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Automotive Workers in Transition Program

The Hon. A.L. McLACHLAN ( 14:52 ): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking the Minister for Manufacturing and Innovation a question.

Leave granted.

The Hon. A.L. McLACHLAN: It was recently reported in the media (I think last month or the month before) that 800 people had registered for the Automotive Workers in Transition Program and that 474 workers had been supported with career advice. Can the minister advise the chamber, firstly, confirming that those figures are correct that have appeared in the media, and whether the remaining 326 workers were assisted through the program in some other manner or whether they are going to be provided with career advice in the near future, and within what time frames?

The Hon. K.J. MAHER (Minister for Employment, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation, Minister for Manufacturing and Innovation, Minister for Automotive Transformation, Minister for Science and Information Economy) ( 14:53 ): I thank the honourable member for his questions and his interest in this matter—his very, very good questions, in fact. It is on topic, it is succinct and it is no wonder he is often talked about as a future (in the not too distant future) leader of this chamber for the Liberal Party.

The Hon. J.M.A. Lensink interjecting:

The Hon. K.J. MAHER: I hear the Hon. Michelle Lensink interject, ‘It doesn’t take much to be leader,’ and she is quite right. I think that’s why the Hon. Andrew McLachlan is touted so frequently as being leader of the Liberal Party in this chamber. I don’t have the exact figures in front of me. They do sound about correct, but if they are not correct or if it is essentially different I will bring back an answer for the honourable member. There is a process: people register for the scheme and then they talk to those providing the career counselling and training about a future program and the skills recognition for that training program. There will be those who have initially registered.

Having been out to quite a number of the auto supply chain firms over the last 12 months, I know that quite a number of people are registering but are not taking up the career services just yet. They are deciding what it is that they want to do, exactly what it might be that they are looking to do, but want to register for the scheme now to make sure that they are in the system and can avail themselves of that later on. I think the numbers sound correct but, if it is substantially different, I will bring back a reply to let the honourable member know or, if there has been a change in those numbers in the last few months, I will also let the honourable member know.

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