More than $1.2 million in State Government funding will be invested into a program to create leadership and early career development opportunities for young people in country local governments.
Local Government Minister Tony Simpson launched the Country Local Government Fund Youth Development Program last week.
Member for Wagin Terry Waldron MLA is supportive of the program.
“It’s not always an easy task to attract and retain quality staff in the regions and there is an ongoing need to do so, to ensure regional Western Australia continues to grow and develop,” Mr Waldron said.
“I understand that regional local governments have expressed their concerns to the Minister about the impact that an ageing workforce and high staff turnover has on their ability to deliver and maintain local services.
“This is not a new issue but one that needs to be addressed. Providing young people with local career options will encourage them to stay in their community of choice, and reduce the requirement to replace good, young staff who leave to pursue city-based opportunities.”
Mr Waldron said local governments were significant employers in many regions making them well placed to develop the talent of young people in their local communities.
Regional Development Minister Terry Redman said the capacity-building program was a significant step forward for social and economic development in regional areas.
“This program will support improvements in the capacity of country local governments to identify opportunities for developments and initiatives, particularly within the community and not-for-profit sector,” Mr Redman said.
“I am pleased to see Royalties for Regions contributing to building and maintaining a positive lifestyle for our regional communities.”
Under the program, more than 40 scholarships with a total value of $400,000 will be available for local government employees aged up to 30 years for leadership development and training.
The State Government is also seeking to partner with country local governments to provide support for the creation of entry-level employment for young people between the ages of 17 and 24. The two-year traineeships will cover a range of employment areas in the sector.
The program is funded through Royalties for Regions’ Country Local Government Fund.
An expression of interest process for local governments interested in partnering in the traineeship program will be advertised shortly.