A forward-looking plan to support the resources sector

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18 February 2021

Australia’s National Resources Workforce Strategy provides a forward-looking plan to help connect people with the skills and opportunities needed for a rewarding resources career.

The sector is crucial to supporting our economy and the regions it operates in.

The resource sector employs over 260,000 people. When mining equipment, technology and services and supporting supply chains are included, the sector supports over 1,100,000 jobs nationally.

Resources are half of Australia’s total exports and about 10% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

To support growth in the sector and maximise the benefits to all Australians, the Strategy highlights the Australian Government’s investments in:

  • sector growth and job creation
  • skills and education reforms
  • workforce diversity and participation

This has seen investment in key areas, including but not limited to:

  • basin development plans to open up new basins as part of the gas-fired recovery plan
  • new resources commodities and technologies, such as hydrogen, critical minerals and carbon-capture storage technologies
  • establishment of the Mining skills organisation pilot to keep VET courses up-to-date and produce industry-ready graduates
  • Investment in Women in STEM initiatives to encourage women to enter STEM fields

A strong, qualified workforce pipeline will ensure the sector remains productive, innovative and competitive.

The sector offers a range of highly paid, rewarding and exciting career opportunities throughout the lifecycle of a project. For example:

  • exploration: geologist, finance, hydrologist
  • construction and commissioning: carpenter, electrician, welder
  • operations and maintenance: driller, logistics, chemical engineer
  • decommissioning: project manager, computer scientist, mechanic
  • rehabilitation: earth scientist, environmental engineer, planning officer

Many of these careers and skills are transferrable across different industries.

Growth and modernisation of the sector has resulted in an uptake of new technology and production techniques across the sector. It has also created job opportunities in:

  • data analytics
  • digital optimisation
  • robotics
  • environmental management rehabilitating project sites
  • human resource management looking after the health and safety of workers

The strategy outlines programs to support the take up of jobs in the resources sector. It includes programs for all Australians, including women, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders peoples, and those living in regional Australia.

The strategy builds on government investment in education, skill packages and job support.

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