Clive Brown

Clive Brown

Former Minister for State Development

    Skills Advisory Board to tackle skills shortages

    20/01/2005 10:13 AM

    A strong team of industry, regional and union representatives will serve on the Western Australian Skills Advisory Board (WASAB), which is charged with tackling skills shortages in the WA economy.

    The composition of WASAB was announced today by State Development Minister Clive Brown and consisted of:
    • Claire Thomas (executive officer, Minerals Institute)
    • Don Sanders (director, WA &NT, APPEA)
    • Gary Collins (executive director, Business Services Division, (CCIWA)
    • Christine Knight (State president, Migration Institute of Australia)
    • Stuart McLean (president, WA Region Recruitment and Consulting Services Association Ltd)
    • Dave Robinson (assistant secretary, Unions WA)
    • Theresa Howe (WA State secretary, Independent Schools Salaried Officers Association)
    • Jock Ferguson (WA State secretary, Australian Manufacturing Workers Union)
    • Bill McKenzie (chair, Goldfields Esperance Development Commission).
    WA’s shortage in skilled workers has developed due to record levels of business investment and economic growth under the Gallop Government. Since 2001, more than 80,000 jobs have been created and the unemployment rate has fallen to a record low 4.3 per cent.

    Mr Brown announced WASAB in December as a part of the Government’s $62million Plan4Jobs Package to keep unemployment low.

    The Minister said the Gallop Government had a plan that was working to grow the economy and was working hard to ensure the State had the skilled people it needed to maintain WA’s impressive economic performance.

    “During eight years in Government, Colin Barnett and the Liberals were so used to presiding over slow economic and employment growth, they did nothing to increase the skills base within WA so that industry had the workers it needed during periods of strong growth,” he said.

    “Since coming to office, the Gallop Government has increased the number of apprentices by 40 per cent and our new apprentices will make a great contribution over time. However, industry needs more skilled workers now, which is why we have established the Skills Advisory Board.”

    Mr Brown said the first meeting of WASAB would be held this month to consider a range of initiatives to tackle skills shortages, including:
    • priorities for the Gallop Government’s $1.6million Skilled Migration initiative;
    • the development of the WA Skills in Demand List;
    • participation in the State / Territory Independent Scheme (STNI) visa; and
    • early promotional activity to attract skilled workers to the State.
    The Minister said the Skills Migration Unit was now able to process the new Skilled Independent Regional (SIR) visa.

    The Skills Migration Unit had already responded to many inquiries about accessing the SIR visa in WA.

    Further information is available from under ‘Business and Industry’.

    Minister's office: 9222 9699