Janine Freeman MLALabor Member for Mirrabooka

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Mirrabooka MLA welcomes WA Labor’s Priority Start policy reform

Tuesday 07 Jul 2015 Member for Mirrabooka Janine Freeman MLA welcomes the announcement by WA Labor Leader Mark McGowan to reform the Priority Start policy.

Janine Freeman said she was pleased that if WA Labor gain government we would address the high rate of unemployment in suburbs such as Balga and Mirrabooka.

Unemployment in the Mirrabooka and Balga area stands at 18.5% compared to 5.1% state wide.

Janine said it was disappointing that despite calling for the Barnett Liberal Government to respond, they have cut apprenticeship courses at Balga Polytechnic and increased TAFE fees by up to 500%.

The Barnett Liberal Government has failed to share the benefits of the boom, and is standing back while unemployment and in particular, youth unemployment, continue to rise.

Young people in our neighbourhoods want good jobs for the future, and an expanded Priority Start policy ensures tax payer dollars result in skills development and local jobs.

Under the changes to the existing Priority Start policy, WA Labor will:
• Create jobs for apprentices and trainees on every major State Government funded construction project;
• Expand Priority Start to apply to all construction investment including big maintenance contracts and joint ventures or public private partnerships which involve a construction arrangement;
• Group contracts together to ensure contractors meet their obligations under Priority Start;
• Ensure regular enforcement and compliance checks to ensure jobs and training positions are actually being created;
• And, require all construction projects to outline how many jobs, including apprenticeships and traineeships, government construction investment will create.

Labor's Priority Start policy responds to the undue hardship of unemployment, delivering local jobs and commits to a minimum number of apprentices on all projects with a labour component of more than $300,000.