Urgent Action Needed To Support Workers

Sharon Bird, Shadow Minister for Vocational Education, today joined calls for the Abbott Government to stop stalling and put in place employment support and training programs for automotive and other manufacturing workers.

The Abbott Government has still not released details of how their $60 million support package for Holden will be allocated and there has been no word on any additional support for Toyota.  With the announcement yesterday of redundancies at ALCOA, it is time for the Abbott Government to step up and provide support for these hard working Australians.

“As there are often reasonable lead times between the announcement of the redundancies and staff being made redundant, there are opportunities to provide employment and re-training programs and these should be put in place as quickly as feasible,” Sharon Bird said. 

Through Skills Connect, a Labor initiative in the 2013 Budget, workers could be linked to programs such as the Workplace English Language and Literacy program, the National Workforce Development Fund, apprenticeships and other programs to assist mature aged workers. 

In Government, Labor created nearly a million jobs. Since Tony Abbott was elected, he has presided over 63,000 full time job losses despite promising to create one million new jobs in five years.

“I visited a Jobs Expo in Wollongong today with my colleague Stephen Jones, Member for Throsby, where successful Illawarra Regional Innovation and Investment Fund (IRIIF) applicants from the Labor Government’s Bluescope response, other local employers and training providers were present.  This is a great example of what a timely and relevant response can achieve in an area undergoing structural transition,” Sharon Bird said.