Min­is­ter calls on in­sti­tute to look lo­cal

Pilbara News - - Education - Pe­ter de Krui­jff

■ The Pil­bara In­sti­tute should stick to the fun­da­men­tals of the re­gion’s econ­omy ac­cord­ing to WA’s Re­gional De­vel­op­ment Min­is­ter Terry Red­man.

Mr Red­man was in Kar­ratha to of­fi­cially open the In­dus­trial Skills Cen­tre, funded by $15.5 mil­lion for projects across mul­ti­ple cam­puses, com­pleted ear­lier this year.

When he was the min­is­ter of train­ing and work­force de­vel­op­ment two years ago, Mr Red­man launched the Pil­bara Work­force De­vel­op­ment Plan 2013-2016 which was a strat­egy to ad­dress a pre­dicted skill short­age. He said to­day there was no doubt the econ­omy had changed and had im­pacted on the de­mand for skills in the re­gion.

“The fun­da­men­tals of the econ­omy in the Pil­bara aren’t go­ing away … the resources industry is a big em­ployer,” he said.

“It’s im­por­tant we have the strat­egy and path­way for peo­ple to pick up the train­ing to get the skills they need to en­gage in the work­force up here.

“It’s much bet­ter than either fly­ing peo­ple from out­side or get­ting peo­ple to have to go to Perth to get train­ing.”

Mr Red­man said agri­cul­ture, tourism and en­ergy pro­duc­tion, were sec­tors of in­ter­est for the Pil­bara.

The im­me­di­ate fu­ture of the in­sti­tute is tied to more new in­fras­truc­ture with an Elec­tri­cal/In­stru­men­ta­tion Cen­tre of Spe­cial­i­sa­tion, val­ued at $9.5 mil­lion, which will be joint-funded by the State through the Roy­al­ties for Re­gions pro­gram and resources com­pany Wood­side.

Pil­bara In­sti­tute man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Mar­lene Boundy said the new cen­tre had been in the plan­ning stages for sev­eral years and would be built on the site of the de­mol­ished Walk­ing­ton Theatre.

She said she didn’t ex­pect con­struc­tion to be­gin un­til af­ter the cy­clone sea­son. Ms Boundy said train­ing in the Pil­bara had changed but they would con­tinue to work on their partnerships with ma­jor re­source com­pa­nies to pro­vide op­por­tu­ni­ties.

Pic­ture: Pe­ter de Krui­jff

Terry Red­man, Mar­lene Boundy, Jaiden Hayes, Derek Ball and Derek Ma­cale.

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