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I… have no words.

27 December, 2006

Mr G. WOODHAMS to the Minister Assisting the Minister for Education and Training:
I acknowledge the presence in the house today of students from Nagle Catholic College and Mt Tarcoola Primary School.

It is with some trepidation that I ask this question in bakery parlance, because the person to whom I am about to address my question is more like a mud cake to my matchstick presence.

Several members interjected.

Mr G. WOODHAMS: It should be a process of self-identification, Mr Speaker. No-one knows who I am talking about yet. My question without notice is to the Minister Assisting the Minister for Education and Training. Given small business concerns, particularly in the mid-west, about shortening the length of apprenticeships from four to two years and the subsequent drain of trainees to the mining industry and other parts of the state as a result of the resources boom, I ask –

(1) Is the minister aware that Geraldton’s biggest employer of engineer apprentices, D-Trans Motor Body Builders and General Engineers, now refuses to hire new apprentices because it is not receiving a long-term return from its investment?

(2) Will the minister consider a bonding program to ensure that businesses do not lose apprentices after underwriting their training?

(3) What other initiatives does the minister propose to help small businesses retain trained apprentices in the mid-west?

Mr N.R. MARLBOROUGH replied:

(1)-(3) The mud cake has arrived.

Ms A.J.G. MacTiernan: You are so tasty!

Several members interjected.

The SPEAKER: Order!

Mr N.R. MARLBOROUGH: Even I am turning red.

Subject: Apprentices – Retention by Employers [Legislative Assembly]

Date: 31 May 2006

Hansard reference: pp. 3342b-3343a [online (pdf)]

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