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Managing Western Australia's economic expansion: the need for people and skills

  • Year: 2009
  • Author: Western Australian Technology and Industry Advisory Council
  • Publisher: Western Australian Technology and Industry Advisory Council
  • Published Location: East Pert, WA
  • Country: Australia
  • State/Region: Western Australia

This report is concerned with analysing and understanding the fundamental trends driving labour market outcomes in Western Australia. The motivation for this report is borne out of the difficulties expressed by many employers over the past several years in securing skilled labour and the threat it poses to sustainable economic growth. Western Australias trading relationship with Asia is strong and is likely to strengthen. Western Australia will need to grow to meet this growing demand. Analysis suggests that by 2016 Western Australia will have 224,000 more jobs than it did in 2006. In terms of numbers, the only alternate source of labour is through interstate and overseas migration. One seemingly untapped source is the pool of overseas students entering Western Australia to gain access to our university system. Excessive restrictions on immigration for low and unskilled workers contribute to employers bidding up wages for these less attractive jobs. The recent mining boom has seen wages for low-skilled workers reach levels once only the domain of experienced highly skilled professional workers. In turn, this increases the incentive for young Western Australians to abandon further education and training, risking their place on the track towards high-skill, high-income jobs. There is also a detailed analysis of regional development issues, training, and community services.

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