New report suggests need to maintain pipeline of mining employees

December 16, 2013

NSW could need as many as 1,800 new jobs in mining operations by 2018, accounting for around 10% of the jobs growth in our industry nationally over the next five years.

The Resources Sector Skills Needs 2013 Report has been released by the Australian Workforce and Productivity Agency (AWPA), confirming that mining will continue to be a key pillar of the Australian economy, with up to 18,000 more skilled workers required through to 2018 as part of a high-growth scenario modelled in the report.
 
The report says that any NSW mining employment growth will be led by coal projects in the Hunter region, in particular Glencore Xstrata’s $1.4 billion Ravensworth expansion and its $1.1 billion Ulan West underground coal project near Mudgee.

While the report predicts some limited jobs growth is predicted in mining operations, mining construction jobs are likely to be lost over the same period, highlighting the need for approval of new mining projects to maintain regional employment and investment.    
 
"Mining in NSW has had a tough 12 months, with a fall in commodity prices, a high Australian dollar and deep uncertainty about the NSW planning system," according to NSW Minerals Council CEO Stephen Galilee.  

"This report demonstrates the ongoing value of the state's $24.5 billion mining sector as the industry transitions from the construction phase of the recent mining boom into the production phase. But we need a cautious approach to forecasting given recent challenges and significant job losses in 2013. 

"Mining will remain part of the NSW economy for many years to come and that's why we need to ensure a pipeline of highly skilled professionals for the future, supporting their early steps through the mining scholarships program and working collaboratively with NSW TAFEs and universities to continue to deliver world class miners."  

The report also highlighted the positive measures by mining companies to attract, retain and increase the participation of women, Indigenous workers and mature-aged workers in the workforce. 

The Resources Sector Skills Needs 2013 Report can be found on the AWPA website.

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