SkillsDMC, the national industry skills council for the drilling, mining, quarrying and civil infrastructure sectors, is urging the resources and civil infrastructure industries to look to the future and use this time of economic slowdown to strengthen and develop their workforce for the next market upturn.
SkillsDMC says organisations need to develop the skills within their current workforce and replenish the industry?s skills pool.
?Whilst current economic conditions continue to place pressure on the resources and civil infrastructure industries, it has never been more important for organisations to focus on long-term workforce planning and development,? said Des Caulfield, chief executive officer of SkillsDMC. ?Organisations need to identify the labour and skills needed now and for future expansions, to replenish retiring staff and access the Productivity Places Programme to provide that training. This will ensure that these sectors remain a positive contributor to the Australian economy.?
SkillsDMC argued that the industry?s need for skilled labour could be met if enterprises embraced the $2 billion Productivity Places Programme put forward by the Rudd Government?s Skilling Australia for the Future initiative. The programme provides funding for training places in skills which employers identify as being in demand and important to Australia?s future economic growth.
The government has announced an additional 56,000 training places for job seekers as part of the Productivity Places Programme. These new places will take the government?s total commitment to the Productivity Places Programme to more than $2 billion with over 700,000 new training places created over five years.
?For the Productivity Places Programme to be a successful and revolutionary training initiative, it needs to be truly industry-demand-driven,? said Mr Caulfield. ?Organisations, governments, registered training organisations and industry skills councils need to have a clear and accurate picture of the skills in demand and deliver directly to that demand to fill the skills gaps and keep the sectors booming.?
Industry skills councils play a vital role in helping businesses plan for their future workforce development. SkillsDMC provides national training programs such as the Certificate I, and planning tools such as the Future Workforce Planner and Skills Maximiser for this purpose. ?These tools enable organisations to identify and quantify those critical skills needed to improve business performance, reduce training costs, increase productivity and ultimately improve an organisation?s bottom line,? said Mr Caulfield.
For the civil infrastructure sectors, Mr Caulfield said the Government?s plan to fast track funding into the Building Australia Fund would also boost growth and increase demand for skills. For further information about the Productivity Places Programme, visit www.productivityplaces.deewr.gov.au