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The report in September 2019 said Australia’s mining industry will require around 21,000 new on-site workers by 2024, according to the workforce forecasting report released by the Australian Resources and Energy Group, AMMA. The report found 57 projects worth $41 billion, either ‘committed’ or considered ‘likely’ by the Australian Government’s Department of Industry, will demand 20,767 on-site operating employees by 2024.
57 mining and resource projects worth $41 billion
These are the jobs where massive demand for employment is expected
- 8,660 mining plant operators; Currently on SEEK.com.au there are 538 jobs for plant operator jobs. The expected growth in demand will be fired by these new mining projects.
- 2,847 heavy diesel fitters; currently 281 jobs for heavy diesel fitters on SEEK.com.au. See the full list of diesel fitter jobs on SEEK.
- 970 other trades, electrical jobs on SEEK, mechanical jobs on SEEK and maintenance trades on SEEK;
- 4,110 supervisors, management, administration and other white collar roles; and
- 4,180 engineers, technicians, geologists and related roles.
A number industry-verified modelling techniques were used in the 2019–2024 Mining Workforce forecasting the on-site labour demand required for new mining projects scheduled for completion over the next four years.
Workforce planning strategies and labour initiatives
AMMA Chief Executive, Steve Knott AM, said understanding future workforce demand was critical to assisting industry with workforce planning strategies, and to assist government in directing skills and labour mobility initiatives.
“Australia’s mining industry is facing new workforce demand at levels not seen since the previous investment and construction ‘boom’,” he said.
“While demand across the next four years will be far steadier than the unprecedented growth we saw in 2005-2012, it is clear that securing the pipeline of skills to support mining project growth to 2024 will be a significant challenge.
“This challenge must be met head-on, collaboratively, by industry and government. Employers, peak industry bodies and state and federal governments are united in our desire to be well prepared for the workforce demands of this next phase of industry growth.
“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 public infrastructure projects reportedly in Australia’s pipeline.”
State-by-state analysis shows Western Australia will have the greatest new mining workforce demand, with 30 projects requiring 10,679 operational employees by 2024. Iron ore accounts for 29% of this forecast growth, with lithium, gold and copper also strongly represented.
Queensland will require 5,714 new mining employees, driven by a number of large coal projects coming online over the next four years.
153 prospective mining projects still on the cards
Importantly, AMMA’s report does not factor in the 153 prospective mining projects considered by the Department of Industry as ‘possible’ to proceed over this timeframe.
“We have put forward the minimum likely number of new on-site workers our industry will demand over the next four years, based on projects already committed or very advanced in feasibility studies.
“This conservative approach also factors in automation, remote operating centres, closure of ageing mining projects and other factors that could impact workforce availability in the near future.
“Should a number of projects considered ‘possible’ in the mining project pipeline become committed, AMMA’s forecasted new workforce demand of 21,000 by 2024 could be exceeded very significantly.”
2019-2024 Mining Workforce includes breakdown of forecasting by state, commodity, occupation type and timeline.