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Wednesday, 29 April 1987
Page: 1986

Senator KNOWLES —I ask a question of the Minister representing the Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations. Today's West Australian newspaper states that 70 trainees will be employed in the Australian Public Service in Western Australia under the program of the Department of Employment and Industrial Relations. The program, of course, was formerly known as Priority One: Young Australia. Incidentally, the Department says that the figure is only 49 and not 70. Can the Minister confirm this? Does he consider that such a placement will be successful, when the State Secretary of the Australian Public Service Association has claimed that, last year, a similar number of trainees were dismissed after a period of office work, had received no proper training and were `useless for anything outside the Public Service'?

Senator WALSH —I saw the report in question only 30 seconds ago. I also have a note from Mr Willis relevant to it. The first point notes that trainees are not being used as cheap labour and that they are paid at award rates-that is, pro rata-for the time spent on the job. He has supplied a good deal of other information which I do not think is particularly relevant to the question. I was not, until 60 seconds ago, aware of the statement by the State Secretary of the APSA, but I would be surprised if the assertions made by the State Secretary of that organisation are correct.