THE Burdekin TAFE College has been described as being “largely underutilised” by Member for Burdekin, Dale Last as he calls on the state government to provide more training resources in communities struggling to fill chronic work shortages in the regions.
With the Burdekin now among the towns with an unemployment rate the lowest in more than a decade and a local TAFE facility that was underutilised, Mr Last said serious action was needed not only to help small businesses, but the agricultural sector as well.
“The Burdekin’s unemployment rate is currently at three per cent, that’s less than the state’s unemployment rate and we are facing a shortage of people with the skills needed to support our major industries at a time of year when they are needed the most,” he said.
“The Burdekin is a district that relies on its major industry of agriculture when our farmers are thriving, so is this district, so not having the skilled workers needed to support that industry has a flow-on effect to our other industries and small businesses”.
“This is not a case of people not being able to find a job in this town, this is a case of being able to pro- vide the training and skills development in the same town where those people could be employed”.
Mr Last said with the Burdekin TAFE College at Home Hill largely underutilised, there was no excuse for the state government to not provide training for local jobs like haul out drivers at the facility.
“We know that the population growth in the Burdekin is predicted to be less than one per cent over the next two decades, so sending people an hour down the road for training is ludicrous,” Mr Last said.
“If this state government was serious about supporting small businesses and industries in rural and regional Queensland towns like ours, they would be investing in opportunities to provide training and skills development in the towns where they are going to work.