A second State Government-led Kimberley Regional Skills Summit took place in Broome on Monday, to support the “unique” workforce needs of regional WA. After a successful Kununurra Kimberley Regional Skills Summit in October, the Broome Kimberley Regional Skills Summit aimed to generate further action and innovation to grow the local skilled workforce. About 40 government and regional business leaders from a range of sectors were in attendance at the Mangrove Hotel, including the region’s largest employing industries of healthcare and social assistance, education and training, accommodation and food services, public administration and safety, construction and retail. The Summit was tied to the State Government’s Lower fees, local skills initiative, which saw a 21 per cent increase in enrolments in the region this year and has recently been expanded to include 30 more courses from 2022. Workers in industries which have a critical need to up skill workers, such as childcare, aged and disability care and civil construction, will also be able to access low fee existing traineeship places to help meet the skill needs of these sectors. The new initiatives responded to workforce issues raised by industry leaders at previous skills summits and were supported by a $103 million agreement between the State and Commonwealth Governments as part of the Job Trainer Fund agreement. Initiatives from other summits included freezing regional Government rental accommodation to attract public sector workers to the regions, supporting mature age apprentices, promoting the tourism and hospitality industry to school students to grow the workforce and boosting Aboriginal youth employment opportunities. The VET Regional Partnerships Program also continued to grow, focused on creating more apprenticeships in regional WA to support the Government’s aim to increase the number of jobs in regional WA by 30,000. Education and Training minister Sue Ellery said regional WA was vital to the State’s economic prosperity. “The Skills Summit, along with the previous one held in Kununurra, will help provide a current picture of the Kimberley’s unique workforce and training needs,” she said. “Our Government is keen to hear from business leaders about practical actions which can be taken in the Kimberley to help fill local jobs.” Kimberley MLA Divina D’Anna said the Skills Summits were “a chance for State Government, business and the wider community to discuss localised ideas for increasing the capability of the region’s workforce”.