Director general’s contribution recognised ahead of retirement

  • WA Training and Workforce Development director general announces retirement
  • Karen Ho acknowledged for contribution after 35 years of public service

Director general Karen Ho’s success leading Western Australia’s participation in vocational education and training to record highs – supporting the State’s post-pandemic workforce – has been acknowledged with her announcing her intention to retire by the end of this year.

Embarking on a well-earned retirement, Ms Ho will leave the Department of Training and Workforce Development after more than three years as director general, 14 years with the agency, and 35 years in the Western Australian public service.

A highly respected and experienced public servant, Ms Ho led the Department through workforce and skills challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic and oversaw the biggest investment in TAFE training and infrastructure by a State Government in WA’s history.

Through Ms Ho’s leadership of State Government initiatives, including free and low fee TAFE places, thousands of Western Australians have taken up the opportunity to transform their lives and careers by enrolling in free and low fee courses.

Ms Ho has built a strong collaborative relationship between industry and the State’s five TAFE colleges, with a vision to create a more adaptive, accessible and technology-enabled vocational education and training sector.

Her strong people focus shone brightly through her commitment to increase opportunities for people from groups underrepresented in the Western Australian workforce.

A recruitment process will soon commence to enable the appointment of a new director general close to the time Ms Ho leaves the Department later in the year.

As stated by Training and Workforce Development Minister Simone McGurk:

“While I will certainly miss Karen Ho and her contribution to Western Australia’s public sector, thanks and congratulations are in order as she enters her well-deserved retirement.

“Karen has demonstrated excellent leadership and management skills and with the State Government’s continuing strong investment in training she has worked tirelessly to ensure the Department of Training and Workforce Development is an outstanding example of public sector excellence.

“On behalf of the State Government, I thank her for her outstanding work over the past 35 years.”

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