Skills action plan to explore future of mining
RESOURCE industry workers could soon get the opportunity to complete qualifications in autonomous operations as the sector prepares for the fourth industrial revolution.
A multi-million-dollar skills partnership aiming to deliver new technology-driven qualifications in Queensland open-cut mining operations has launched in the region today.
Delivered by BHP Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA), TAFE Queensland and CQUniversity, the Queensland Future Skills Partnership will determine future skill and qualification requirements of the resources sector and create an action plan to address these.
BMA asset president James Palmer said the partnership would help prepare resource industry workers for the jobs of the future.
"As we enter the fourth industrial revolution, we are considering how we transform our technology and our workforce,” Mr Palmer said.
"The scope of training to be delivered through the partnership is still being finalised but we are exploring the potential opportunity for a traineeship qualification in autonomous operations, expanding existing trade apprenticeships to include autonomous competencies as well as an entry pathway for autonomous mine controllers.
"We also hope to be able to deliver the first pilot of these programs in the Bowen Basin region near our operations, expanding both existing and future workforce as well as local schools.”
It comes after BHP announced it will start converting its first fleet of autonomous trucks in Queensland this financial year.
CQUniversity vice-chancellor and president, Professor Nick Klomp, has described the skills partnership as a "game-changer”.
"We are committed to the delivery of high-quality vocational training and working with industry to produce highly skilled workforces,” Prof Klomp said.
Skills and training development Minister Shannon Fentiman said the project would have a direct positive impact not only on the resources sector, but also agriculture, tourism and hospitality.
"We hear all the time that the world of work is changing and the rapid rate of occupational change and new technology adoption means that the need to re-skill and up-skill the existing workforce will be critical into the future,” she said.
The Queensland Future Skills Partnership will start work later this month with its first steering committee meeting scheduled for late August 2019, at the CQUniversity Mackay Ooralea campus.