Hundreds have lost mining and resource sector jobs across CQ

BLAKE Wallace is one of 147 apprentices Capricornia Training Company is helping get a job, stay in a job and receive the best training and resources available.

But not all are lucky.

Hundreds of people have lost their jobs across Central Queensland already this year as the mining and resource sector plateaus.

Even the number of apprentices CTC assists has halved since pre-global financial crisis days.

But it's not all doom and gloom, according to Federal Employment Minister Brendan O'Connor who believes the manufacturing and tourism sectors are going to grow.

"There are opportunities in sectors of our economy with the falling dollar, trade-exposed industries, like manufacturing and tourism. I think they're going to grow," he said.

"There is, at the moment, a demand for plumbers, electricians, carpenters, the traditional trades, and of course, there is a massive growth area in the care services - aged care, disability care, child care. These are all new opportunities for people.

"The world doesn't stand still for us and we need to make sure we adapt to those changes."

Mr O'Connor said that was why he announced a $16.6 million funding for Gladstone on Tuesday - to get locals trained up to handle the coming gas industry.

As for 457 visa workers, the former Immigration Minister said there were occasions that you might need overseas workers, but you should look locally first.

"And I introduced legislation into the parliament to enact reforms to the 457 visa to ensure that employers had that obligation to look locally before they looked overseas," Mr O'Connor said. During his visit to Central Queensland, Mr O'Connor also announced the results of the Apprentice Kickstart initiative for the electorate of Capricornia that includes Rockhampton.

"Young people in the area have benefited from local training and skills development, including 186 apprenticeships through the Apprentice Kickstart initiative," Mr O'Connor said.

"The strongest demand for Kickstart apprenticeships in the region came from people wanting to be electricians, carpenters and mechanical engineers."

Kickstart tripled the incentives paid to eligible employers in the first year of taking on an apprentice.

The $57.5 million program delivered on its goal of recruiting an extra 21,000 apprentices nationally in construction, engineering.

Apprentice Kickstart

The scheme is about helping small and medium businesses cover the cost of taking on apprentices

186 apprenticeships in Capricornia have been assisted by the program

The strongest demand was for electricians, carpenters and mechanical engineers

Kickstart tripled the incentives paid to eligible employers in the first year of taking on an apprentice



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