Federal Minister for Education, Julia Gillard and WA Minister for Education and Training, Mark McGowan today announced that Western Australia will be the first state to join the Productivity Places Program.
From July to December 2008, Western Australia will pilot an initiative to deliver 1000 new training places in identified skill shortage areas, with more places expected next year as part of the broader rollout of the program.
The Australian and WA Governments will invest $2 million to provide workers in Western Australia with the chance to upgrade their skills and gain higher level qualifications.
This new partnership will better match training to industry needs and provide businesses with a solution to on-going skill shortages.
The announcement was made at the opening of a new $8.4 million Print and Jewellery training facility at Central TAFE in Perth that will cater for additional apprenticeship training in the printing and jewellery industries. The Australian Government contributed over $7 million towards the establishment of the centre, with $1.1 million from the WA Government.
The Australian Government is dedicated to tackling skills shortages across the nation, and this announcement is an important step in delivering 450,000 new training places over the next four years.
This marks the next phase in the rollout of the Productivity Places Program, with the first 20,000 training places already made available for job seekers from April.
The new training places announced today will be targeted to the existing workforce and will be available at the Certificate IV, Diploma and Advanced Diploma levels.
Nearly 80 qualifications will be on offer across a range of industries, including the key skills shortage areas of metals and mining; building and construction; electro-technology; manufacturing; community services; and hospitality and tourism.
The Western Australian Government is to be congratulated as the first state to join the program, and both governments will work together to tackle skill shortages and improve education and training.
More information on the Productivity Places Program is available at: www.productivityplaces.deewr.gov.au.