Minister calls on institute to look local
■ 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.
Terry Redman, Marlene Boundy, Jaiden Hayes, Derek Ball and Derek Macale.