Australia’s top mining associations have welcomed the news that, under a Skills Organisations Pilot announced by the Federal Government, trainees and apprentices will be taught skills that better match the needs of employers in the mining industry.
The Pilot will ensure that trainees and apprentices, particularly those in remote areas, are part of a growing workforce to support the mining industry, as well as the broader Australian economy.
The initiative forms a part of the Government’s $525.3 million skills package, Delivering Skills for Today and Tomorrow, which was announced earlier in the year and is aimed at strengthening Australia’s vocational education and training system.
Through the package, the Government committed to establishing two Skills Organisation Pilots in the priority industries of human services care and digital technologies (including cybersecurity), and is now adding the mining sector to the initiative.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison says the Pilot, co-funded by the Coalition Government and the Mineral Councils of Australia, will ensure more Australians are able to get a highly-skilled job, particularly kids in remote areas.
“I want these kids to come out of training college with the skills they need to go land a job in the mining industry,” the Prime Minister said.
“We need to make sure we are teaching the skills employers are demanding whether they be heavy diesel fitters, automotive electricians, communication technicians or mine engineers.”
“I know that mining is a high-skill, high-wage industry and this is a further statement of confidence in the industry’s future. It recognises mining’s critical role as a creator of job opportunities in regional and remote Australia, including for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians,” Mr Morrison commented.
Minister for Resources and Northern Australia, Matt Canavan, stated that it was critical for Australia to have a well-trained mining workforce to take full advantage of booming demand for our world-class commodities.
“Our resources sector is one of the powerhouses of our economy, but it can’t happen without the talented people who make it up,” he said.
“Our high quality and clean resources have never been in higher demand and now is the time to invest in our resources sector skills base.”
Minister Canavan added that creating a nationwide curriculum under this Pilot will help enhance, expand and advance the skills of our resources workers, securing the sector’s future for decades to come.
“I am especially enthused to get more kids excited about what’s under the ground. The technologies to explore our underground are just as technical as those that launch us into space. Australia leads the world in exploration and young Australians don’t need to play Minecraft to dig, they can do it right here in their backyard.”
The Minerals Council of Australia, Australian Mines and Metals Association, Chamber of Minerals and Energy of Western Australia (CME), and the Queensland Resources Council all commended the Prime Minister and Ministers Cash and Canavan for the initiative.
“With more than $108 billion in major projects in the pipeline across the WA resources sector, it is fundamentally important that companies can access the right skills, in the right locations, at the right time,” said CME Chief Executive, Paul Everingham.
“The value proposition is clear and the flow-on benefits to local communities immense, if we can get this right.”