In Regional

Western Australia Minister for Training and Workforce Development Terry Redman

Plan To Attract And Retain Skilled Pilbara Workers

Victor P Taffa

  • Four-year strategy launched to address worker shortfalls in the Pilbara
  • Part of wider push to make region more liveable and affordable

Better access to affordable housing and greater support for small businesses is some of the initiatives outlined under a four-year State Government strategy designed to attract and retain skilled workers to the booming Pilbara region.

The Pilbara Workforce Development Plan 2013-2016 also includes strategies to improve access to information to help overseas migrants settle in the Pilbara, as well as providing more residential boarding facilities with 24-hour support services for Aboriginal apprentices and trainees and increasing the number of available childcare places.


Training and Workforce Development Minister Terry Redman said the plan identified the professions and trades facing serious worker shortages in coming years and outlined 40 priority actions to address the predicted shortfall.

The plan is to be launched by the Minister in Karratha today.

“As the leading mining region of Western Australia and also the base of the nation’s offshore oil and gas reserves, the Pilbara is undergoing significant growth and development, which has generated significant demand for skilled and semi-skilled workers.” Mr. Redman said.

“While the mining sector has the greatest demand for workers, occupation shortages have been identified in sectors including education, professional services, healthcare, trade, hospitality and community service roles.”

“The region’s remoteness, its highly transient workforce and a growing demand for workers combine to create a unique set of challenges and opportunities.”

The Minister said the Pilbara strategy was one of nine regional workforce development plans being prepared by the State Government as an integral part of the Skilling WA planning framework.

Mr. Redman said representatives from industry, government, community and Aboriginal organisations had all contributed to the plan.

The Pilbara Workforce Development Plan 2013-2016 is critical to the State Government’s Pilbara Cities’ initiative to transform key Pilbara towns into major urban centres and encourage a growth in permanent residency.

Fact File

  • The Pilbara covers 500,000 sq km and stretches from the Indian Ocean in the west to the Northern Territory border in the east
  • Meetings and stakeholder workshops to identify relevant local issues were held in Port Hedland, Karratha, Roebourne, Onslow, Tom Price and Newman

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