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Mining Skills Shortages High on Australian Government Agenda

AUSMESA gears up as new figures show biggest worker shortages in mining


The Australian Minerals and Energy Skills Alliance (AUSMESA), announced yesterday as one of the Australian Government’s new Jobs and Skills Councils, is gearing up to tackle the most severe labour shortage in Australian history in the critical mining and resources sector.

New data released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows the nation’s mining sector has the greatest proportion of vacant positions as the skills crunch hits a new record high.

The new figures suggest 5.2 per cent of jobs in the mining sector were vacant in the three months to September, an increase from 3.3 per cent in the March quarter of 2020.

AUSMESA Chief Executive, Dr Gavin Lind, said skills in the mining sector would be a major focus over coming months as it was the most significant contributor to the nation’s jobs, exports, revenue and lower emissions targets.

“The Australian Government’s $402 Million Jobs and Skills Councils announcement yesterday will enable us to will bring all parties to the table to find solutions to the workforce challenges and skills needs facing the mining sector across Australia,” Dr Lind said.

“We will work with industry and in partnership with Jobs and Skills Australia (JSA) to align workforce planning for the sector and determine job roles, skills needs and training pathways, combining industry-specific intelligence with JSA’s forecasting and modelling.

“The strength of Australia’s resources sector is critical to our nation’s economic, social and environmental future and our work will be crucial in making sure industry has the right workers with the right skills that Australia needs.”

The Australian Government announced yesterday that JSCs will operate as a national network of industry owned and industry led organisations, working collaboratively to improve system responsiveness, build stakeholder confidence and drive high-quality outcomes for the VET sector, learners and business.

The new Councils will identify skills and workforce needs for their sectors, map career pathways across education sectors, develop Vocational Education and Training (VET) training products, support collaboration between industry and training providers to improve training and assessment practice and act as a source of intelligence on issues affecting their industries.

Minister for Skills and Training, Brendan O’Connor, said the approach represented a fundamental shift in the way industry engagement is undertaken in the VET sector and will help the Australian government to tackle one of the greatest economic challenges in decades, namely the lack of skilled workers.


Jane Grljusich

Manager Communications & Partnerships

0499 605 121