The availability of skills is one of the major variables affecting the development and sustainability of the industry. The performance of the mining industry is restricted by the shortage of appropriately skilled people.
We’re not meeting demand and the shortfall is increasing at an alarming rate. Rapid advances in technology are driving changes to functions, role profiles and skill requirements – and it is common knowledge automation technology has outpaced workplace skills development.
The mix of skills and knowledge required to support a move towards greater automation in the resources industry is distinctive. Some skills will become redundant while other roles will require redevelopment over time. More to this, there is already a skills gap associated with automation that will only widen over time unless a systematic training framework is required to bridge the gap.
One of the key roles which will take off rapidly is that of the Automation Technician. This role demands the highest level of skills and knowledge from trade level personnel which can be categorised according to four top level skills: communication, problem solving, planning and technology.
From a training point of view, the traditional "chalk and talk" approach certainly isn’t going to adequately meet this demand for reskilling. So what are we doing now to address this challenge? We’re best to look to Silicon Valley for the answer.
Recently, the Skills Centre – working in partnership with technology partners CAE Mining, CSIRO, Real Serious Games, SAGE and Immersive Realisation – developed a new model called Accelerated Skilling Hubs [ASH] as the vehicle to radically improve capability development in the worldwide resources workforce. ASH was developed on the premise of exploring a Silicon Valley best practice model as used in the IT industry.
The hubs will harness gaming technologies, simulation and automation techniques to rapidly skill workers for future roles in a ‘centre of excellence’ environment.
The hubs can be located regionally, or in any major capital city, servicing a region or even a single organisation. They transform how people are skilled for the industry. This concept is the first of its kind – a new use of the latest technologies – and we’re confident it will radically redefine and improve skills in the resources workforce at an accelerated rate. This is training for the future.