Mining company BHP Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA), TAFE Queensland and CQUniversity Australia have announced a new multi-million dollar skills partnership that will support the introduction of new technology in mining.
Dubbed the Queensland Future Skills Partnership, the project will primarily focus on funding and facilitating the fast-tracked development and delivery of new autonomy related qualifications in open-cut mining operations in Queensland.
Minister for Skills and Training Development Shannon Fentiman said the Queensland Future Skills Partnership will start work later this month, with its first steering committee meeting scheduled to be held in late August 2019, at the CQUniversity Mackay Ooralea campus.
“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,” Ms Fentiman said.
“This project will have a direct positive impact for the resources and related sectors including agriculture, tourism and hospitality as well as local Queensland regional and rural communities.
“The Queensland Future Skills Partnership will unpack the future skill and qualification requirements for the resources sector and the communities and other industries that support the sector, and create a robust and actionable plan on addressing future skills needs.”
BMA Asset President James Palmer said the partnership will drive innovation in new approaches to skilling the resources industry workforce for jobs of the future.
“As we enter the fourth industrial revolution, we are considering how we transform our technology and our workforce,” Mr Palmer added.
“The partnership will define the first wave of new skills that may be required to support technology advances, and to establish the education opportunities for individuals to acquire these skills.
“Our operations are cutting edge, and we need to stay ahead of the curve.
He said the scope of training to be delivered through the partnership was still being finalised.
“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,” Mr Palmer concluded.
TAFE Queensland Chief Executive Officer Mary Campbell said the partnership will play an inegral part in preparing Queensland’s future workforce.
“We talk about the workforce of the future and what we will need in 10, 20 or 30 years’ time, but that future is now,” Mr Campbell continued.
“This partnership gives us an opportunity to work with industry and employers to deliver a range of flexible skilling solutions to ensure employment outcomes for Industry 4.0 jobs of the future.”