The Liberals Training and Workforce Development Policy

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1 The Liberals Training and Workforce Development Policy To develop the State s workforce in order to maximise the supply of skilled labour. Printed and Authorised by B Morton, 640 Murray Street, West Perth WA 6005

2 Policy Summary The Liberals understand that a well-resourced and responsive training and workforce development sector is vital to continue to grow and support Western Australia s vibrant economy. The training, attraction and retention of a skilled workforce are essential to meet the State s economic needs. Under the Liberal-led Government, the State s training and workforce development sector has never been in better shape. With an investment of more than $1.9billion since 2008 and a government guarantee to fund all apprenticeships in trade areas and all eligible traineeships, there is now a record high 46,558 apprentices and trainees in training (as at October 31, 2012), almost 10,000 more than at the end of Labor s term in September If re-elected, a Liberal Government will further build on this good work by: Reforming Vocational Education and Training (VET) in Schools so that qualifications are tailored to industry needs Allocating $5million to ease the financial burden for apprentices and trainees required to travel to attend off-the-job training by doubling accommodation allowances Supporting State Training Providers (STPs) in the development of areas of specialisation with an allocation of $4million over four years for business development, promotion and marketing Encouraging more women into training in non-traditional trade and industry areas with a new $300,000 a year scholarship program Progressing the establishment of the Muresk Institute in Western Australia s Wheatbelt as a multi-tenanted, brokered training and education facility, with $10million in funding for facility upgrades. 2

3 VET in Schools Reform If re-elected, the Liberals will: Reform VET qualifications so that they are delivered to industry standards and ensure VET programs are supported through quality workplace learning opportunities Involve industry in the design, delivery and quality assurance of VET in schools programs Ensure students have the skills required to work within an industry and facilitate effective school to work transitions. The WA Certificate of Education (WACE) reforms announced in early January by the Premier and Minister for Education will be introduced in 2015 for year 11 and 2016 for year 12 students, to coincide with the implementation of the senior secondary National curriculum in Western Australia. These reforms, which will be implemented if a Liberal Government is re-elected, will introduce a minimum literacy and numeracy assessment in year 10. The changes will also see students required to achieve an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank or a minimum Certificate 2 in training programs to graduate. In order to support these changes to the WACE, a Liberal Government will also initiate complementary reforms to VET in Schools so they better meet the needs of industry and students. Industry expects that the Western Australian VET in Schools programs will deliver industry-standard qualifications and will be supported through quality workplace learning opportunities. They also quite rightly expect that a graduate of a school-based VET program will be well trained and work ready. To achieve these outcomes it is essential that industry groups the future employers are involved in the design, delivery and quality assurance of VET in schools programs. To achieve these objectives, a re-elected Liberal Government will: Facilitate schools and education authorities to engage with Industry Training Councils to improve the delivery of VET in schools through direct engagement 3

4 Publish a register of qualifications that have been endorsed by industry as being suitable for VET in Schools delivery. Where possible, students will be encouraged to enrol in one of these qualifications Promote a new dedicated VET in Schools section on the revitalised VETinfoNet website. This VET in Schools section is a repository for information on VET in Schools policies, guidelines and programs that apply to all of the education sectors and training providers delivering VET in Schools programs. The section houses a range of resources, information and links which support the delivery of quality VET in Schools programs in WA Provide advice to the education system and sectors on current and future workforce needs and demands, including areas of future occupational demand. In addition, State training providers will be encouraged to make every effort to meet the unique needs of schools and their students and to accommodate the broader expectations on students for a wider education. This includes providing additional flexibility for students to be able to manage both their vocational training and school education. The changes to VET will complement the major reforms recently announced to raise the bar on literacy and numeracy. The following benefits will result from reforming VET: Employers and industries will have increased confidence that students who have completed a VET in schools program will have industry skills and knowledge to transition into the workforce Ensure VET in schools evolves into a preferred senior secondary option which produces quality outcomes and clear pathways into careers Professional development opportunities will be provided for VET in schools professionals Partnerships will be fostered between schools and industry to ensure schools and education authorities engage with training councils to improve delivery of VET in schools. Vocationally bound senior secondary students will be enrolled in a minimum Certificate 2 level qualification which leads to an occupational pathway. 4

5 Support for Regional Apprentices and Trainees If re-elected, the Liberals will: Allocate $5million over four years to: Double the accommodation allowance below the 26 th parallel from $35 per night to $70 per night Double the accommodation allowance above the 26 th parallel or interstate from $55 per night to $110 per night. The Travel and Accommodation Allowance policy provides financial assistance for travel and accommodation expenses for apprentices and trainees who are required to travel long distances to attend their off-the-job training. Around 900 students are assisted through an accommodation allowance component each year and the allowance has not been increased since With significant increases in accommodation costs in metropolitan and regional Western Australia, the current allowance rates paid to apprentices and trainees are no longer adequate to compensate students for their actual costs, meaning they are often out of pocket to attend their required training. In recognition of the burden on students, a re-elected Liberal Government will increase accommodation allowance rates paid to apprentices and trainees who are required to travel to attend their off-the-job training. Typically, a regional apprentice or trainee may be required to pay for up to 30 nights accommodation a year to attend training, where that training is not available in the region. This represents a significant financial disincentive to commencing or completing training. The proposed increase in the subsidy will assist apprentices and trainees living in the regions to stay in their training program, retaining the benefits of having locally based trades people for the regional workforce. 5

6 Specialisation in State Training Providers If re-elected, the Liberals will: Allocate $4million over four years to support and promote metropolitan State Training Providers areas of specialisation in order to build expertise, improve the quality of training delivery and provide a visible identity and focal point for industry and consumers. The Liberals recognise that there are several pathways to a qualification and career. Traditionally, training including apprenticeships may have been seen as a lesser pathway than a university education. This is no longer the case. Vocational education and training covers an increasingly diverse range of career options. It will be a priority of a re-elected Liberal Government to work to ensure that training is better recognised as a genuine pathway of choice, leading to fulfilling careers that make a vital contribution to Western Australia s growing economy. As part of this initiative, the four major metropolitan State Training Providers, Challenger Institute, Central Institute, Polytechnic West and West Coast Institute, will be supported to develop and better promote their existing areas of specialisation, and to explore and nurture new areas of excellence. This focus will serve to build the reputation of the metropolitan State Training Providers locally and internationally, so they can become known as world-class centres of excellence for their areas of training specialisation. This will also allow the Institutes to further recruit internationally, and broaden the base of the State Training Industry. Existing key industry areas and areas of specialisation within our State Training Providers include Transport Logistics and Aviation (Polytechnic West); Tourism (Central Institute of Technology), Process Manufacturing (Challenger Institute of Technology) and Law Enforcement and Security (West Coast Institute of Training). A good example of a growing area of specialisation and excellence is the recently announced partnership between the Central Institute of Technology and world-renowned French academy Le Cordon Bleu. Through this partnership, Bachelors of Business in International Convention and Event Management, and Tourism Management will be offered for the first time in Western Australia. These undergraduate degrees provide a pathway for VET students into a prestigious program with international standing and strong career prospects. 6

7 Encouraging Women into Non-Traditional Industries and Trades If re-elected, the Liberals will: Allocate $1.2million over four years to create a scholarship program to encourage women into non-traditional industries and trades. With Western Australia also facing shortages of skilled workers, including in non-traditional sectors, it is important that efforts are made to encourage more women to participate in training and gain qualifications in male dominated industries. Occupations where women make up less than 25 per cent of the total workforce are considered non-traditional. Non-traditional trades and industries where there are skills shortages include: Aviation and aircraft maintenance engineering Construction trades and technicians Mining operators and technicians Marine trades such as Ship s master, Ship s engineer, Ship s officer, boat builder and repairer Train driver. As part of efforts to tackle skills shortages and gender pay gaps, a re-elected Liberal Government will establish a scholarship program to encourage women into non-traditional trades. This will consist of 100 scholarships a year of $3,000 each, at a total cost of $1.2million over four years. The scholarship funds will be able to be used towards any costs associated with course training, including training fees, learning resources and accommodation and transport. Criteria for scholarship applications and a finite list of trades and industry sectors will be developed with the Department of Training and Workforce Development. 7

8 Muresk Institute Revitalisation embracing a proud history If re-elected, a Liberal Government will provide $10million in Royalties for Regions funding and will: Revitalise the Muresk Institute to embrace its proud history as an agricultural college and revitalise training, higher education and research opportunities in the Wheatbelt Undertake refurbishment work at the historic site to support an expanded course offering Progress a memorandum of understanding signed between the State Government, Ausdrill and SiteGroup International and establish a training mine site on non-arable land at Muresk Work to finalise a principle agreement between the C Y O Connor Institute and Charles Sturt University for the delivery of an Agricultural Business Management Degree at Muresk, starting Located 90km from Perth in the Avon Valley, Muresk was established in 1926 and has a long history as the State s tertiary education hub for agribusiness and agricultural training. In 2012, the Liberal-led Government oversaw the transfer of Muresk s operations from Curtin University to the State Government, with plans to expand the Institute s course capacity to secure its future. To ensure Muresk is economically viable and in recognition of the varied training needs required to meet future workforce demands in Western Australia, a re-elected Liberal Government will progress its plan to expand and diversify the course options at the Wheatbelt facility. These plans include a new tertiary partnership for Agribusiness and an expansion into mining training. The success of agricultural training at Muresk will also depend on the active engagement of industry leaders to focus on the needs, issues and challenges facing training and higher education in the sector. A re-elected Liberal Government will facilitate this engagement, which will start in March with a round table discussion between key stakeholders in agriculture, agribusiness and finance. 8

9 Our Record The Liberals have a strong record in government in workforce development and training. Over the past four years, the Liberal-led Government has: Developed and released Skilling WA A Workforce Development Plan for Western Australia. Released in 2010, this provides a comprehensive framework for the planning and development of the State s workforce, with the aim of maximising the supply of skilled labour to the State s industries Guaranteed to fund all apprenticeships in trade areas and all eligible traineeships Provided $1.9billion between 2008 and 2012 to fund more than half a million training places, a funding increase of 35 per cent compared with Labor in Government. This includes $38.2million until the end of 2013 to make up for a cut to WA training funds by the Federal Labor Government and an additional $58.57million to provide extra training places over and above what was required under the National Partnership Grown the number of apprentices and trainees in training to an alltime high of more than 46,500 (as at October 31, 2012), almost 10,000 more than under Labor in 2008 Developed an Aboriginal Workforce Development Strategy to provide specific focus on employment for Aboriginal people Established five Aboriginal Workforce Development Centres in Perth, Broome, Bunbury, Geraldton and Kalgoorlie to match Aboriginal people with real jobs Recorded a 33 per cent increase in the number of Aboriginal apprentices and trainees in training between October 2008 and October 2012, from 1645 to 2192 Placed (as at January 2013) 561 Aboriginal job seekers in employment and another 294 in training. The Liberal-led Government has also invested heavily in new training infrastructure including: A new $23million trade training centre at Clarkson 9

10 A new $57million three-storey building at the Central Institute of Technology s Northbridge campus that enabled the transfer of existing programs from the old Subiaco campus A new $2.4million automotive workshop at Northam A $1.8million skills barn at Geraldton to enable plumbing trades to be delivered regionally A $16.0million Auto Workshops at Bunbury is under construction A $28.6million Trades Workshop at Rockingham is under construction Skills Initiative Projects totalling $77.5million, funded through the Royalties for Regions program, have each had consultants contracted and are in design and documentation phases. 10

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