Another Australian skills shortage initiative

The global skills shortage in the industry is arguably being felt hardest in Australia. IM’s November lead editorial (already published on Infomine) will focus on some of the problems this is causing. In response, much effort is being put into solving the problem. The latest move by the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) is a campaign to promote career opportunities. The MCA says the minerals industry is Australia’s fastest growing sector. The ‘Now Hiring’ campaign is targeting skilled trades people in Geelong, Adelaide and Wollongong as the rapidly expanding industry seeks to recruit an additional 27,000 trades people estimated to be needed in the minerals industry by 2015.

Set up as a pilot program targeting skilled trades people, the campaign is part of the MCA’s broader national strategy to promote career opportunities in the minerals industry and meet the estimated 70,000 additional workers needed in the industry by 2015. MCA Chief Executive Mitchell H Hooke said: “We must attract skilled trades people if the industry and indeed, Australia, is to fully capitalise on the opportunities of the strongest global market growth in a generation. We are not only offering well paid jobs, we are offering exciting career prospects. The minerals industry is at present experiencing double the wages growth of the all-industry average and has the most substantial on-the-job training expenditure per employee of any industry.”

he went on to claim that the “Australian minerals industry is a world leader in innovation and technology, offering skilled trades people the opportunity to work with the best and newest machinery, equipment and techniques as well as participating in mentoring and up-skilling programs to provide ongoing career development.”

Specific trades people identified by MCA member companies as most in demand at present are boilermakers/welders, metal fitters – mechanical, diesel and plant, mechanical engineering – mechanical, diesel and light plant – and electrical trades.

Those interested are invited to visit the MCA’s newly expanded , which provides direct access to current job vacancies, career information and job profiles and links to companies that are recruiting skilled trades people.

The campaign includes advertising for skilled trades people in radio, newspapers and billboards in Geelong, Adelaide and Wollongong and follows national career expo presentations by the MCA throughout Australia. The targeted campaign is designed to complement other MCA initiatives designed to attract and retain skilled trades people and professionals in the minerals industry, specifically:

  • Advocating reform of the vocational, training and education system to ensure it is competency based and meets market needs
  • Collaborative development and delivery with universities of undergraduate and post graduate tertiary courses in minerals sector core disciplines
  • Building workforce competencies in social and environmental disciplines
  • Memorandum of Understanding with the National Farmers Federation and Australian Government to build a pool of skilled, mobile, regionally located workers for the minerals and agricultural industries
  • Collaboration with local government and other industry groups to develop pilot projects aimed at retaining a skilled workforce in regional areas
  • Development of the www.mining website as an up to date, one-stop careers information portal.