20,000 mining jobs to be filled by 2024
The mining industry’s peak body AMMA has predicted 20,767 more workers will be needed in the next five years and called on government and business to “learn our lessons from the past” to prevent a skills shortage.
The Sept 2019 report by the Australian Resources and Energy Group AMMA says action is urgently needed now, or there will be big problems for the mining sector in the near future. Skills shortfall mean foreign workers could once again be on the radar as the 457 Visa resurfaces.
The race is on to find skilled workers
The forecast for mining jobs to be created by 2024 includes
- 8660 mining plant operators
- 2847 heavy diesel fitters
- 4110 supervisors and other white-collar roles;
- 4180 engineers, technicians, geologists and related roles; and
- 970 other trades, such as electrical, mechanical and maintenance workers
With about $41 billion mining projects in the “committed” or “likely to proceed” stage, the 57 mining projects are set to ignite the industry with new hope and optimism – especially when it comes to mining jobs.
There’s also about 153 mining projects at the feasibility stage; meaning they could go ahead, with many in the advanced stages of planning and awaiting final investment decision.
About 5714 mining jobs in Queensland are up for grabs, with only 800 coal mining jobs being linked to the Adani Carmichael mine. Coal mining projects make up nine of the 57 projects nationally (16 per cent), seven of them are thermal coal or a mix of thermal and coking.
Workforce demand at levels not seen since the last mining boom
AMMA chief executive Steve Knott said Australia’s mining industry was “facing new workforce demand at levels not seen since the previous investment and construction ‘boom’ “.
“We must avoid a scenario where nationally significant mining projects are delayed by skills shortages, or competing for engineers, trades and skilled operators with the $100 billion worth of infrastructure projects in Australia’s development pipeline.”, said Steve Knott.
Government comments on mining skills shortages
Employment and Skills Minister Michaelia Cash said the Morrison government was acutely aware of the workforce requirements in the Australian economy; and was addressing them through “major reforms” to the vocational education and training (VET) sector.
The government had committed $535 million in the federal budget to overhaul the VET system, including a regional apprenticeship wage subsidy trial and a review of the National Skills Needs List.
Senator Cash said while the Coalition was responding to “structural issues” within the VET system, business needed to also play its part.
What mining skills do you have right now?
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