New taskforce to provide skilled labour

Kevin Rudd said a new employment taskforce is an opportunity for Australia to learn from past failures in planning for skilled workers.

The establishment of the Federal Government’s new National Resource Sector Employment Taskforce is an opportunity for Australia to learn from past failures in planning for skilled workers, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said.

Speaking during a visit to the site of the Gorgon project on Barrow Island in Western Australia earlier this week, Rudd said that numerous resource projects currently in development will create a massive demand for skilled labour.

“We have to learn from some of the mistakes made in the past,” he said.

“Governments and industry have to work together to productively plan for the skilled workforce that will be needed.”

The National Resource Sector Employment Taskforce is designed to help secure up to 70,000 skilled jobs over the next decade, the Government said.

Minerals Council of Australia chief executive Mitch Hooke told MINING DAILY the industry needs initiatives such as the taskforce to both weather current markets and prepare for a future recovery.

“The challenge for minerals rich countries is to ensure that the policies and measures put in place by Government help us through the downturn, but also to fully capitalise on the correction,” he said.

“The industry will need pro-growth policy settings that enhance and not hinder the recovery.

“The taskforce is one element of the suite of pro-growth policies that will be needed if Australia is to maintain and enhance its status as a leading international supplier of minerals.”

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