Developing Western Australia's workforce

The Department of Training and Workforce Development works together with stakeholders across government, industry and the community to establish strategies and programs that build WA’s workforce to meet economic and community needs.
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The Department of Training and Workforce Development was established by the Western Australian Government in 2009 as the State’s lead agency for workforce planning and development. 

Workforce planning and development is the process of determining skills and labour market needs in response to demographic, economic and labour market conditions and other challenges that ongoing change brings.

It involves designing and delivering strategies, policies and actions that maximise opportunities for building, attracting and retaining a skilled and capable workforce.

We are leading and coordinating workforce planning and development strategies and driving a responsive and flexible training system through a range of strategies and programs, as outlined below.

Free support and assistance

From finding new employees, apprentices or trainees through to establishing a workforce development plan, we can help.

Jobs and Skills Centres (JSCs) offer free support and assistance with planning and developing your workforce.

Services include support with recruitment, identifying your training needs, establishing a workforce development plan, finding an employee (including apprentices or trainees), and assistance with accessing financial incentives. 

JSCs are located throughout Perth and across regional WA. Call your local centre on 13 64 64, or visit the Jobs & Skills WA website to find out more.

Find out how a JSC can help you

Employer financial incentives and support

A number of financial incentive and support programs are available to support the development of your workforce through employment and training.

The Department of Training and Workforce Development, through the WA State Government, offers a range of financial incentives and support to employers; for employment and training.

Find out more

Apprenticeships and traineeships

Employ an apprentice or trainee, and grow your workforce with skills and knowledge.

Apprenticeships and traineeships combine practical experience at work with structured training.

  • Apprenticeships generally include traditional technical trades such as bricklaying and cabinet making. 
  • Traineeships are usually in non-trade areas such as hospitality, business and health. 

Both are available to people of all ages. Most can be undertaken on a full time or part time basis, and many can be started at school. At the same time, incentives for employers have increased and training is more flexible.

The Australian Apprenticeship Support Network (AASN) providers, contracted by the Australian Government, help employers navigate through apprenticeship and traineeship contract arrangements and support employers to find an apprentice or trainee.

Traineeships: Information for employers

An Out of Contract Register has been established on the Jobs & Skills WA website, to assist apprentices and trainees who have recently had their training contract terminated or cancelled but are seeking to continue their training with another employer. Through employing an out of contract apprentice or trainee, you benefit by getting someone who is already part way through their training and can bring skills and experience to your team.

The register lists out of contract apprentices and trainees in metropolitan and regional Western Australia.

You can search for an apprentice or trainee that matches with your job needs, and we will then assist you to connect with that person to discuss your employment opportunity.

View the register here

Existing worker traineeships (EWTs)

EWTs are designed specifically for organisations who wish to grow their workforce's skills and knowledge through training.

EWTs combine formal study with on the job learning, and there's a range of qualifications available in areas such as information technology, construction, cyber security, community services, defence, and more.

EWTs save employers money on recruitment by upskilling the staff you already have, and offer career progression and leadership pathways through nationally recognised and accredited training. Further information is available on the Jobs & Skills WA website.

Go to the Jobs & Skills WA website

Fee-free and reduced-fee training

Looking to upskill your workforce through training? Here's how!

If you're looking for training to upskill your workforce and build your business capacity for the future, there's never been a better time to get into training, with free and reduced-fee vocational education and training (VET) now available through the WA State Government's Skills Ready program!

  • There's a wide range of fee-free qualifications and short course skill sets now available!
  • There's also a large range of full qualifications available with course fees reduced by half or more.

For full details, and to see a list of available qualifications and courses, please visit

Go to the Jobs & Skills WA website

Industry information and intelligence

We source information on skills supply and demand, workforce development issues, current emerging skills shortages and other related intelligence.

The Department, through our State Workforce Planning branch, sources information on skills supply and demand, workforce development issues, current emerging skills shortages and other related intelligence from a wide range of sources. This includes liaison with peak industry bodies, businesses, non-government organisations and many other stakeholders.

In particular, WA has industry training advisory arrangements in place with eight training councils, each covering a particular industry sector of the economy.

Labour market information for Perth and WA regions is available in our regional snapshots.

Find out more about the regional snapshots

Industry training councils (ITCs)

ITCs represent specific industry areas and play a vital leadership role in WA’s workforce planning and development.

ITCs work closely with key stakeholders including peak employer, employee and industry organisations. 

In addition to advising the State Training Board and the Department of Training and Workforce Development about attracting, retaining and skilling a capable and sustainable workforce, the ITCs provide:

  • high level, strategic information and advice that informs the State Training Board on the training needs and priorities of industry in Western Australia;
  • market intelligence on skills supply and demand, in particular current or emerging skills shortages; and
  • recommendations for training strategies that support industry’s skills development needs.

ITCs also have a central role in the development of quality vocational and education training curriculum to ensure that the skills and knowledge gained through training is aligned with current industry competencies and requirements.

 A full list of WA ITCs is available on the WA State Training Board website

Labour market outlook

The importance of retaining a flexible approach to the planning and purchasing of training delivery is imperative.

There are substantial risks and inherent uncertainties associated with producing forecasts for an economy and there will always be differences between the forecasts of key aggregates and the final audited results. 

This is exacerbated more with the unprecedented impact on the global, national and state economies and the level of uncertainty associated with the future trajectory of the COVID-19 pandemic. The outbreak of COVID-19 halted momentum that was building in the WA economy prior to the pandemic. 

While there has been uncertainty around COVID recovery, and despite initial sharp falls in activity, WA’s economy is recovering. Some industries and cohorts are likely to recover much faster than others, while the unwinding of dedicated stimulus measures may also impact the rate of improvement. 

It is noted that in a recovery period, employers may also increase the hours of existing workers rather than recruit new workers, hence limiting the number of opportunities for new entrants into the labour market. For this reason, early career pathways and skilling up the State’s young people continues to be a high priority, as this represents a critical stage in the beginnings of any person’s career development and future work engagement. Further to this current and emerging innovation and technology advances are changing the nature of work and impacting the demand for skills.

Given the degrees of uncertainty around the State’s labour market outlook and the dynamics described above, the importance of retaining a flexible approach to the planning and purchasing of training delivery is imperative.

Developing WA's regions

Following the Regional Skills Summits held in 2021, work is continuing to support strong and sustainable workforces across Western Australia.

A network of key industry, community and government stakeholders are working together through collaborations and partnerships to progress practical actions to support building a local workforce for local jobs.

Twelve Regional Coordinating Committees (RCCs) are in place across the State, supporting regional communities to implement new practical and place-based actions with a focus on local solutions to local issues.

Find out more about the RCCs here

Regional training and employment trends including labour market data is available for each of Western Australia’s nine regions, and Perth, through an interactive regional snapshot.

Priority Start

Priority Start aims to ensure a sustainable construction trades workforce for WA by increasing the overall numbers of apprentices and trainees in the building and construction industry.

Priority Start came into effect in Western Australia in April 2019 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.

Find out more about Priority Start

Resources for employers

A range of useful resources, information and tools for workforce development has been developed by the Department and is freely available to employers.

Developing and implementing workforce planning and workforce development processes in the workplace and having a ‘workforce action plan’ are essential components of healthy business practice.

The resources, developed in partnership with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry and other WA industry leaders, can provide small and medium businesses with a ‘one-stop’ gateway to find useful information, templates, links and resources that can help you to better plan, attract, develop and retain a skilled workforce.

Please visit the For employers section of the Jobs & Skills WA website to view what's available.

Go to the Jobs & Skills WA website

Skilled migration and WA's State Nominated Migration Program

WA’s State Nominated Migration Program targets those skilled jobs that genuinely require overseas workers, where local workers cannot be sourced.

In Australia, the Commonwealth Government's Department of Home Affairs has responsibility for immigration policy. It also makes the final determinations on all applications for humanitarian, business and skilled visas. It allows for each Australian state and territory to nominate skilled migrants under a broad range of occupations, to meet their own local workforce needs.

The State Nominated Migration Program

The State Government places Western Australians first when it comes to securing jobs in the State. Accordingly, the first workforce development priority is to train and prepare Western Australians for the workforce.

WA’s State Nominated Migration Program (SNMP) targets those skilled jobs that genuinely require overseas workers, where local workers cannot be sourced.

The program works in conjunction with other workforce development mechanisms to help ensure employers have access to the skills they need.

The SNMP offers two streams:

  • General stream — A skilled migration pathway for a range of occupations and industry categories. 
  • Graduate stream — A skilled migration pathway for eligible international students who are completing vocational education and training (VET) or higher education qualifications in WA. 

For information on developing your workforce through skilled migration, please go to the WA Migration Services website at

Go to the Migration Services website

Skilling solutions for workforce development

The Department offers a range of skilling solutions to help your workers learn, adapt and grow with your business; enabling you to overcome challenges and pursue new opportunities.

 These solutions include:

  • fee-free and reduced-fee vocational education and training courses;
  • free short course skill sets for targeted skills development;
  • apprenticeships and traineeships;
  • an out-of-contract-register to help connect apprentices to new employers;
  • free Job Ready programs that provide training pathways to employment and support industry attraction;
  • existing worker traineeships, to upskill your workforce;
  • group training organisations; and
  • jobs and careers assistance. 

Find out more on our Jobs & Skills WA website

State Priority Occupation List

A list of occupations rated according to their priority status for WA.

The State Priority Occupation List (SPOL) is produced each year by the Department; in consultation with key stakeholders — including industry training councils — to inform and guide workforce planning and development for WA. It is a list of occupations rated according to their priority status for WA.

The SPOL informs the WA State training plan, which guides the allocation of subsidised training programs into areas of prioritised need. It also informs WA workforce development planning and the Western Australian skilled migration occupation list (WASMOL).

You can view the SPOL, and find out more about the methodology behind it, on our SPOL page.

Go to the SPOL page

WA Defence Industry Workforce Office (WADIWO)

WADIWO works with industry to lead the formulation of defence industry workforce development plans, initiatives and strategies; and identify future workforce needs and skilling priorities

The Office receives input from WA’s defence industry to undertake workforce analysis and planning; lead in the formulation of defence industry workforce development plans, initiatives and strategies; and identify future workforce needs and skilling priorities across all five domains of defence capabilities – air, land, space, maritime, cyber and information.

Find out more about WADIWO

WA Training activity reports and statistics

Reports and statistics regarding VET enrolments, and apprenticeships and traineeships, across WA. Includes the annual Student Satisfaction Survey.

Our Performance Evaluations and Statistics branch collects and reports on a range of statistical information to track engagement and measure the outcomes of vocational education and training (VET) in Western Australia.

View available reports and data