Training provider Mines Rescue and mining services provider UGM Australia have launched a new program to train unskilled workers for jobs in the mining industry.
Supported by NSW Minister for Resources and Energy Chris Hartcher the CoalStart program recently ran a pilot program and Mines Rescue general manager Paul Healey told Australian Mining there was potential for "thousands" of people to undertake the new course.
Hartcher said while the program would target people with no mining experience, known as cleanskins, it would also look to up-skill some tradespeople for mining work.
"Most of the trainees will be cleanskins," he said.
"We have brought in some electricians who are qualified in normal commercial electrician skills and used that course to prepare them for a mining career as well."
"It wasn't necessarily designed for that, it's mostly for operator training, but it does have other applications."
The 15 day course will focus on hands-on work, but will also combine safety training and virtual reality simulation.
Healey told Australian Mining there had been "strong interest" in the CoalStart program, with the skills shortage hurting mining companies across the nation.
"You don't have to go to WA to find that shortage you can see it in QLD and you can see it in western NSW," he said.
"In particular with trades, there are just not enough electricians to service the mining industry."
Healy said because the program was still in a pilot stage details on its cost and intake number were still being determined.