The youth unemployment rate in and around Kwinana has continued its long term increase, as another local steel business has closed its doors.
According the ABS, the youth unemployment rate in the South West Metropolitan Region of WA rose from 20.3 per cent in April 2011 to 24.8 per cent in April 2012. In April 2009, the youth unemployment rate in the area was 16.9 per cent.
The data was releases last week and coincided with news that Bibra Lake steel manufacturer Steelwise Fabrications closed its doors, after 20 years of creating local jobs. Steelwise called on the State Government to stop work going overseas, saying it could no longer compete with fierce competition for resource contracts, particularly by overseas firms that did not have to deal with the rising costs such as electricity, petrol and gas that local businesses face.
The Barnett Government continues to stick its head in the sand over the problems facing our local manufacturing sector. The current resources construction boom should be used to build the capacity of local industry, so we have jobs that last beyond the resources construction boom. Instead, Colin Barnett is allowing projects like Gorgon and Wheatstone to source nearly all of their steel offshore and local businesses are struggling.
Unless the State Government gets tough with our local resources companies and secures more skilled local work from our major resources projects, history will remember Colin Barnett as the Premier who wasted the boom.