The number of people employed in manufacturing in the suburbs around the Kwinana strip has fallen by more than 12 per cent over the last year, according to Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data released yesterday.
In November 2010, 16,700 people were recorded as working in manufacturing in the South West Metropolitan Region of Perth. By November 2011, this had shrunk to 14,600. In November 2008, 17,300 manufacturing workers were employed in this region.
This ongoing decline in the number of people working in manufacturing in and around Kwinana, has corresponded with an increase in youth unemployment in the area. Figures released by the ABS yesterday revealed more than 25 per cent of people aged between 15-19 in the South West Metropolitan Region were now without work.
This decline in Western Australia’s manufacturing sector should not be occurring, given the massive demand for fabricated steel from our major resources projects. Instead of allowing our big resources companies to send skilled work offshore, the State Government should be taking strong action to ensure work is delivered to local businesses.
The legacy from the current resources boom should be thriving engineering, design and steel fabrication sectors, and skilled workers who can drive economic development and job creation into the future. Without strong government action to stop the flight of skilled jobs and opportunities offshore, it is difficult to know what Western Australians will do for work, once the current resources construction boom is over.