The State Government has extended the Construction Training Fund Disaster Recovery Grant program for another two years, with additional funding of $3.5 million to help rebuild flood-devastated Kimberley communities. The grant is designed to attract skilled workers to disaster-affected communities, including those affected by Ex-Tropical Cyclone Ellie, to aid in the rebuilding process. Originally launched in late 2021 to help communities affected by the Wooroloo bushfire and cyclone Seroja, the initiative has been extended until June 2025. Under the scheme, employers of apprentices and trainees in affected regions can claim an additional grant of up to $3000 annually, while apprentices and trainees can claim up to $1000 annually to cover costs such as travel and accommodation. The grant also offers subsidies for eligible short courses to anyone working in construction in the affected areas. Currently, eligible businesses with an apprentice or trainee can receive CTF grants of up to $21,000 to help with the costs of training. WA Training Minister Simone McGurk said the move, which came amid extreme shortages of tradespeople across the State, would help attract skilled workers to the Kimberley. “This scheme recognises the cost of doing business in the regions while also attracting a skilled local workforce. I’m pleased we’re able to extend it for another two years,” she said. Emergency Services Minister Stephen Dawson said the grants program was “invaluable” in assisting communities rebuild after the Wooroloo bushfires and cyclone Seroja, and that it was great to see it rolled out in the Kimberley.