WA ban on AWAs and NT workforce report


WA ban on AWAs and NT workforce report

News from west and north: WA Premier's AWA ban on government contracts 'unlawful', says Andrews; and NT workforce receives its second report card.


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News from west and north: WA Premier's AWA ban on government contracts 'unlawful', says Andrews; and NT workforce receives its second report card.

WA Premier's AWA ban on government contracts 'unlawful', says Andrews

A plan by WA Premier Alan Carpenter to ban companies from state government contracts if they use AWAs is 'anti-business, anti-worker and anti-growth and unlawful', according to the Federal Government.

Workplace Relations Minister Kevin Andrews said such a policy would be 'a clear breach of the Freedom of Association provisions of the Workplace Relations Act'.

'The Australian Government believes that all Australian workers should be able to choose whether or not to be represented by a union, free from direct or indirect pressure,' Andrews said.

'Specifically, the law prohibits discrimination against an employer because the employer's employees are covered by a particular type of industrial instrument.


'Is the WA Government now going to turn its back on those employees, and discriminate against them simply because they have made a decision not to involve the union?'

Andrews said the message the WA Government is sending to workers is 'we don't believe you are capable of choosing the best option for you and your family, and unless you remain with a union, we will leave you out in the cold'.

'Such bullyboy tactics are the very reason why the Australian Government ensured that those protections exist in the law today,' Andrews said.

Under the Federal Government's WorkChoices Act, even if a majority of employees at a workplace vote to be covered by a collective agreement, the employer can simply ignore their wishes and insist on individual agreements.


State/Territory laws and WorkChoices

NT workforce receives its second report card

The Northern Territory's 2nd annual Workforce Report, released this week, shows the NT has the smallest proportion of the workforce over 65 in Australia, but the numbers are growing.

And, like other areas of Australia, the NT is suffering from the skills shortage.

The Minister for Employment, Education and Training, Syd Stirling, said the Territory needs to plan carefully to remain competitive in the global economy and global market place.

'The Workforce NT Report is an essential tool for a more strategic and coordinated approach in the development of future employment and training programs,' he said.

Key findings

Some of the key findings published in the report are:

  • The Territory has a much smaller proportion of the population in the 65 and over age group than Australia, but has had the largest increase in this age group since 2004.
  • Tourism is an important industry for all regions of the NT and is a focus for future economic development. Employment in the tourism industry should grow in response to an expected increase in visitor numbers over the coming years.
  • The vast majority of Indigenous Vocational Education and Training (VET) participants agreed that training undertaken helped them in their workplace or in finding work.
  • There has been a strong increase in the number of people with a disability undertaking VET training between 1999-2004.
  • The number of apprentices and trainees who were in training has grown each year between 1999 and 2004, an increase of 41%
  • Businesses continue to experience difficulty in recruiting staff, particularly to skill shortage occupations. Tradespersons and related workers were nominated as the most difficult group of occupations to recruit.
  • Employers stated that many recruitment issues stem from a lack of candidates with the right skills, training, qualifications and/or work experience.

The report brings together the latest workforce data and statistics, and provides local business, industry and Government with up-to-date information about the NT labour market and the issues it faces.


The Report is available from the Workforce NT Unit, Department of Employment, Education and Training, on (08) 8901 1346 - and can be downloaded.


NT workforce report a guide to the future - 2005


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