The State priority occupation list is known as the SPOL. It is an annually produced list of jobs that are in high demand or considered industry-critical in Western Australia. The SPOL informs Western Australian workforce development planning, and the development of the State Training Plan, which guides the funding of training programs.
Further information about the SPOL can be viewed here.
The list is produced by the Department of Training and Workforce Development who conduct extensive economic and labour market research and analysis at an industry and occupational level to determine the State's priority occupations. This work is supplemented by intelligence provided by industry, facilitated through the State Training Board's Training Council network.
Training Councils provide strategic advice on occupations considered to be experiencing skill shortages or are critical to their industry, based on research and consultation with industry.
The Department also undertakes an analysis of professional occupations, requiring higher education qualifications, to determine the high demand occupations.
The occupations are compiled into a list, which is cross-referenced against a number of skill shortages and migration-related lists, including the:
Western Australian occupations in demand list;
Australian Government skilled occupation list;
Australian Government State and Territory skilled occupation list; and
Commonwealth Department of Education, Employment and Workforce Relations (DEEWR) skill shortages list.
The complete list is then validated and assessed by the Department, in consultation with each Training Council, against a series of indicators. These indicators include:
current and forecast levels of employment growth within the specified occupations;
average weekly earnings and wages growth;
average age of existing employees across the occupation in Western Australia;
the level of turnover of staff within the occupation; and
current levels of training supply.
Occupations with both vocational and higher education qualifications are categorised by the Department and Training Councils on a consensus basis as a Top Priority, High Priority or Priority occupation.
The list is presented with the official occupation title in the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations code used by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
Top Priority occupations are characterised by a combination of one or more of the following factors:
very large levels of employment;
high forecast growth and evident wage pressures;
high levels of skill;
longer education or training lead times;
clear education and training pathways; and/or
a clear and evident skills shortage.
High Priority occupations are characterised by:
notable levels of employment;
medium levels of skill;
average training lead times;
clear training pathways; and/or
emerging evident skills or labour shortages or industry-related issues related to workforce development.
Priority occupations are characterised by:
generally smaller employment sizes;
low or negative employment growth;
lower required levels of skill and training requirements; and/or
evident non-training related industry issues which are contributing to labour shortages.