Funding share for centres

Jacinta CantatoreHarvey-Waroona Reporter

Community Resources Centres have welcomed the State Government’s $2 million Regional Traineeship Program.

On Wednesday, Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan announced funding of up to $30,000 for centres and local government authorities.

The funding is aimed at boosting skills development across regional WA by providing training and employment opportunities.

Yarloop Community Resource Centre manager Julie-Ann McMiles welcomed the announcement as a win for both trainees and the centres.

“As we have CRCs within our local government boundaries, the grant money will go to the CRCs,” Mrs McMiles said.

“This is great for small communities like ours that don’t have access to training facilities.”

Brunswick CRC manager Jo Dalton also welcomed the funding as a way of providing trainees with workplaces that engaged them, and helped people get hands-on experience to gain employment.

“We need to be able to provide trainees with workplaces that interest them,” she said.

“Local governments have a broader range of possible traineeships such as in parks as a ranger.”

But Nationals WA leader Mia Davies has warned half of all applications by CRCs were at risk of being rejected through the competitive application process.

“This ill-thought out proposal by the McGowan Government will create two tiers of CRCs – the haves and the have-nots,” Ms Davies said.

“CRCs will be forced to scrap and out-compete one another against local governments to secure trainee funds, which has never been the case up until now.

“Many CRCs will simply miss out on much-needed funding as up to 22 local governments could be given approved funds ahead of the centres.”

But Ms MacTiernan said the CRCs would never be in direct competition with local government for the funding.

“We have strengthened the traineeships available through the CRC program to make trainees available to regional local government authorities that do not have a CRC in their area,” she said.

“We want to see CRCs and local governments work with local businesses to get the best outcomes for their trainees, and to ensure traineeships are available more broadly across regional Western Australia.

Ms MacTiernan said training and employment opportunities encouraged people to stay and work in their local regional community.

“This program will support those in the workforce to increase their skills and employability, and provide training opportunities for regional people looking to enter the workforce,” she said.

Grant applications for the funding close on February 25.

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