Geoff Gallop

Geoff Gallop

Former Premier; Minister for Public Sector Management; Water Resources; Federal Affairs

    Exceptional opportunities for young people as V8 economy powers on

    13/01/2005 1:15 PM

    Western Australia’s booming economy and job creation is offering the State’s young people the best opportunities in generations, according to Premier Geoff Gallop.

    Visiting an industrial fabrications factory in Kwinana to meet young apprentices who have benefited from WA’s growing demand for skilled tradespeople, Dr Gallop urged more young people to consider apprenticeships as a passport to a well-paid future.

    “Some welders in the State are earning about $150,000 a year and tradespeople in the oil and gas industry can make up to $100,000 a year,” the Premier said.

    “There is also demand for many other trades, which offer great opportunities - especially when you consider the Howard Government has put a university degree out of reach for many young people.”

    Dr Gallop said the youth unemployment rate for WA had been more than halved since Labor was elected in February, 2001.

    “This Government has not only helped turn the economy around from bust under the Liberals to the best economic growth in Australia - we have the lowest unemployment rate of all the States and we have delivered the highest productivity,” he added.

    “Today’s monthly data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows WA’s unemployment rate has been in the unprecedented four per cent range for five months now, so our work to create an economic climate that encourages growth is paying off for businesses and the people they employ.

    “In recent months we have helped deliver the lowest unemployment since the monthly Labour Force Surveys began in 1978, and we now have more than one million people in jobs in WA.”

    The Premier said that since the Gallop Government came to power, about 80,000 jobs had been created and there were more on the way.

    “I notice this week’s forecast in Drake Employment’s quarterly report is for more than 18,000 new jobs in this State over the next three months, which would make WA the nation’s top jobs creator,” he said.

    “WA is also bucking the downward national trend, by recording an increase in job advertisements last month.

    “My Government has invested in infrastructure around the State to support and encourage investments in major projects like Burrup Fertilisers, Kwinana HIsmelt, the Ravensthorpe nickel development and we have won the record $25billion LNG export deal, plus several record iron ore export deals with China.

    “It was also announced this week that Woodside is planning a $2billion expansion of its operations in the Pilbara and it is this confidence in our State that we have fostered that is delivering on new jobs now and into the future.”

    Dr Gallop said steps were also being taken to address the skills shortage and there had been a 40 per cent increase in the number of apprentices and trainees in the past four years.

    “There was zero growth in the number of apprentices and trainees during the last three years of the former Liberal Government, when the economy had stalled and shifted into decline,” he said.

    “The Liberals’ inaction sowed the seeds for today’s skills shortage.

    “Five Budget deficits in eight years under the Liberals had taken its toll on WA and unemployment was at 6.5 per cent when they were voted out.

    “Since then, Labor’s good management has delivered four balanced Budgets, created a climate for investment and jobs creation, led the nation in economic growth and productivity, delivered record low unemployment and cut the youth jobless rate from almost 30 per cent to less than 14 per cent.”

    Premier's office: 9222 9475