Girl doing homework or online education.

CSWA Newsletter – January 2024

On behalf of the CSWA Team, Happy New Year to all our stakeholders. We look forward to working with you all in 2024 connecting dots and building capacity across the Community Services, Health and Education workforces.

One thing we are committed to doing in 2024 is sharing more of the good news stories that we are fortunate enough to uncover when we engage with stakeholders across the State that showcase innovation and positive impact


Chairperson’s Report for the 2023 Annual General Meeting

Chairperson’s Report for the 2023 Annual General Meeting of the Community Services, Health, & Education Industry Training Council operating as Community Skills WA (CSWA)

The Chairman’s report is provided in accordance with the requirements of the Community Services, Health, & Education Industry Training Council constitution (operating as Community Skills WA (CSWA)) and its Service Agreement with the Department of Training and Workforce Development (DTWD). The report provides an outline of CSWA’s strategic progress, issues, and activities during 2022/2023.

Community Skills WA represents the Community Services, Health and Education sectors across Western Australia and engages with stakeholders to ensure industry and learner needs are identified and considered. CSWA has continued its advocacy work over the last 12 months to ensure strategies and training products are best positioned to develop the current and future workforce at a local level and support learner success.

In 2022-2023, the Community Services, Health and Education sectors continued to experience growth, with employment in the Health Care and Social Assistance sectors alone increasing to 203,900 in April 2023. This represents 13.9% of the WA workforce, which when combined with Education and Training increases to over 21%. Furthermore, the recently released Commonwealth White Paper identified that “the ageing population and demand for care services are two of five major forces that will shape the Australian economy of the coming decades.”

Compounded by an increasingly tight labour market, housing shortages and cost of living pressures, attracting and retaining a workforce across all these sectors has become increasingly challenging. This has however created opportunities to focus on place-based solutions which are increasingly reliant on VET pathways and create valuable employment opportunities within communities. Following the development of these pathways and connecting of dots by the CSWA teams, examples of the development of a local sustainable workforce are starting to emerge. The opportunity to continue and expand this work will come via support for the Community Care Development Model, with these recent examples providing evidence of the potential gains for both the sectors and community.

In addition to regional engagement, CSWA has continued to advocate at both State and Commonwealth levels, to ensure training products align with industry requirements and system capacity issues are identified and delivery and implementation challenges addressed to improve accessibility. The recent establishment of HumanAbility is hoped to provide an opportunity to ensure that future training products accommodate the often-unique needs of the WA sector workforce and student demographics.

While the year has presented challenges, including the update of a large number of training products, VET capacity issues limiting access to training and significant changes across the VET system, there are also considerable examples of success. These examples have further enabled CSWA to build its reputation as a valued source of advice and support around training and workforce development across all the sectors it represents.

While CSWA concluded work on the Regional Early Childhood report for the State Training Board in 2021. the release of the McGowan Government’s Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) Regional Workforce Action Plan in May 2023 once again highlighted the value of the advice provided by CSWA. On the back of this report the successful facilitation of the recent Early Childhood Roundtable demonstrated CSWA’s ability to engage with all key stakeholders and provide the opportunity for a collaborative approach to identifying opportunities for change.

The significant expansion of the Certificate II Community Health and Wellbeing pre-traineeship across the state has continued to create opportunities for school students to explore career opportunities equitably and in a way that supports success. The qualification also continues to gain recognition as a pathway and mechanism to build the future workforce across the social assistance and allied health sectors.

The Integrating Mental Health Practice skill set established in early 2022 also continues to increase sector capacity and most recently the Community Support skill set has proved its value in not only underpinning the Ageing and Disability Job Ready program, but also providing a critical entry pathway in regional and remote communities.

During the year, CSWA worked closely with Shelter WA, North Metro TAFE, Community Housing Providers, and the Department of Communities to present an application to the State Training Board supporting the establishment of the Cert IV in Housing qualification as a

traineeship. This was achieved in September and importantly as a result of significant advocacy by CSWA the qualification delivery commenced, which will build the capacity of the community housing sector workforce.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the CSWA Board who continue to promote and support the work of the Training Council, as well as provide expert advice and advocacy when required.

I offer this report for the Council’s acceptance.

Neil Guard
November 2023


CSWA Newsletter – November/December 2023

As the CSWA team will be taking a break over the Christmas period this will be the last newsletter for the year and as such presents a time for reflection on the year that has nearly passed.

As always, we are aware of the ongoing challenges faced by the community services, health and education sectors due to funding uncertainty, costs of living pressures, housing access and the impacts of a highly competitive labour market to name just a few.

CSWA Newsletter – November/December 2023 (


CSWA Newsletter – October 2023

The recently announced five-year National Skills Agreement (NSA) represents a substantial investment in the vocational education and training sector in WA. Successful advocacy by the Cook Government has resulted in an agreement, which CSWA envisages will provide significant opportunities for WA to access training and workforce initiatives.

Young woman with prosthetic arm typing on laptop while sitting at office desk

CSWA Newsletter – May 2023

The recent release of the McGowan Government’s Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) Regional Workforce Action Plan presents an opportunity to further highlight the challenges currently facing the sector and more importantly explore potential solutions. This includes the expansion of the ECEC Job Ready program and providing some clarity around migration pathways. 

CSWA Newsletter – May 2023 (


CSWA Newsletter – April 2023

When undertaking consultations with industry stakeholders, one of the most common comments we hear is how confusing it can be to navigate the training options available, including when looking to engage trainees. As part of our role in promoting vocational training to our sector, we aim to reduce this confusion and help connect the dots to make the process smoother.


CSWA Newsletter – March 2023

During the month of March, we celebrated International Women’s Day and as such I would like to take the opportunity to acknowledge the incredible work of our small team of women at CSWA. Not only are they highly competent and knowledgeable, but they are also incredibly passionate and what unites us is a commitment to making a difference.

Read our full newsletter below:


CSWA Newsletter – February 2023

The CSWA team are currently immersed in compiling WA Jobs, Education, and Training (WAJET) survey responses for submission to the Department of Training and Workforce Development and I want to thank those who took the time to complete the survey. We are acutely aware of how time-consuming surveys can be however once again this information is incredibly valuable in informing advocacy for training and workforce strategies on behalf of our sectors. Over the coming weeks, the team will continue to undertake qualitative research and I would encourage anyone who has information they seek to have included, to contact the CSWA team.

CSWA Newsletter – February 2023 (


WA Jobs, Education and Training survey 2023

On behalf of the Department of Training and Workforce Development (DTWD), Community Skills WA (CSWA) is undertaking the WA Jobs, Education and Training (WAJET) survey for 2023. The purpose of this survey is to understand the skill needs in Western Australia and the various pathways available to meet these skill needs. The WAJET survey will be used to inform the development of the State Priority Occupations List (SPOL), WA Skilled Migration List (WASMOL), Graduate Occupation List (GOL), Priority Industry Qualifications List (PIQL) and other training priorities for the State.

To identify the skill needs of industry, the WAJET Survey 2023 has been developed to seek your input on the following:

  • – Industry opportunities and challenges from a workforce development perspective
  • – Regional skills and workforce development needs
  • – Education and training needs and experiences for your industry sectors
  • – Occupation advice in relation to migration
  • – Occupation advice in relation to emerging issues
  • – Occupation advice in relation to labour supply and demand
  • – Occupation advice from an education and training perspective

Please help us continue to advocate for and develop strategies to support workforce development across the Community Services, Health and Education sectors in WA, by completing the relevant survey below.

Surveys close on 21 February 2023 at 5pm.

Note: For your convenience, please complete the survey on a desktop computer rather than a smartphone device.


Aboriginal Health

Aged Care

Allied Health

Community Services



Early Childhood Education and Care 


Financial Counselling


Intensive Care Ambulance Paramedics

Massage Therapist

Medical Technicians

Mental Health and Alcohol & Other Drugs


Training and Education


CSWA Newsletter – November 2022

The recent announcement of 18,800 free training places represents a significant opportunity for our sectors to engage with Vocational Education and Training (VET), especially given the allocation of 8500 places for the care sector. While many of the qualifications and skill sets were already on the Lower fees, local skills list, the signing of the new 12-month skills agreement with the Commonwealth will ensure funding is maintained and access to free training is expanded throughout the community.


CSWA Newsletter – October 2022

According to the most recent available data, 774,000 children aged 0-14 years lived in poverty in 2017-18, accounting for 1 in 6 Australian children. Poverty has an impact on young people’s dreams and aspirations, and these statistics are confronting and unacceptable.

Reducing child poverty requires advocacy to ensure the development of a range of strategies and policy changes, especially in light of rising living costs. While CSWA can continue to support the advocacy and effect change through training strategies that create pathways and build capacity, the symposium highlighted the impact of one of our current projects.