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Parliamentary Questions

Question Without Notice No. 1023 asked in the Legislative Council on 18 September 2019 by Hon Charles Smith

Minister responding: Hon S.M. Ellery
Parliament: 40 Session: 1

Answered on

RESOURCES SECTOR — WORKFORCE

1023. Hon CHARLES SMITH to the Minister for Education and Training:

I refer to the recent article in The Australian Financial Review titled ''Mining employment returns to boom-time footing'', which states —

An imminent return to boom-time employment levels in the Australian mining sector is likely to accelerate labour cost inflation �

In the face of mining companies obviously calling for cheap labour, how will the government ensure that Western Australian locals are trained and employed ahead of multinational companies picking workers from a global pool of labour who are willing to work for less?

Hon ALANNA CLOHESY replied:

On behalf of the Minister for Education and Training, I thank the honourable member for some notice of the question.

The minister does not accept the premise that mining companies are calling for cheap labour. The state government has a strong focus on increasing employment and training opportunities for Western Australians and has implemented a range of initiatives to support this, including: reducing the cost burden for eligible employers taking on apprentices and trainees through the introduction of a new Jobs and Skills WA employer incentive scheme; ensuring the resources sector is contributing to the Building and Construction Industry Training Fund levy for engineering construction work so that all industries carrying out building and construction are contributing to the training of the state's construction workforce; introducing the Priority Start policy; rolling out TAFE Jobs and Skills Centres; freezing TAFE fees; signing the Pilbara Collaboration Charter between the state government and the resources industry to deliver social and economic benefits to the Pilbara region, including developing new pathways to jobs; and supporting new partnerships with industry, such as Australia's first automation qualifications developed through a collaboration between Rio Tinto and South Metropolitan TAFE.