PERTH (miningweekly.com) – The federal government has unveiled a new strategy to assist in job uptake in the resources sector, and to ensure that Australia had sufficient skilled workers to meet future demand.
The resources sector represents half of Australia’s exports and directly employs over 260 000 people in Australia, while supporting more than one-million other jobs across the economy.
Employment in the sector has grown by 8.5% between last February and November 2020, creating over 20 000 new jobs, and this growth trajectory is expected to continue.
Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia Keith Pitt said Australia’s National Resources Workforce Strategy demonstrated the support and opportunities for careers in a thriving sector.
“There are opportunities across both cities and regions, with employees working in hi-vis, lab coats and office spaces. This strategy supports Australians to get the skills needed to take up these jobs,” Pitt said.
“The resources sector has been a standout through the global Covid pandemic. It’s continued to grow despite the pandemic and border disruptions at a time when it is more important than ever that Australians have access to jobs and opportunities.
“We particularly want to ensure that people living in regional communities have opportunities to study, train and upskill to take up these jobs,” Pitt said.
Pitt said Australia’s National Resources Workforce Strategy complemented the government’s JobMaker plan and brought together education and training initiatives to support participation and future growth.
The strategy outlines measures in the three key areas of opportunity, participation and quality, including ways the government is working with industry to plan for job creation and skills demand, supporting local employment, particularly in regional communities, providing opportunities, particularly for women and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to engage with resources careers, and increasing the availability of resources-related training.
Pitt said the government had provided A$30-million to establish a new School of Mining and Manufacturing at Central Queensland University, and invested A$585.3-million in vocational education and training through the Delivering Skills for Today and Tomorrow package, including a Mining Skills Organisation Pilot.
“The sector relies on certain skills to unlock new resources potential and productivity and to maintain our status as a world-leading supplier of resources and energy,” he said.
“This new strategy aims to help the sector meet its need for skills, and to promote resources job opportunities and training to Australian workers.”