Calls for City of Wanneroo to take action over jump in Girrawheen jobless

Labor candidate for Joondalup Emily Hamilton speaking at the jobs forum.
Labor candidate for Joondalup Emily Hamilton speaking at the jobs forum.

THE City of Wanneroo has acknowledged the “dire need” for job creation strategies after recent statistics showed one in four Girrawheen residents did not have a job.

Girrawheen’s unemployment figure of 25.1 per cent, up from 18.2 a year ago, contributed to an increase in the City of Wanneroo’s jobless rate from 6.1 per cent to 8.7 per cent since last year, Department of Employment statistics to March revealed.

The City was behind only Kwinana (11.4 per cent) in having the highest unemployment rate of local government areas in the metro region.

MORE: Unemployment in cities of Wanneroo and Joondalup among Perth’s highest

A City media release said the figures “highlight the dire need to look beyond the current electoral cycle when considering job creation strategies”.

Mayor Tracey Roberts hoped to make it clear the City was not ignoring the issue.

She highlighted initiatives including return to work programs for migrants in Girrawheen and “entrepreneurial structured programs for high school start-ups”.

“The City assists and promotes businesses who already employ skilled locals in Wangara, Landsdale and Neerabup and works closely with partners including the Wanneroo Business Association, Edith Cowan University and District 32 on innovative methods to improve job opportunities,” she said.

“The City of Wanneroo is not alone in facing employment challenges – we share those challenges with the cities of Joondalup and Stirling.”

The mayor emphasised a focus on diversifying local industry through the uplift of agribusiness, advanced manufacturing and clean technology sectors.

WA Labor held a jobs forum attended by almost 100 people in Ocean Reef last week to push the party’s employment plan to northern suburbs residents. Joondalup candidate Emily Hamilton was joined at the forum by Wanneroo candidate Sabine Winton and opposition leader Mark McGowan.

“Community members spoke of the lack of trainee and apprenticeship opportunities, the scarcity of jobs close to where people live and the need for greater tourism promotion as a means of job creation,” Ms Hamilton said.

Ms Hamilton said nearly every attendee raised a hand when she asked for an indication of how many people were unemployed, insecure in work or knew someone who was.

With Labor leader Mark McGowan criticising the Government’s approach, Training and Workforce Minister Liza Harvey defended its efforts in addressing unemployment.

She mentioned its Affordable Housing Strategy, saying it generated $6.8 billion in economic activity and created 30,000 jobs through state-funded housing projects.

Ms Harvey also promoted the Government’s average subsidy of 85 per cent for training costs.

“For apprentices and trainees the out of pocket expense for the student is about $1000 a year,” she said.

“In addition to this, the Government recently capped fee increases for apprenticeships at 4 per cent and 1 per cent for diplomas and 0 per cent for foundation skills.”