BHP Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA), TAFE Queensland and CQUniversity Australia have announced a new multi-million-dollar skills partnership that will aid the introduction of new technology in mining.
The key aim of the partnership – officially called the Queensland Future Skills Partnership – is to fund and facilitate the fast-tracked development and delivery of new autonomy related qualifications in open-cut mining operations in Queensland.
Minister for Skills and Training Development, Shannon Fentiman, welcomed the partnership and project, stating that it is an excellent example of Queensland’s public training providers coming together with industry to support new and emerging skill needs impacting Queensland.
“We hear all the time that the world of work is changing, and the rapid rate of occupational change and new technology adoption means that the need to re-skill and up-skill the existing workforce will be critical into the future,” Ms Fentiman said.
“This project will have a direct positive impact for the resources and related sectors including agriculture, tourism and hospitality as well as local Queensland regional and rural communities.”
BMA Asset President, James Palmer, said the partnership will drive innovation in new approaches to skilling the resources industry workforce for jobs of the future.
“As we enter the fourth industrial revolution, we are considering how we transform our technology and our workforce,” he detailed.
“The partnership will define the first wave of new skills that may be required to support technology advances, and to establish the education opportunities for individuals to acquire these skills.”
While the scope of training to be delivered through the partnership is still being finalised, Mr Palmer said they are exploring the potential for a traineeship qualification in autonomous operations, alterations to existing trade apprenticeships to include autonomous competencies as well as an entry pathway for autonomous mine controllers.
“We also hope to be able to deliver the first pilot of these programs in the Bowen Basin region near our operations, expanding both existing and future workforce as well as local schools,” he said.
TAFE Queensland Chief Executive Officer, Mary Campbell, said the partnership will be important in preparing Queensland’s future workforce.
“We talk about the workforce of the future and what we will need in 10, 20 or 30 years’ time, but that future is now.”
“This partnership gives us an opportunity to work with industry and employers to deliver a range of flexible skilling solutions to ensure employment outcomes for Industry 4.0 jobs of the future,” she commented.
The Queensland Future Skills Partnership is expected to commence work later this month with its first steering committee meeting scheduled for late August 2019, at the CQUniversity Mackay Ooralea campus.