The Australian Bureau of Statistics has released its latest Labour Force Survey data showing total mining employment has increased by over 26,000 people in the past year.
The data shows 276,000 people are employed in the mining industry, up from 250,300 this time last year, with women making up 20.5 per cent of the workers.
With mining supporting more than 5000 new apprenticeships in the last 12 months, the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) has called on the Federal Government to increase investment in skills and training, to further sustain Australia’s economic recovery.
“Mining has helped sustain the economy and the budget throughout the pandemic and continues to prepare for the demands of the future world – high tech and lower emissions,” MCA chief executive officer Tania Constable said.
“The strong labour market has resulted in labour and skills shortages.
“The Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements program has been instrumental to increasing apprenticeships in the mining supply chain.”
This comes as Anglo American appoints eight new apprentices at its Dawson coal mine in the Bowen Basin where they will spend the next four years learning their trades.
Anglo American Dawson mine general manager Clarence Robertson said supporting skills development and creating entry-level employment positions would build a trained workforce for the future.
“Our apprentices will have the opportunity to work across the operations at Dawson, including the workshop, coal processing plant and in the field to develop their skills alongside experienced tradespeople who mentor the apprentices,” Robertson said.
“At Anglo American, we have a strong history of building a pipeline of qualified workers in the region and we currently have 26 apprentices at Dawson learning their trade. All of the eight apprentices to Dawson this year are from Central Queensland including Theodore, near our mine.”
With the 2022-23 Federal Budget to be announced on Tuesday next week, the MCA explained that the Federal Government has an opportunity to continue the Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements program to support even more apprenticeships in the mining sector.