Australia’s resources sector is reliant on a fit-for-purpose apprenticeship system, with approximately one third of the current workforce being tradespeople.

The Apprenticeships Project Hub was established in response to the need for greater flexibility, and more efficient apprenticeship timeframes within a competency based environment.

This hub focuses on a single trade – heavy-duty mobile plant mechanics. It will test concepts across multiple commodities (iron ore initially and then coal), multiple jurisdictions (Western Australia initially and then Queensland), and public and private training providers.

The project comprises three key elements:

Program Design

Ensuring the training program is fit for purpose, and that apprentices are equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge required in a modern mining environment.

Meeting the needs of evolving technology and increased automation are key considerations in revised training programs.

Program Delivery

Collaborating with public and private training providers to explore alternative models for training delivery and assessment, to produce skilled tradespeople faster.

Developing and delivering holistic ‘proof point’ assessments at the end of each phase of an apprenticeship. These assessments will test the overall ability of apprentices, and will ideally occur in the workplace. For additional quality assurance, proof point assessments will be independently validated by another Registered Training Organisation (RTO).

Program Administration

Administering apprentice sign-up and monitoring processes to maximise apprentice completion rates.

Inviting the Australian Apprenticeship Support Network (AASN) to work with AUSMESA to determine pathways for apprentices following completion of the training contract (ie; further training, changing job roles and/or industries). The AASN role currently concludes at completion of the training contract.

Who is involved in the project?

Industry partners include the following:

AUSMESA is also actively engaging with state and territory training authorities in Western Australia, Queensland and South Australia.

We are also engaging with employee organisations (unions) given the role these organisations play in Australia’s apprenticeship system.

Why is AUSMESA doing this?

AUSMESA (as the MSOP) consulted with industry and other stakeholders on a national level to determine skill priorities and initiatives we should consider focusing on.

Industry was clear in its desire to:

  • produce tradespeople faster without impacting quality
  • access a qualification that is ‘fit for purpose’ for the mobile plant heavy duty diesel fitter role in a mine-site context
  • promote apprenticeships as a desirable option for a range of people, including young people making early career decisions.

What has happened so far?

The project establishment phase has included:

  • Securing project partners
  • Procuring expertise to assist in delivering the project
  • Undertaking task analysis with key personnel (supervisors, tradespeople and apprentices) from participating companies
  • Consulting with states and territories on aspects of apprenticeship and funding policy to accommodate project parameters
  • Engaging with unions and advisory bodies at the state and territory level
  • Engaging with training providers
  • Designing a training program that specifically addresses mine-site context and skill need
  • Mapping identified tasks to existing training products to determine the need to establish new training product(s)

How do I find out more?

If you are interested in finding out more about this project and how you may be involved, please contact us at