Release type: Joint Media Release


Mining industry to receive skills boost


The Hon Scott Morrison MP
Prime Minister
Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash
Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business
Senator the Hon Matthew Canavan
Minister for Resources and Northern Australia

Trainees and apprentices will be taught skills that better match the needs of employers in the mining industry, under a Skills Organisations Pilot announced by the Coalition Government today.

The Pilot will ensure 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.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says the Pilot will ensure more Australians are able to get a highly-skilled job.

"This is about making sure more Australians are able to find a 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," said the Prime Minister.

"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.

"A stronger mining sector means a stronger Australian economy."

Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash, said the industry is committed to ensuring the availability of high-quality training and strong employment pathways for learners.

"Establishing a Skills Organisation Pilot in this important industry will help ensure the ongoing availability of a highly skilled workforce to support the mining industry, as well as the broader Australian economy," said Minister Cash.

"The Australian Government is committed to a strong vocational education and training (VET) system that is able to deliver a strong and adaptable workforce, and provide employers with access to the skilled workforce needed to grow their businesses.

"Australia’s mining services sector creates jobs, builds skills, and attracts investment supporting more Australian jobs.

"Strengthening this sector is just one more step we are taking toward strengthening our economy and generating more jobs for more Australians."

Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan said 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," Minister Canavan 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.

"More than a million Australians work in the resources sector - that’s about one in every 10 jobs. Investing in the skills of these workers is an investment in Australian families and communities.

"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 Skills Organisation Pilot will be co-funded by the Coalition Government and the Mineral Councils of Australia, signifying the important buy-in from the sector.

Earlier this year, the Government announced a $585 million Delivering skills for today and tomorrow package aimed at strengthening Australia’s vocational education and training system.

As part of the package, the Government committed to establishing two Skills Organisation Pilots in the priority industries of human services care and digital technologies, and is now adding the mining sector to the initiative.

The Pilots give the target industries the opportunity to shape the national training system to be more responsive to their particular skills needs, and to ensure that employers have confidence in the quality of VET graduates.