THE State Government is working to prevent a skills shortage in WA’s highest-employing industry, with the health care and social assistance sector forecast to grow more than any other over the next five years.
The industry already employs more than 172,000 locals and a new strategy from the WA State Training Board is calling for a co-ordinated response to meet the growing needs of vulnerable people.
Speaking at the North Metropolitan TAFE Mt Lawley campus on Tuesday, Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery said the State was working to make sure the industry had a strong supply of highly-skilled workers.
“These people look after, many times in the home, some of our most vulnerable citizens,” she said.
“We are working to ensure we are ahead of the game in skilling Western Australians to take up the jobs of the future.”
The WA State Training Board report noted the number of disability and aged care workers will need to double over the next five years and that the social assistance and allied health sectors will face challenges keeping a skilled workforce.
Disability Services Minister Stephen Dawson said the newly-released strategy would help guide the Government’s forward planning to meet the workforce needs of the NDIS.
“This (WA State Training Board) strategy will help guide the State Government’s efforts here in WA and inform our engagement with the Commonwealth,” he said.
“This is an exciting time for those wishing to pursue a career in a sector that enriches the lives of individuals and the broader community.”
A number of initiatives are underway to boost the workforce and develop skills as part of the National Partnership – Skilling Australia Fund, including an employer incentive scheme to increase apprenticeships and traineeships, 50 new pre-apprenticeships at North Metropolitan TAFE this year, and employers partnering with education providers to develop upskilling programs.