895. Hon CHARLES SMITH to the Leader of the House
representing the Premier:
I refer to this week's
Australian Bureau of Statistics labour force release for July, which revealed a
deteriorating Australian youth labour market—that is, for those aged 15
to 24 years—with both full-time and total jobs growth falling, and
unemployment and underemployment rising, with the trend headline unemployment
rate rising to 12 per cent.
(1) Does the
government concede that the youth labour market is weakening?
(2) If so, why is it importing foreign workers and
tens of thousands of international students with working rights?
Hon SUE ELLERY replied:
I thank the honourable member for
some notice of the question.
(1) The state
government is creating job opportunities for young people in Western Australia.
Initiatives for youth training and employment include the jobs and skills
employer incentive; jobs and skills centres; the priority start program;
freezing TAFE fees and introducing ''Future jobs, future skills—Driving
STEM skills in Western Australia''; and investing in job creating
infrastructure. It should also be noted that statistics from the Australian
Bureau of Statistics are based on a small sample, are an estimate, and are
therefore volatile, even more so when looking at smaller sections of the
population. I refer the member to Treasury's report from May 2019
entitled ''Volatility in Monthly Labour Force Data''.
(2) The McGowan
government's priority has been to maximise opportunities for Western Australian
jobs. This is evident through a number of policies this government has
implemented, such as replacing the WA skilled migration occupation list,
enacting the Western Australian Jobs Act 2017 and commencing work on a local jobs bill. The government is also
pursuing a number of policies to grow and diversify the state's economy
and has recently released ''Diversify WA'', which identifies
priority sectors to enable diversification and grow the economy, one of
which is international education. Increasing our international student market
will benefit the Western Australian economy and local jobs, with one job
created for every three international students in WA's education