Western Australia Funding Program

Future Skills WA is the way the State Government prioritises training.

As the WA economy grows and diversifies, the outlook for jobs is constantly changing. Future Skills WA is about investing in training that equips people to take up jobs that are, or will be, in high demand in Western Australia.

To do this, Future Skills WA provides a guaranteed, subsidised training place for eligible students enrolled in courses that are deemed State priority qualifications, where a training place is available.

Apprenticeships and traineeships are a priority for the State Government, as are foundation skills. Other priority training areas are identified on the State’s priority industry qualifications list.

By encouraging people to train in these vital areas, employers have access to the skilled workers they need today and in the future.

Many other important industry qualifications are also subsidised under Future Skills WA, however students are not guaranteed a place in these courses. These are called general industry training courses and foundation skills and equity courses.

All Future Skills WA courses are heavily subsidised by the Government of Western Australia.

This creates more opportunities for people to gain valuable skills and qualifications that secure jobs and build successful careers. 

Visit the Training courses section to find out more about what courses are available under Future Skills WA.


What is the guarantee and am I eligible?

The guarantee means that for courses categorised as State priority courses, the Government will not limit the number of training places it subsidises. The numbers enrolling in State priority courses are continuously monitored. If there is an oversupply of people with certain qualifications, the Government may, with prior notice, stop subsidising new enrolments in that course.
Under Future Skills WA, students decide the course they want to study and they will be guaranteed their training will be subsidised if:

  • the course has been identified as a State priority course;
  • a TAFE college or a preferred private training provider has a training place available; and
  • the student meets the normal entrance requirements.

You are eligible for a guaranteed training place if you have left school, your primary place of residence is in Western Australia and you are:

  • an Australian citizen;
  • a permanent visa holder;
  • a holder of visa subclass 309, 310, 820 or 826; or
  • a dependent or spouse of the primary holder of a visa subclass 457.

Interstate apprentices and trainees may be eligible for publicly funded training. Please refer to the Department’s VET Fees and Charges Policy for eligibility requirements.

Under Future Skills WA there is no upper age limit and there are no restrictions based on your previous level of awarded qualification.


How are courses identified as a priority for WA?

To determine the priority skills needs for the Western Australian economy, the Department of Training and Workforce Development works with many industry stakeholders including training councils to gather information. This is put together with market intelligence, economic indicators and projections of occupational employment growth.

The Department also analyses labour supply factors, such as the ageing workforce, migration and graduates entering the jobs market.

Information and insights from all of these sources are analysed and used to develop a State priority occupation list for Western Australia. This list is updated annually.

From this, the Department identifies the list of priority industry qualifications for WA. This list is also updated regularly.

For more information on this process visit the State priority occupation list section on the Department’s website and access the State priority occupation list information paper and Priority industry qualifications list methodology fact sheet.

Visit the Training courses section to see what courses are considered State priorities.


Employment outlook

While the Western Australian economy has been dominated by the resources sector over the past decade, heading into 2016, the State’s economic environment has changed significantly. Continuing global economic uncertainty, resource commodity price falls, moderating investment levels, and subdued consumer and business confidence have all combined to cause softer economic conditions in the State over the past two or so years.

Consistent with this, current labour market conditions in Western Australia continue to be subdued. In particular, demand for new workers remains weak, as resource-related investment activity in the State wanes. The State’s employment growth of around 1.5% over the past year was well down from the 5.0%+ peaks in annual employment growth that were seen during the State’s resources led expansion period1 .

Over the past year, strong job growth in health care and social assistance, and other non-resource related industries suggest there may be a move away from resource sector led growth.

Overall, the economic outlook for the State remains mostly positive. The recent depreciation in the Australian dollar and current environment of record-low interest rates should assist the State’s economy to transition from investment led growth to growth that is more broader based. State Government forecasts are for moderate employment growth of 1.75% in 2015-16, and then the same again in 2016–172.

In the longer term, the ageing of the State’s population means that building, attracting and retaining a skilled local workforce will be just as, if not more important, to offset the increasing number of skilled and experienced workers reaching retirement age in the coming years.  In addition, the very dynamic nature of the State’s economic environment will likely require a workforce that is flexible and able to acquire new and higher level skills into the future.

For the latest information on current conditions and the near term outlook for the State’s labour market, view the most recent Labour and economic snapshot.

1Note: Accurate as of October 2015. ABS 6202.0, Labour Force - Australia, annual average of original estimates.

2Source: Department of Treasury, Budget Papers, May 2015