35,000 new mining jobs to be created in South Australia

According to a new report, South Australian resource companies will require an extra 35,000 employees if 40 new mining and infrastructure projects get off the ground by 2030.

The preliminary figures of South Australia’s future workforce needs were released today ahead of a full report by resource workforce and skills industry body, the Resources and Engineering Skills Alliance (RESA).

The report builds on earlier work by RESA which found employment in the sector over the next seven years will approach 15,000 employees, with a small decrease in overall demand for employment between 2015 and 2016, down to around 14,800.

However RESA said with around 40 new projects set to come online by 2030, South Australia’s resource sector workforce is expected to double, with an additional 35,000 workers needed.

“The precise data is being finalised but there is no doubt that South Australia can look forward to a strong growth of mining-based employment across the three spheres of supply chain companies, developing mines and operational mines,” RESA chief Phil de Courcey said.

RESA said the most in-demand jobs would be for crusher and dragline operators, exploration drillers, laboratory assistants, underground and open-cut miners and mobile plant and process plant operators.

de Courcey said the results posed a challenge to resource companies in the state developing a pipeline of resource projects.

“It poses a serious challenge of where the state sources these employees and whether we can access the right talent pool in sufficient numbers to meet this rapid growth in workforce demand for advanced mining projects,” he said.

de Courcey  said towns of the Far North and Eyre Peninsula are set to be the focus of regional employment growth and suggested communities such as Leigh Creek, Roxby Downs , Coober Pedy and Broken Hill look at their ability to attract a workforce which can help meet demand.

Final results of the report are set to be released on October 17 at a, industry productivity forum in Adelaide.

Earlier this year SA Premier Jay Weatherill announced extra $27 million over two years for the state’s Skills for all program.

The money is earmarked to target job growth in sectors such as advanced manufacturing, mining, and food production.

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