The Queensland Resources Council has welcomed the commitment of the Queensland Futures Skills Partnership between its member company BHP Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA), TAFE Queensland and Central Queensland University (CQU).
QRC Chief Executive Ian Macfarlane said the Partnership, announced by Employment and Skills Minister Shannon Fentiman today, was proof that the development of skills was a shared commitment of industry and the Government.
“This Partnership is a perfect complement to the work currently undertaken and planned by the Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA) as Australia’s largest industry and education partnership.
“QMEA is part of the Gateway Industry Schools Program overseen by the Minister and her Department and delivered by the Queensland Resources Council with support of its member companies,” Mr Macfarlane said.
QMEA has 60 schools within the network and in coming weeks this is expected to expand to 70, with the goal of 100 schools by 2023. Students within the QMEA schools will now have the opportunity to acquire additional skills and be linked to a dedicated vocational, automation and robotics career pathway through the Queensland Futures Skills Partnership.
In addition, this Partnership also complements the QRC-led Sustaining Digital Skills Project which is being delivered by TAFE Queensland to upskill current workers in digital literacy skills. This program is a co-funded arrangement with Government under the Training in Emerging Innovation Industries Fund.”
The promise of this program is for existing employees undergoing digital literacy training to seamlessly transition into the qualifications on offer under the Partnership,” Mr Macfarlane said.
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.
“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.
“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 workforces as well as local schools.”