State Budget addresses skills shortages

The 2024-25 State Budget has addressed ongoing skills shortages and the housing supply squeeze, says CCIWA Chief Economist Aaron Morey.

The Budget, which forecasts a $3.2 billion surplus for 2023-24 and leaves net debt at $28.6b, delivers a suite of important measures to help businesses employing apprentices and trainees. A $2.6b surplus is projected in 2024-25.

The continuation of the $400 electricity bill rebate for small businesses is welcome news for around 90,000 eligible small businesses.

The Budget also includes a $52.3m package to address skills and housing shortages to encourage apprentices into building and construction trades, including $1,000 cash bonuses and equipment allowances, and $21.5m to subsidise the wages of building apprentices.

“Skilled labour shortages are having a flow-on impact right across the state but particularly in the construction sector, which in turn is adding pressure to housing supply,” Morey says.

“CCIWA continues to work with the State Government on the reforms needed to support small and family businesses in WA.”

Some key Budget takeaways:

  • $52.3m for $1,000 cash bonus payments to encourage apprentices into construction trades, boost to the Apprentice Tool Allowance.
  • $21.5m to expand the Group Training Organisation (GTO) Wage Subsidy Program, boosting the State’s building and construction workforce to get homes built sooner. An additional 150 places for apprentices will be funded and made available to GTOs immediately.
  • $26.4m for clean energy manufacturing. Locally-built clean energy components in regional WA, including standalone power systems in Esperance, support for wind turbine manufacturing.
  • $500m to prepare land in Perth and regional WA for heavy industrial use, including for critical mineral processing and renewable hydrogen projects. A further $200m will be spent on common user infrastructure for critical minerals processing.
  • $35m to deliver development-ready land in the Kimberley, Karratha and Goldfields.
  • $843m for State housing and affordable rentals, including around Metronet precincts.
  • $5m for vacant property rental scheme, offering a $5,000 bonus to people with vacant properties to rent them out.
  • A $400 power credit will apply to about 90,000 small businesses, as well as households.

Morey says the State’s finances remain strong, upheld by high iron ore prices. WA will earn an extra $3b in iron ore royalties over the next four years.

For more on CCIWA’s budget response, see here.


Powered by CCIWA, Apprenticeship Support Australia (ASA), can facilitate employment, manage training and offer support and advice to companies seeking apprentices to boost their workforce. Contact ASA at [email protected] or phone 1300 363 831.  




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