Innovation, people and skills combined with technological advances will deliver a more globally competitive minerals sector that delivers fulfilling careers in highly paid, high-skilled jobs, according to a report released by accountancy firm EY.
The release of EY’s Skills Map for the Future of Work – commissioned by the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) – provides a comprehensive examination of future skills and training and technology trends in the Australian minerals industry, according to the MCA.
The key findings by EY, according to MCA, include:
- Seventy-seven per cent of jobs in Australia mining will be enhanced or redesigned due to technology within the next five years;
- Productivity increases up to 23% can be achieved with the rollout of new technologies, costing more than A$35 billion ($25 billion);
- An injection of A$5 billion to A$13 billion in workforce capability will be needed over the next decade to unlock future productivity gains, and;
- Australia education and training systems need to be modernised to deliver higher certification and fit-for-purpose degrees.
“New technology and innovative practices will enhance the performance and productivity of 42% of Australian mining jobs, with a further 35% of occupations being redesigned and up-skilled leading to more valuable employment opportunities,” MCA said. “Automation will give the opportunity for reskilling into other areas.”
EY’s study also identified Australia’s education and training system needs to be modernised by offering improved course structures and enhanced movement between universities and the vocational education sectors, according to the MCA.
“Future university degrees will need to have a mix of the latest scientific, technical and trade skills along with soft skills including collaboration, team building, communication and creativity,” the council said.
“A decade-long investment by industry and government in general skills incorporating mathematics, data analytics, computing and change management will boost productivity in the minerals sector.”
Jobs that will be made future-ready through large investments will include metal fitters, machinists, building and engineering technical and experts in electronics and mechatronics, the MCA added. “For example, a shot-firer working on a drilling team will have the opportunity in Australia’s future minerals workforce to use drone technology to monitor automated rigs.”
The MCA said: “Australian mining will continue to take advantage of innovation, technology and new ways of working to create high-paying, high skilled jobs.”
The Skills Map includes two major reports: The Future of Work: the Changing Skills Landscape for Miners and The Future of Work: The economic implications of technology and digital mining.