WA expands Job Ready program to boost ECEC employee numbers
The Western Australian Government will expand its Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) Job Ready program to Albany, Bunbury, Geraldton, Karratha, Katanning, Kununurra, Mandurah, Northam and new metropolitan locations, following the success of the program in Perth and Broome.
Job Ready programs and fee-free courses enable students to overcome cost barriers to entering training and the workforce, which combined with additional wraparound support has enabled these fantastic outcomes.
The programs ensure Western Australians – particularly First Nations people, young people, people looking for work or receiving income support, unpaid carers, people with disability, and women facing economic insecurity – can access affordable training to help them get into jobs.
“By expanding the ECEC Job Ready program across the state, our government is helping to ensure the needs of regional workforces are met,” said Training Minister Simone McGurk.
“Early childhood education and care is a critical part of the economy because it supports parents and carers, particularly women, to participate in the workforce.”
Almost 930 Western Australians across the full range of Job Ready courses have already been employed following completion of the popular program which was developed in consultation with the ECEC sector to train more early childhood educators for work in the sector and enhance employment outcomes for participants.
The ECEC strand of the program combines a short course skill set and work placement to introduce participants to an early childhood educator’s working environment, and includes wraparound supports to reduce barriers for participants to guide them to completion of their training.
“There are now so many opportunities available in the early childhood education sector, there’s never been a better time to become an early childhood educator and help set up our children for the best start in life,” said Early Childhood Education Minister Sabine Winton.
All Job Ready programs are part of the FREE IN ’23 initiative, which includes 130 full qualifications and skill sets including the Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care and Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care.
Fee-free training is made available through the State Government’s partnership with the Commonwealth, which is showing strong results for priority sectors, including the care industry.
Of the almost 2,000 participants who have commenced all spheres of the Job Ready programs, almost half reported they have already secured employment or further training, adding to the pipeline of skilled workers needed across a range of essential sectors.
To date, more than 78 per cent of ECEC Job Ready program participants are women, 43 per cent are aged under 25, and 40 per cent are Aboriginal people.
These programs are complemented by a new policy arrangement that enables the averaging of part time hours for apprenticeships and traineeships, broadening opportunities for workers to access employment-based training and providing flexibility for those who may not be able to work full time, such as people with caring responsibilities or parents returning to the workforce.
Information on the ECEC Job Ready program is available here, or by contacting the Jobs and Skills Centre on 13 64 64.
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