Working across industries

Australia’s mining and farming industries need to join forces to create skilled workers who can work across both sectors, a new report has found.

The final report from Australian Regional Agriculture and Mining Skills (ARAMS) Project, a two-year joint project between the National Farmers’ Federation (NFF), the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) and the Australian Government, has highlighted the need for the two industries to work together.

The report recommended that potential regional employees be provided with skills based training that is transportable between both mining and farming.

“What the two sectors have done is agree to work together to try and develop an entry level qualification that will incorporate the critical features of both training packages so people can have a chance to enter both industries,” MCA director of education and training Chris Fraser told MINING DAILY.

Funded by the Federal Government, the ARAMS project brought together the two industry bodies in 2007 when it became clear that both farming and mining faced similar problems in sourcing suitably skilled employees in regional areas.

According to NFF chief executive Ben Fargher, the two industries need to work together in order for each to flourish.

“We need to ensure regional employees are skilled in relevant areas to meet shifting demands between agriculture and mining,” he said.

“Ultimately, that gives regional people the best of both worlds in job and career opportunities before them, all the while strengthening the economic and social sustainability of regional communities.”

Fraser said that the skills-based training will de designed to be applied by different educational institutions.

“Our aim is develop the training package and training materials that can then be delivered by any training organisation, such as a TAFE or a private provider,” he said.

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