Release type: Media Release


Training Essential to Meet Resource Sector Demand

Joint Media Release with The Hon Martin Ferguson MP, Minister For Energy And Resources, Minister For Tourism

The Minister for Employment Participation, Brendan O'Connor, has urged the resource sector and education providers to work with Government in addressing Australia’s skills shortages.

Opening the SkillsDMC National ConferenceTomorrow's Workforce for Tomorrow's Workplace' in Sydney today, Mr O’Connor said the Rudd Government was working cooperatively with State and Territory Governments through the Council of Australian Governments to deliver solutions to the nation's skills shortage.

"Creating a more skilled and more productive workforce is essential for the resources and energy sector’s sustainability," Mr O’Connor said.

"As part of the Productivity Places Program the Rudd Government has committed $1.9 billion over the next five years to deliver 630,000 training places to meet increasing demand for skilled workers.

"But it is also important industry promotes itself as an employer of choice to attract and retain workers."

Minister for Energy and Resources and Tourism, Martin Ferguson, said the resource sector was a major contributor to the Australian economy and to remain globally competitive it must address the challenges of skilled labour shortages.

"The industry must face the twin challenges of securing sufficient skilled workers to meet demand and up-skilling, as technology and work practices demand," Mr Ferguson said.

"The greatest demand will be in skilled trades, especially electrical and mechanical competencies.

"It is critical that industry and Government work together to attract more people to the mining industry, and ensure new and existing employees have the appropriate qualifications and skills necessary to help the industry grow."