The Chamber of Minerals and Energy of Western Australia (CME), Queensland Resources Council (QRC) and SkillsDMC have struck a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to identify strategies to source the increasing number of skilled people the industry will require over the next five to 10 years.
It?s estimated the WA sector alone will require an extra 33,000 workers by the end of 2012.
Collaborative policy development and implementation of skills initiatives are among the objectives of the three year agreement.
Projects under the MoU include:
? Defining and implementing a national skills policy for the resources sector.
? Providing timely workforce planning data to support skills advocacy functions with State and Federal Governments.
? Knowledge transfer for local and State operational outcomes.
? Brokering funds to support commonly agreed skills objectives.
? Enhanced consultation and consistency on skills-related submissions.
? Establishing lead agencies for projects and issues to maximise the strengths and opportunities provided by the MoU partners.
CME chief executive Reg Howard-Smith said the WA and Queensland sectors were both facing a significant period of project development, where tens of thousands of additional workers would be required over the next few years.
He said proponents in both States were confronted by similar workforce issues. “Our ability to source skilled labour will prove vital in the delivery of projects on time and on budget,” Reg Howard-Smith said.
“Where there is mutual benefit, this new, non-binding collaboration, allows the partners to work towards securing policy and initiatives that will underpin national prosperity for decades to come.”
QRC chief executive Michael Roche said the partnership would result in unprecedented collaboration between the key mining States, and the training and education sector to tackle a complex, national issue.
“The MoU comes at a crucial moment in time to work towards ensuring the development and long-term sustainability of the resources sector in Queensland and the rest of Australia,” said Michael Roche.
“In the wake of a record $31 billion of new investment recently committed in Queensland alone by LNG developers, it is imperative we band together in order to meet the sector?s increasing workforce needs to support this unprecedented growth.
“No single State can resolve the skills issues we face on its own.”
SkillsDMC chief executive Steve McDonald said, “The enterprises with which we work understand the importance of continual upskilling and training and understand the need to plan for the prosperity of the industry, to ensure that even more critical skills gaps are avoided in the future.
“Industry must position itself to minimise the impact of a retiring workforce and ensure skill levels match those crucial to industry productivity. It is the goal of this collaborative partnership to find solutions to these issues.”