Week focuses on skilled labour

Week focuses on skilled labour

Federal Member for Burt Matt Keogh and City of Armadale Mayor Ruth Butterfield attended the opening for a new Industry Training Hub last month. Photograph – Richard Polden.


This week marks the annual Skills Week, which runs from August 23 to 29.

Skills Week serves as a reminder of the importance of skills and trades in Western Australia.

According to Shadow Minister for Defence Industry and Federal Member for Burt Matt Keogh, one in four Australian businesses are currently experiencing skills shortages, most commonly tradies and technicians.

“Disappointingly, we’ve lost more than 115,000 apprenticeship opportunities since the Federal Liberal Government came to power in 2013 across the country – that’s 10,000 less in Western Australia and 626 apprenticeships in our Burt community alone,” he said.

“Ultimately, the loss of these apprentice positions and opportunities means we don’t have the pipeline of skilled workers we need or the good jobs that people would like to have.”

“In my area of portfolio responsibility, I’m hearing time and time again that work on our ships, submarines and other major projects is being sent overseas because we don’t have adequate skills and capabilities here in Australia – I think that’s a national shame.

“These skills shortages are holding up economic progress across the country.”

According to Mr Keogh it is vital to encourage young people to look at skills training with an eye to working in the defence industry and resources sector.

“Both of these are industries where people can have well paid reliable jobs well into the future,” he said.

Last month Armadale‘s new training hub was opened to combat the current skills shortages and encourage youth to become equip with skills for the workforce.