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WA's record for job seeker training is 'appalling': unions
12/06/2012 - Western Australia is not doing enough to train job seekers, the state's unions say, as the government prepares to lead a delegation east to attract up to 76,000 skilled workers.
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Responding to reports on Sunday the WA government would lead 25 high-powered business leaders - including mining magnate Andrew Forrest - to Sydney, Melbourne and regional towns in October, UnionsWA described the recruitment drive as "an expensive stunt".
"Our training record in WA is appalling," said UnionsWA president Meredith Hammat, whose organisation represents more than 40 WA unions.
"With all the construction work as well as the machinery and vehicles that need to be maintained, you'd expect more training in those critical areas.
"In fact, we are going backwards.
"What is needed is a commitment to training."
Hammat said that according to recent data from the National Centre for Vocational Education and Research, there were 1100 fewer people in training for automotive, engineering and construction jobs in WA since the Liberal-National government came to power in 2008.
She said the WA government and resource companies needed to do more to train skilled workers, as well as allow Australian manufacturers to "compete fairly" for contracts.
"Parts of the manufacturing sector in WA and over east are doing it hard," Hammat said.
"Resource companies could purchase more local manufactured products.
"If the (Colin) Barnett government spent less time on stunts, and more time planning and taking action on training and in response to the boom, then we could have jobs that last and a reasonable cost of living."
WA Training and Workforce Development Minister Peter Collier told news outlets on Sunday the state was facing a shortfall of about 76,000 skilled workers by 2015.
He said the state would have to look to the eastern states and overseas to meet demand, not just in the resources sector, but across the economy.
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Pat | 12/06/2012 09:54 1
Sheesh, that's the pot calling the kettle black (and strangley cynical only being levelled at a liberal government). Before ya start casting aspersions on anyone else, Unions should look at their lack of streamlining apprenticeships in recognition of the changing times. And I dont see them campaigning for competetive 1st and 2nd year wages for apprentices either. STOP the argy bargy and point scoring and GET ON WITH IT.
Colin Spencer | 12/06/2012 11:33 2
If the unions were not stuck in their old adversarial culture, they would have realised a huge potential as the country's most effective and certainly the biggest employment and placement agency ever. They have so much unrealised potential.
dave d | 12/06/2012 12:57 3
Pat, you beat me to it - just wonder what version we would have heard with a Labor Government - considering they were in power in WA for a long time and had the opportunity to build a good skills training regime - they don't really have a right to point the finger at anybody -but hey the unionists will conveniently overlook that fact and still direct their members to blindly vote for Labor again at the next election - talk about blind !!
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