Ensuring that people living in regional communities are ready for work opportunities in the resource sector is a major focus of a new national strategy.
The Federal Government released Australia’s National Resources Workforce Strategy this week, highlighting the need to make sure Australia has the skilled workers needed to meet future demand.
Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia Keith Pitt said the resources sector had 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,” he said.
“We particularly want to ensure that people living in regional communities have opportunities to study, train and upskill to take up these jobs.”
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 grew by 8.5 per cent between February and November 2020, creating over 20,000 new jobs, and this growth trajectory is expected to continue.
Mr 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.
It 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.
The government has provided $30 million to establish a new School of Mining and Manufacturing at the Central Queensland University, and invested $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,” Mr Pitt said.
The full Australia’s National Resources Workforce Strategy can be found on the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources website.