Skills key to resource future – CME Comment by Paul Everingham
I’ve been fortunate enough to visit the Goldfields several times during the past year and one of the key issues people always raise with me is the skills squeeze. To put it plainly, there is so much positive activity in the mining and resources sector — both right now and in the years to come — but not the human resources to take advantage of all the opportunities on offer.
The mining industry is in the relatively rare position of needing increased construction, shutdown and operational workers right now and into the near future. We are also dealing with some of the obvious impacts of COVID-19 — such as uncertainty over State borders and a halt to international migration.
Training is one avenue to assist with the shortage and CME members have a long-standing commitment to recruiting and providing skills to West Australians, in particular in the Goldfields. Our sector actively works with education providers, with the aim of turning out graduates equipped with skills needed by operations across the State. But we can do more!
Skilled workers are needed for future opportunities in the Goldfields. Projects such as the expansion of the Super Pit and Norton Goldfields’ Paddington operations, the planned Lynas processing plant in Kalgoorlie-Boulder, and, further down the track, even the potential for iron ore to be mined in the region. Acting now to secure the right people with the right skills at the risk time will be crucial to locking in these future opportunities.