Priority Start

The Department of Training and Workforce Development's Priority Start aims to ensure a sustainable construction trades workforce for Western Australia by increasing the overall numbers of apprentices and trainees in the building and construction industry.
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The Priority Start policy came into effect in Western Australia on 1 April 2019, replacing the previous Government building training (GBT) policy. The policy meets the State Government’s Plan for Jobs commitment to maximise opportunities for apprentices and trainees on all major State Government funded building, construction and maintenance contracts.

To achieve this, the policy requires companies awarded State Government building construction, civil construction and maintenance contracts valued over $5 million (including GST) to meet the industry's average target training rate for apprentices and trainees.

View the Priority Start policy here

What is Priority Start

  • The Priority Start policy aims to increase the training effort in the WA building and construction industry, where head contractors working on State Government building, construction and maintenance contracts are required to meet a specific training rate.
  • Priority Start applies to contracts with a total value over $5 million (including GST).
  • There are separate target training rates for general construction – 11.5%; and civil construction – 5%.
  • Contractors report once a year.
  • The policy relates to in-scope qualifications and construction trades worker occupations.
  • Applies to contracts with a total value over $5 million (including GST).
  • Separate target training rates for general construction – 11.5%, and civil construction – 5%.
  • Contractor reporting has been reduced to once a year.
  • Expanded range of in-scope qualifications and construction trades worker occupations.
  • There are monitoring and compliance requirements embedded in the policy.

Who's in scope

State Government agencies issuing building, construction and maintenance contracts and the head contractor and subcontractors used for the contracts are in scope of the Priority Start policy.

Government trading enterprises (GTEs) should consider the policy when procuring these contracts.

Enquiries and assistance

If you require any assistance regarding Priority Start, or have any queries, please contact our Priority Start team via email to

Useful information and resources

The following information and resources are available to assist contractors and State Government agencies to understand and work with the Priority Start policy.