Skills shortages on the mind of industry and Government
The Australian minerals and energy sectors are working together to address a skills shortage exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Earlier this month, the State Government announced a partnership with WA’s resources industry to develop a Job Ready pre-employment program aimed at entry-level jobs in the drilling sector.
Job Ready offers a short training program to upskill or reskill workers as drillers’ offsiders.
Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery said there was strong demand for the role.
“This new Job Ready program offers a low-cost and fast-track training option to help West Australians into entry-level driller’s offsider jobs while providing a pathway to full drilling operations qualifications and employment,” Ms Ellery said.
“Strong industry involvement in the program helps to link participants with employers and orientation with the working environment to ensure the industry is a good fit for them.”
The program forms part of the State Government’s $5.5 billion investment in WA Recovery Plan initiatives to upskill the WA workforce and enhance employment and training opportunities post COVID-19.
A Chamber of Minerals and Energy program focused on digital technologies is being expanded after a successful pilot phase in 2020.
According to the CME, more than 700 Pilbara students participated in the digital technologies challenge where they programmed robots to operate as drones and underwater sea vessels, and in drill blasting and truck haulage operations.
“Automation skills are not only beneficial for our sector and supply chain but continue to strongly influence a vast range of industries including agriculture, health, manufacturing and even education,” the CME said.
The challenges will expand beyond the Pilbara Education Region in 2022.
Pilot program funding partners included BHP, Chevron, Citic Pacific Mining, Fortescue Metals Group (Fortescue), Rio Tinto, Roy Hill, Woodside and Yara Pilbara.