)

With more than two decades’ experience in the health and community service sectors, Debra is a natural leader and passionate advocate for practical and decisive action to disrupt cycles of social disadvantage.

Debra is currently chief executive officer of Ruah Community Services. Ruah is a leading Western Australian community organisation that provides services supporting people experiencing homelessness, family and domestic violence, and mental health challenges.

She has worked in senior roles in specialised drug and alcohol services, Catholic hospital executive management, and other related health and community services.

Debra has extensive governance experience. She is currently the Co-Chair of Reconciliation WA, Chair of the Australian Alliance to End Homelessness and Board Member at Nollamara Primary School. She has served as a Board Member of the East Metropolitan Health Service and Chair of their Audit and Risk Committee, Member of the National Centre for Social Impact Advisory and as President of the Western Australian Council of Social Services. Debra is a founding member of the WA Alliance to End Homelessness.

Debra has post graduate qualifications in Arts, Education and Counselling and has taught in both secondary and tertiary education settings. She is passionate about lifelong learning and the role that education, training and development play in creating more equitable societies.

Photo of Lena Constantine
Lena Constantine, Member (1 January 2023 to present)

Ms Lena Constantine is an executive leader at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Western Australia (CCIWA) who has been driving workforce development policy and initiatives for WA industry for over a decade.  

Holding a Bachelor of Commerce from Curtin University, she has responsibility for leading CCIWA’s services focussed on supporting WA businesses to build local skills through connecting with the school, VET and university sectors to develop the workforce of the future.  

Lena is passionate about getting people the skills that WA industry needs and has strong knowledge of the apprenticeship system from overseeing WA’s largest Australian Apprenticeship Support Network provider since 2015.  

Prior to her current role, Lena worked in Canberra on industry policy for the Federal Government; and led the CCIWA policy team, amassing extensive experience in policy development and government program implementation.  

Photo of Shannon ORourke
Shannon O'Rourke, Member (1 January 2024 to present)

Shannon O’Rourke is the Chief Executive Officer of the Future Battery Industries Cooperative Research and Managing Director of the Powering Australia Growth Centre.

He is a seasoned executive with 25 years’ experience in the energy sector including senior management roles with Woodside, Chevron and industrial research with Rio Tinto.

His career spans traditional and renewable energy markets with a track record of success in the industrial innovation and commercialisation of research outcomes.

Photo of Kari Pnacek
Kari Pnacek, Member (1 January 2024 to present)

Kari Pnacek is the Assistant Secretary of Western Australia’s peak Union body UnionsWA. She has spent more than two decades as a passionate advocate for workers’ rights in the labour movement both in the United States and Australia.

She has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Michigan State University, a Certificate IV in Work Health and Safety and a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment.

Prior to UnionsWA, she spent eight years with the Transport Workers Union (TWU). Through her work at TWU she was a board member of the Logistics and Defence Skills Council, and spent the last four years as National Educator and Campaign coordinator, working to develop and implement training programs for union officials and delegates that cover more than 55,000 members across Australia.


What we do

With our focus on providing optimum employment opportunities for people and ensuring the availability of appropriately skilled labour in the State, the Board provides high level independent expert advice to the Minister for Training and Workforce Development on matters relating to vocational education and training in Western Australia. 

This advice includes the following key areas.

  • Strategic directions, policies and priorities for the State’s training system.
  • The existing and anticipated supply and demand for skills in various industries.
  • The establishment and variation of apprenticeships and traineeships.
  • Strategies to support industries experiencing skill shortages.
  • The development of policy to improve links between specific industry developments and VET.
  • The extent to which training services meet the current and future requirements of industry and the community, including the requirement for equal opportunity of access to those services.
  • Emerging international, national and State training issues, and any other matters as directed by the Minister.

The Board meets at least six times a year at various locations and also visits businesses, schools and training providers throughout the year. We take a collaborative approach to all our activities and projects with input from partners in industry, the education and training sector, industry training advisory bodies, employers, unions, government and not for profit organisations. We host focus groups, forums and activities designed to engage with a wide audience.

Our members are committed to training and skills development and are actively involved in the judging process for the WA Training Awards each year. The WA Training Awards recognise and reward outstanding achievements of apprentices, trainees and vocational students, and the contribution to training made by trainers, training organisations and employers.


How we work

The State Training Board is committed to ensuring that our vocational education and training system is responsive to industry needs, delivering to quality standards and creating opportunities for all Western Australians.

As a statutory body, the Board reports directly to Western Australia’s Minister for Training and Workforce Development. However, a number of other key working partnerships and relationships provide input to our work. The following flowchart outlines how we work, and with whom – select each of the boxes to find out more. If you would like more detailed information, please go to the Our partners section.

Minister for Training and Workforce Development

The Minister for Training and Workforce Development, the Hon. Simone McGurk MLA, oversees the training portfolio in Western Australia and has responsibilities set out in the Vocational Education and Training Act 1996.

The Minister appoints members of the WA State Training Board, and the Chair of the Board reports directly to the Minister.

The Director General of the WA Department of Training and Workforce Development is the chief executive officer of the Department.

The DG reports directly to the Minister for Training and Workforce Development.

As Western Australia’s State Training Authority, the Department has a close working relationship with the State Training Board.

Department of Training and Workforce Development

The Department, in addition to its vital training role, has the broader responsibility of workforce development. Workforce development aims to build, attract and retain a skilled workforce to meet the economic needs of WA, to minimise skill shortages and maximise the State’s ability to respond to new opportunities. The State Training Board has a close working relationship with the WA Department of Training and Workforce Development. The VET system is administered by the Department in its role as WA’s State Training Authority.

The Department manages the investment of public resources in the WA VET system; including planning, funding and monitoring services. It funds training delivered by a state-wide network of TAFEs and private training providers, and is responsible for administering and monitoring the State’s apprenticeship system. It also provides secretariat support for the State Training Board through the Office of the State Training Board.

Peak industry associations, training providers, industry, business and employers

In addition to the industry training advisory bodies, the Board works collaboratively with a number of stakeholders including peak industry associations such as UnionsWA, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA and the Chamber of Minerals and Energy, as well as development commissions, private and public training providers and industry, business and employers. 

Information and knowledge is both shared and provided between these parties.

Industry training advisory bodies

One of the key functions of the State Training Board is to recognise various industry training advisory bodies from which the Board takes advice for the purposes of drafting the State Training Plan or making recommendations to the Minister on apprenticeships and traineeships. There are eight industry training councils recognised by the State Training Board. 

Industry Consultative Committee

The Industry Consultative Committee is a sub-committee of the State Training Board. The role of the ICC is to progress items of a strategic nature; such as the development of policy advice that will impact all industries or the State’s training system. 

The ICC meets at least twice a year and its membership includes the Chair of the State Training Board and the chairpersons of the WA industry training councils.

Office of the State Training Board

The Office of the State Training Board is a branch of the Department of Training and Workforce Development. It provides secretariat and research support for the Board.

The OSTB sits within the Policy, Planning and Innovation directorate of the Department and reports directly to the Executive Director of that directorate.

WA State Training Board

State Training Board members are appointed by the Minister under section 19 of the Vocational Education and Training Act 1996 for their experience and expertise in education and training, industry or community affairs and their ability to contribute to the strategic direction of the State’s training system.

Members represent the diversity of the Western Australian community as well as the training sector. Members are part-time and are compensated for their time. The Board meets at least six times a year to progress the strategic direction of Western Australia’s training system.

Chair of the State Training Board

The Chair represents the Board and reports directly to the Minister for Training and Workforce Development.

The Chair also consults and collaborates with the Director General of the Department of Training and Workforce Development on key policy and strategic initiatives. 


Our priorities

The State Training Board’s priorities are developed within the context of national and State vocational education and training policies and priorities. We also draw upon detailed economic and labour market trends and forecasts and are informed by industry intelligence through our industry advisory arrangements. Each Board member actively contributes to one or more activities and projects, and their industry expertise and experience is invaluable in developing strategic policy responses.

The strategic work program helps the Board identify emerging issues and trends that may impact the supply and demand for skills in Western Australia. This work informs the development of the State Training Plan and identifies skills that are needed for the economic and social development of the State.


Strategic priorities

Industry engagement

The State Training Board’s industry engagement framework provides a structured way for industry peak bodies, unions and employers to inform and engage with WA's training system. Our industry training advisory bodies inform the development of the State Training Plan and have a formal role in providing advice on apprenticeships and traineeships.

We support and encourage a strong connection between the world of learning and the world of work. For this reason, we have committed to ensuring our advisory networks include effective engagement with small, medium and large enterprises, indigenous businesses, peak groups, regional businesses, charities and not for profit entities that provide employment to Western Australians.

Participation in WA's training system

Participation in training will only increase if individuals can access flexible, innovative and affordable training regardless of where they live, their abilities, needs or career aspirations. We must promote the progression of individuals, so that they are not locked into entry level jobs but can instead enhance their skills, contribute more in the workplace, increase their earning potential and support improvements in productivity.

The Board aims to investigate the participation of individuals in training and identify any barriers that may exist in the current training system. The Board will work with stakeholders to develop programs, policies or mechanisms to overcome these barriers and allow individuals to access the training they need to fulfil their career goals.

Social assistance and allied health workforce

In partnership with the Department of Training and Workforce Development and Community Skills WA, the State Training Board has developed a comprehensive coordinated workforce development plan for Western Australia's aged care, disability, allied health and community services sectors, with a vocational education and training focus. 

You can find out more about this, and our other key activities, on the Our work page of this website.

Apprenticeship and traineeship review

The State Training Board supports measures to increase enrolments and completions in the more than 650 apprenticeships and traineeships available across almost every industry, and ranging in AQF level from Certificate I to Advanced Diploma.

The project involves mapping of competencies within one or more industry areas and identifying potential entry and exit points to suit a range of businesses and apprentice requirements. 


Legislated functions

The legislated functions of the State Training Board are set out in section 21 of the Vocational Education and Training Act 1996. A brief explanation of each of the legislated activities defined by the Act is set out below. To find out more about these functions, please contact us.

State Training Plan

Section 21(1) (a) of the VET Act requires the Board to prepare for the Minister's approval a State Training Plan. The Plan identifies the training and skill development priorities for Western Australia’s industries and guides the State Government’s investment in training places under the Act, over a four year period.

Industry training advisory bodies
Under section 21(1) (b) of the VET Act, the Board recognises various industry training advisory bodies from whom we take advice on the development of the State Training Plan and providing advice to the Minister on apprenticeships and traineeships.
Classification of qualifications for delivery through a training contract
Under section 60C of the VET Act, the Minister must take advice and recommendations from the Board on the creation of apprenticeships and traineeships in Western Australia.
Policy advice to improve links between industry developments and VET
Section 21(1)(c) of the VET Act allows the Board to prepare, for the consideration of the Minister, policy which aims to improve the links between specific industry developments and VET so as to gain optimum employment opportunities for people, and ensure the availability of appropriately skilled labour for the State.
Appeals against decisions of the Training Accreditation Council
A person who is dissatisfied with a decision of the Training Accreditation Council relating to registration, course accreditation or cancellation of VET qualifications may appeal that decision through an application to the State Training Board under section 58G of the VET Act.

Our partners

A key objective of our vocational and education training system is to build Western Australia's workforce to meet the State’s economic and community needs. As our economy grows and diversifies these needs continue to change and grow, and our VET system must be able to respond to the changes. Together with our partners, the Board identifies and implements key strategies and activities that will increase participation in training and maximise employment opportunities.

The Board engages directly with employers, peak industry associations and training providers across WA. We work collaboratively with our partners and stakeholders to learn more about their operations, training facilities and specific industry issues, and their skills and training requirements.

Employers, peak industry associations and training providers

To gather industry input on specific issues and projects, the Board undertakes direct engagement activities with employers, peak industry associations and training providers. We visit employers, peak industry associations and registered training organisers to learn more about their operations and training facilities and to engage with them  on their skills and training requirements.


Industry training advisory bodies

The Board recognises and works collaboratively with various industry training advisory bodies (known as industry training councils) under section 21(1) (b) of the Vocational Education and Training Act 1996, to provide advice and industry feedback to the Board on the supply and demand for skills, emerging skill needs and skills shortages in Western Australia. Industry training councils provide valuable industry input on issues including:

  1. priority occupations and skills demanded by industries;
  2. the establishment and variation of apprenticeships and traineeships;
  3. VET qualifications appropriate for delivery to secondary students;
  4. the development, review, endorsement and implementation of training packages, and nominal hours for newly endorsed qualifications; and
  5. input into the strategic projects, policies and direction of the State’s training system.

The Board recognises eight industry training councils:

  • Community Skills WA
  • Construction Training Fund
  • Financial, Administrative and Professional Services Training Council Inc
  • Food, Fibre and Timber Industries Training Council
  • FutureNow: Creative and Leisure Industries Training Council
  • Logistics and Defence Skills Council
  • Resources Industry Training Council
  • Utilities, Engineering, Electrical and Automotive Training Council

Seven of the advisory bodies are funded by the Department of Training and Workforce Development through service agreements, while the Construction Training Fund is recognised through a formal Memorandum of Understanding between the Board, the Department and the advisory body.

Contact details for all Industry Training Councils are available here.


Our publications

We produce a range of publications and reports for the Minister for Training. We are proud to make available our reports that are in the public domain.

Publications from recent years are available on this website; however, should you require earlier publications please contact the Office of the State Training Board.


Annual reports

The Board is required to prepare and present an annual report on its operations to the Minister.

The State Training Board 2022–2023 Annual Report was tabled in State Parliament on 20 September 2023. 

If you require an earlier annual report, please contact us with details of the publication(s) you would like. 


Research papers and project reports

As part of the projects, activities and other work that the Board undertakes we often produce reports and research papers, which will be made available here.

State Training Plan
The Board's State Training Plan is a key strategic document that sets out the training needs of the State's industries and how those needs should be met by State Government investment in VET. The Plan complements key State Government priorities, and is informed by training data; labour market analysis; and valuable consultation with industry, facilitated by the Board's network of industry training councils (ITCs). The State Training Plan 2023-24 was released by the Minister for Training in July 2023.

View the State Training Plan 2023-24 

View the Executive Summary here

Mobilising WA's Future: Young people in VET

Young people make up almost half of all participants in WA’s Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector. The State Training Board had roundtable discussions with more than 70 young people to gain insight into their engagement and experience in the VET system. The Board’s findings are presented in our Mobilising WA’s Future: Young people in VET report and are focused on the key themes of:

  • Engagement and exposure to VET;
  • Changing the perception of VET; and
  • VET delivery and support.

View the Mobilising WA’s Future: Young people in VET report  

Regional Early Childhood Education and Care Report
The State Training Board’s Regional Early Childhood Education and Care Report was prepared in collaboration with Community Skills WA. It explores issues affecting the early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector in regional WA , and how the training sector may assist to address these.

View the Regional Early Childhood Education and Care Report  

Social Assistance and Allied Health Workforce 
The Board has undertaken extensive work to develop strategies to guide workforce development in the vital and rapidly growing Social Assistance and Allied Health sector. The Social Assistance and Allied Health Workforce Strategy (released in 2019) and the Social Assistance and Allied Health: Future Workforce Skills report (released in 2022) are the culmination of this work and were prepared in collaboration with Community Skills WA. 

View Social Assistance and Allied Health: Future Workforce Skills Report (2022)

View State Government Response (2022) 

View Social Assistance and Allied Health Workforce Strategy (2019)

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. Released 24 January 2019

View Strategies to grow apprenticeships and traineeships 

View McGowan Government's response 

Youth matters: Youth survey results

The 2015 Youth Matters: Youth Survey attracted more than 1 100 responses from young people aged 12 to 24 across Western Australia. It provides insights into young people’s experiences with school, career advice and employment.

View the survey results

Youth Matters: a study of youth education, training, employment and unemployment in Western Australia

Commissioned by the WA State Training Board, this paper is based on research and consultations undertaken by Business Group Australia and the Board’s Youth Unemployment Steering Committee. It is provided as an introduction to the challenges associated with the transition from secondary education and training to the workplace. It focuses on when young people fail to make a successful transition and the complexities of youth unemployment. It is not intended to provide all the answers but rather to generate discussion and action on this important workforce development issue.

View the full paper

Page last updated July 02, 2017