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21,000 new workers needed for Australian mining industry by 2024

17/09/2019
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A workforce report released by the Australian Resources and Energy Group, AMMA, claims that in order to meet the demand for Australian mining projects, the industry must hire a further 21,000 new onsite operational employees within the next five years.

With 57 upcoming projects across Australia, there's a steady demand for 21,000 new onsite operational employees in the sector
(Image via Shutterstock)

The group found that there are 57 current mining projects that are either “committed” or considered “likely” by the Australian Government’s Department of Industry, with a total value of $41 billion.

Altogether the projects are expected to require 8,660 mining plant operators, 2,847 heavy diesel fitters and 4,180 engineers, technicians, geologists and other related roles - among others.

“Australia’s mining industry is facing new workforce demand at levels not seen since the previous investment and construction ‘boom’,” said AMMA chief executive Steve Knott.

“While demand across the next four years will be far steadier than the unprecedented growth we saw in 2005-2012, it is clear that securing the pipeline of skills to support mining project growth to 2024 will be a significant challenge.”

The report shows that the greatest demand will be in Western Australia, where 30 projects will require 10,679 operational employees by 2024. The biggest sector in this area is iron ore,  with 29% of overall growth, followed by lithium, gold and copper. 

Meanwhile, Queensland is expected to require 5,174 new mining employees to work within a number of large coal projects. 

Despite the high potential figures shown in the report, the group claim that the real numbers could be even higher, with a further 153 prospective projects still considered “possible” by the Department of Industry.

“AMMA was determined for this forecast to be highly conservative,” Knott said.

“We have put forward the minimum likely number of new on-site workers our industry will demand over the next four years, based on projects already committed or very advanced in feasibility studies.”

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21,000 new workers needed for Australian mining industry by 2024 - Time to read 2 min
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