The Department of Training and Workforce Development in WA recently announced that it would be implementing a new Government Building Training Policy (GBT Policy) to replace the previous Priority Start – Building Policy from 1 October 2015.

The GBT Policy will require contractors working on State Government building projects (and their subcontractors) to meet or exceed a target training rate through employment of construction apprentices and trainees. The target training rate is reviewed annually and is 11.5% for the 2015-16 financial year.

The policy applies to State Government building and construction contracts as well as maintenance contracts, including civil and engineering contracts, with an estimated labour component of $2 million and over. However, this policy does not apply to contracts with a duration of 3 months or less. Company under the existing Priority Start – Building Policy have the option of remaining on their existing policy or move to the GBT Policy.

Under the policy, head contractors will be required to have the target number of apprentices and trainees in their employ, however the apprentices and trainees do not have to be working on the contract site or work under the contract. Head contractors will be required to submit a Total Training Rate Report for each quarter to report their progress towards achieving the target training rate for each financial year.

Government contracting agencies are responsible for including an appropriate clause in their contracts and tenders to ensure compliance with this policy, as such any breach of the policy will be treated as a breach of contract.

A copy of the policy can be found athttp://www.dtwd.wa.gov.au/dtwcorporateinfo/policiesandguidelines/gov-bldg-training-policy/Documents/Government%20Building%20Training%20Policy%20Version%201%201.pdf

Certain other states have similar policies (for example in SA – Workforce Participation in Government Construction Procurement policy, and QLD – Queensland Government Building and Construction Training Policy), contractors should be aware of minimum training requirements when tendering for government contracts.