Resources Minister visits Karratha to hear region’s issues and solutions for jobs and skill shortages

Alexander ScottPilbara News
Federal Resources Minister Madeleine King.
Camera IconFederal Resources Minister Madeleine King. Credit: Alexander Scott/Pilbara News

A roundtable meeting between government, peak body representatives, community members and industry was held in Karratha recently to brainstorm ways of tackling issues relating to jobs and skills in Karratha.

Resources Minister and Northern Australia Minister Madeleine King met with industry, community members and First Nations groups for a roundtable on jobs and skills in Karratha on August 17.

The meeting explored issues such as talent retention and the education and research capabilities critical to Northern Australia’s economic and social development.

The discussion brought together representatives from all three levels of government and included First Nations groups such as the Murujuga Aboriginal, Ngarluma Aboriginal and Robe River Kuruma Aboriginal corporations as well as peak body organisations.

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Ms King said the discussions would influence the Federal Government’s Jobs and Skills Summit, to be held at Parliament House in Canberra on September 1-2.

She said some of the key issues raised by participants of the roundtable included the attraction and retention of skilled workers based, high cost of living as well as housing and rental costs.

“Understanding the challenges they face will be pivotal to driving positive change in our jobs and skills landscape, as well as how best to increase workforce participation for women across the north,” she said.

“This is also an opportunity to explore how seasonal workforces can meet post-pandemic needs, and how training and employment can improve First Nations outcomes.”

Ms King said the meeting saw locals raise possible solutions to issues including housing prices and skilled worker shortages.

“A few examples, like models the (Pilbara) University Centre put forward . . . around nursing training and having a dedicated commitment in the local area to making sure training can happen here,” she said.

Ms King said this solution meant you have more training nurses in the system right here in Karratha.

So that’s that’s a solution that has developed out of a great need and urgency right here. Also a model that can be used in other towns and other cities around the country. So I’m going to take those ideas and flesh them out a bit more.

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