Home' Scoop : Scoop 52 Winter 2010 Contents for several years and the GFC had a big impact on trainee
numbers, estimated to have dropped by about 10 percent
over the past year.
The Master Builders Association is looking at ways to
get -- and keep -- more apprentices and trainees, including
more flexiblity at work and more training in institutions
rather than exclusively "on the job".
State Training and Workforce Minister Peter Collier has
established the WA Workforce Development Plan and was recently
made chair of a National Workforce Development Committee. The
CME advocates a "holistic" approach to training that specifically targets
school-leavers, the unemployed, women and Aboriginal people, especially
those in communities near where mining occurs.
But Professor Kenyon says it s not just about meeting the short-term
needs of industry. He says in the longer term, the government should ensure
training and education at world-class universities is in place to provide
expertise for the mining industry right across the globe, in the same way that
Houston is a centre of excellence for the world s oil and gas industry, despite
Texas no longer producing significant amounts of oil.
"We should develop expertise in the high-end aspects of the minerals
industry, not just digging it and discovering it -- but the high-end aspects
that go with it," he says. That way we would not be so vulnerable to
commodity price fluctuations. "We d have high-end human capital. That s a
long-term vision... and we have to build up the infrastructure in schooling and
health to make us an attractive regional and global hub for everyone in the iron
ore, gold and gas industry."
"It s about not being complacent," he says, "the thing is to now make
the place into something."
Where does a boom leave people who don t work in mining or who provide
essential -- but not well-paid -- services such as police, nurses and teachers? At
this stage the State Government is not exactly flush with funds to ramp up
wages to convince them to keep working for us.
What we can expect is a lot more public discussion about "rewarding
careers" and "increasing respect" for nurses and teachers. We will also see a
lot more industrial action as, stung by a higher cost of living, public servants
demand higher wages and better working conditions.
Meanwhile the government is trying to bring in more flexibility -- for
example, it recently relaxed the criteria for trainees in the aged care, disability
and community care sectors.
The boom will present particularly big challenges for those working in the
hospitality industry. Restaurants and cafes have responded by trying to offer
staff better hours, higher pay and more prestige.
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Phone 9383 7777
For a free online appraisal visit:
Selling actively in the
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