Earlier this month the Exmouth Chamber of Commerce hosted the Exmouth Regional Business Engagement Forum, arranged by the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation.

First, we heard from Andrew Griggs the Director, of Industry Development from the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation who spoke about a number of the Western Australian Government’s initiatives and policies that support local businesses in the Gascoyne region. Andrew touched on the impact of initiatives such as 2020 Western Australian Industry Participation Strategy, which focuses on key areas such as Agency Panel Contracts and Common Use Arrangements, Early tender advice and Agency Look Ahead Lists, Training for Regional SMEs, Grants and Regional Strategic Projects and the WA Buy Local Policy.

The WA Buy local Policy (BLP) will ensure that approximately $30billion is spent on state government contracts and will create more work for regional WA businesses. The WA BLP Implementation Agreement improvements have been realised through plans such as regional and aboriginal engagement strategies, post-tender feedback and briefings to unsuccessful bidders. Also included is an increase in the maximum value of claimable Regional Price Preference to $750,000 and a commitment to agency reporting and procurement outcomes.

We also heard about potential funding opportunities through the Local capability fund. The purpose of the Local Capability Fund (LCF) is to assist small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Western Australia to increase their capability and competitiveness as suppliers of products, services and works to the Western Australian State Government, major projects and other important markets.

Visit WA industry Link for more information or to apply for the 2022 / 2023 Local Capability Fund.

Interested in how you can win government contracts and what tenders are coming up? Graeme McLean the Director Practice, Regional Operations from the Department of Finance discussed important topics like the Procurement Act, Western Australian Social Procurement Framework and upcoming contract opportunities as part of the pipeline of work.

Graeme explained the importance of the WA Procurement rules that came into effect as of 1 June 2021 and how they focus on sustainable economic, social and environmental benefits, reduce barriers for small to medium businesses and promote ethical and accountable practices. It was also really interesting to understand how the ‘Value for Money’ calculation works and that it is a 3 pronged approach made up of cost, non-cost factors and government economic, social and environmental priorities. For more information on how the revised value for money rule applies to tendering and awarding contracts, you can read the WA Social Procurement Framework document here.

Would you like to know more about upcoming opportunities to work with the government? Click Here to see a copy of the presentation slides including a list of potential upcoming works, you can also visit the WA Industry Link website here to find more opportunities.

Lastly, we heard from Philip Wyles who is the Director of Service Delivery Strategy at the Department of Training and Workplace Development. Philip informed us of all the different government workforce, traineeship and apprenticeship policies. Including the Job Ready program that connects job seekers with employers and is tailored to fast track training to get people in critical workforces as soon as possible. Currently, the program is targeting Ageing and Disability Care, Bricklaying, Infrastructure (Civil construction), Heavy vehicle driving operations, Skills Recognition Apprenticeship Program, Future Chef; Driller’s Offsider, and Early Childhood Educators and will look to expand into other areas moving forward.

We also heard about different government incentives such as training fee reductions, an increase in employee incentives, construction training fund, payroll tax exemptions, apprentice and trainee re-engagement incentive, travel and accommodation allowance, 50% of apprentice or trainee’s gross wage subsidised and the completing Apprenticeship Commencements (CAC), which is 10% wage subsidy for 2nd-year apprentice – $1,500/quarter max
and 5% wage subsidy for 3rd-year apprentice – $750/quarter max.

To view the evening’s presentation, please click here.

To view upcoming tenders and opportunities to supply government, please click here.

For more information on Local Capability Fund Grants, please click here.