More than 3,000 apprentices and trainees will be eligible for free courses of up to six months as part of the state government’s latest effort to safeguard the future of Western Australia's workforce.
Training costs will be covered by the Department of Training & Workforce Development for apprentices and trainees who have had their contracts cancelled or suspended as a result of COVID-19.
The fees will be paid directly to training providers, who will be able to access the payments next month.
The fee relief will continue for apprentices and trainees who are subsequently taken on by another employer.
Premier Mark McGowan says half of those affected so far worked in hospitality, tourism, retail and property, among other industries.
“By scrapping course fees for six months, apprentices and trainees who are experiencing financial hardship will be able to continue their training,” Mr McGowan said.
Education Minister Sue Ellery said the fee relief would ensure the skilled workforce required for the state’s post-COVID recovery.
“Skilled workers across a range of trades and occupations will be in high demand and they need as much support as possible,” she said.
The fee relief is supported by a new out of contract register, available on the Jobs and Skills WA website.
The register offers employers a quick search tool to find apprentices and trainees who are seeking to develop their skills.