Australian miners have been a victim of their own success, and low productivity linked to the skills shortage risks hurting the sector further, an industry collective says.
ABC News reports Resources and Engineering Skills Alliance CEO Phil de Courcey told an Adelaide conference further productivity declines were on the horizon unless the mining industry boosted its skilled workers.
De Courcey said the fields of drilling, geology, engineering, and project management were of particular importance.
He said poor productivity and a lack of labour were still blocking some benefits from the mining sector.
“We've had a lot of new projects that have come online and we haven't had the population and the skills growth in Australia to support those from existing resources,” he said.
“There's a natural flow between skills and productivity and efficiency, and efficiency means economic competitiveness and that allows us to maintain Australia's position as really one of the premier mining nations and mining entities in the world.”
Earlier this week a new survey indicated international mining executives still feared the lack of a skilled workforce would have a negative impact on their operations in 2013.
The report also said mining bosses were increasingly looking toward replacing low skilled workers with new technology in order to solve skills shortages and improve productivity.