MS TIERNEY — To ask the Assistant Treasurer (for the Minister for Employment and Trade): In relation to the current downturn in the construction industry as quoted on the front page of the Warrnambool Standard on 21 May 2013:
(1) What is the Napthine government doing to address the issue of apprentices being put off amid a downturn in the construction industry in the south-west.
(2) What is the Napthine government’s response to claims that the lack of building projects in Melbourne due to the government’s failure to invest in infrastructure projects is causing ‘out-of-town’ companies to seek work in the south-west at ‘cutthroat prices’.
(3) When will the Napthine government release a jobs plan for the state of Victoria.
The Napthine government has a coordinated strategy to support employees who have been made redundant across Victoria, which includes support for apprentices.
The Department of State Development, Business and Innovation (DSDBI) operates the Business in Transition Support (BiTS) program which coordinates information and resources from relevant government agencies and service providers and enables access to opportunities such as retraining under the Government’s Workers in Transition program.
The Government also supports the Group Training Association of Victoria (GTAV) to provide services specifically for apprentices. The Need an Apprentice program helps apprentices back into the workforce to facilitate the completion of apprenticeships as required, and Apprenticeship Support Officers provide support and guidance to apprentices in Victoria.
DSDBI proactively works with business, industry and local government to facilitate new investment and employment, and works to provide access to support programs for affected employees when industry downsizing occurs.
Victoria’s strong budgetary position provides increased capacity for the government to contribute funding to major transformational infrastructure projects. This is enhanced by the government’s $1 billion Regional Growth Fund that is investing in important local infrastructure projects in south west Victoria and across regional Victoria as a whole, which is contributing to new job creation in regional areas.
Securing Victoria’s Economy is the coalition government’s strategy to strengthen Victoria’s economic future. Released in December 2012, it builds on the state’s many competitive strengths, including a diverse and flexible economy, a highly skilled workforce, strong export performance, and liveability. It lays out a vision for Victoria’s economic future, and sets out key actions to secure Victoria’s position as a leading Australian state and regional economic centre engaged with international markets.