STRONG leadership, the strengthening of Tafe and the need for the Government to accept responsibility for training were some of the main points to come out of an Employment Forum in Mandurah last night.
More than 150 employers and unemployed came out in force to try to find solutions to Mandurah’s biggest problem – its high rate of unemployment.
Facilitator Rhys Williams urged politics be put aside – and that appears to be happening with Mandurah MLA David Templeman and Dawesville MLA Zak Kirkup promising to work together in an effort to find solutions.
Mandurah Mayor Marina Vergone said the community acknowledged the unemployment problem.
She said 40 per cent of current jobs would not be around in 10 years although other employment would take its place.
“We need to know the types of jobs and skills people will need,” she said.
A further 89,000 will be needed in Peel by 2050.
Mr Kirkup said plenty of people knocked Mandurah but he was confident any challenges were surmountable.
A range of questions were put before participants who moved from table to table itemising their suggestions on butcher’s paper.
Among many points that arose was the need for a university, multi-cultural problems with licences, language and basic skills, communication, gaps in expectations, an aging population and the need to travel away from Mandurah for work.
Mr Templeman said there was a huge skills set in the region which should be tapped into.
He said there was a new Tafe building at Coodanup that was unused due to a lack of funding.
“The key is strong leadership at all levels,” he said.
“Mandurah is a beautiful place and great people have chosen to live here but the media is not helpful.
“We have all the ingredients to be magnificent.”
Mr Templeman said today he was particularly heartened by the overwhelming positive approach of forum participants.
“We all acknowledge our unemployment challenge in the region is a shared responsibility and people are eager to be a part of finding and developing solutions,” he said.
“As local members, Zac Kirkup and I are committed to working together, along with the community, to come up with solutions to enhance job prospects and job creation opportunities in the region.
“There is much to be positive about last night’s event.”