Queensland mining sites will be the first in the country to trial new fast-tracked adult apprenticeships and a new visa to bring in more temporary migrants.

Mining companies will also be able to apply for money from a $200 million government fund to pay for training.

The moves are part of a government response to official warnings that Australia’s mines will have a shortfall of 36,000 tradespeople by 2015.

The new apprenticeships will recognise prior learning and allow four-year training to be slashed to 18 months for 1000 workers.

The scheme, which was designed by Queensland-based East Coast Apprenticeships, will see 40 groups of 25 apprenticeships fast-tracked into jobs.

Queensland sites operated by Thiess and Anglo American Coal will be the first to use the new scheme, East Coast Apprenticeships chief executive Alan Sparks said.

New visa timeframes for foreign tradespeople


The Government’s plan for getting more workers into the booming resources sector includes a controversial new visa that would allow companies to get quicker access to foreign tradespeople for “mega” projects.

Employers will also benefit from five-day deadlines for the Immigration Department to process temporary work visas.

Skills and Jobs Minister Chris Evans said he was focused on training more Australians to work in mines and related construction projects.

But Senator Evans said Australia would need increased numbers of foreign workers to meet the demand of the booming resources sector.

“You’d expect in the period of growth to see more 457 (temporary visa) workers coming in,” he said.

“But I want to stress that the Government’s priority is still to make sure that there are job opportunities for Australians first.”

Senator Evans said training standards would not be cut with the new apprenticeships because they would carefully assess adults’ prior experience.

He suggested this could be a model for competency-based apprenticeships in other trades.

Businesses welcomed the announcement, saying it would help them meet skills shortages.

But unions called for apprenticeship targets to reduce the use of temporary migrant workers.

“Any plan to ease labour shortages must be matched by investment in skills training by employers,” ACTU President Ged Kearney said.

Mining Job Information

Learn more about the Bowen Basin mining location.

The Bowen Basin contains the largest coal reserves in Australia. This major coal producing region contains one of the world’s largest deposits of bituminous coal.

The Basin contains much of the known Permian coal resources in Queensland including virtually all of the known mineable prime coking coal. It was named for the Bowen River, itself named after Queensland’s first Governor, Sir George Bowen.

The Bowen Basin covers an area of over 60,000 square kilometres in Central Queensland running from Collinsville to Theodore and is dotted with many coal mines operated by multiple mining companies.

Caterpillar Haul truck 793

Caterpillar Haul truck 793

The 793F has a load cpacityof 226.8 ton (US) and a top speed of 60 kilometres an hour. It's a turbocharged air-to-air aftercooled diesel engine that has enhanced power management capability for maximum hauling performance. The C175-16 is a 16-cylinder, four-stroke design that uses long, effective power strokes for optimum efficiency.

The 793F, is an autonomous-driven truck. Over 100 793F trucks are now operating via Command for hauling, the Cat autonomous truck operations system, which is a part of Cat MineStar™

Read more about the CAT 793 automomous mining dump truck on our website.

Resources and Infrastructure Industry (RII)

Commonly refered to as Black Coal Competency (BCC), the RII competency is one that can be attained by an operator who has previously worked in the industry and has completed a number of operating hours on various types of machinery.

RII competency is granted to prove correct and safe operation of mine site machinery. It is a very useful qualification to have, as it confirms the operator has the required experience and expertise.

Find out more about RII Competencies here

You can transfer your nationally recognised civil Excavator, Front End Loader or Dozer tickets only to RII Black Coal Competencies.

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