The Western Australian workforce will be the first to benefit from a Federal Government program designed to address skills shortages across a range of industries.
The Productivity Places Program aims at providing 450,000 new training places nationally over the next four years.
WA is the first state to join the program, piloting an initiative to deliver 1000 new training places in identified skill shortage areas from July to December 2008, with more places expected next year.
The new training places 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.
Federal Minister for Education Julia Gillard has congratulated the WA Government on leading the way and says both governments will work together to tackle skill shortages and improve education and training. 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.
Ms Gillard says the new partnership will better match training to industry needs and provide businesses with a solution to ongoing skill shortages.
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