Skills crunch threatens state’s resource sector
The latest State of the Sector report shows a combination of COVID-related border restrictions, less skilled migration and interstate competition for workers has created a perfect storm of labour shortages at a time of continued growth across the sector.
Queensland Resources Council chief executive Ian Macfarlane said mining leaders had become increasingly concerned over the past 12 months about attracting and retaining enough skilled employees to support industry growth.
The issue had jumped from No.12 on the list to No.1 in the latest CEO sentiment survey, he said.
“The number of jobs in our sector in Queensland has increased by more than two-thirds over the past five years to reach a record high of almost 85,000 earlier this year,” Mr Macfarlane said.
“This growth in resources jobs, which has surged since COVID, is around six times the relative growth experienced across the rest of Queensland’s workforce over the same five-year period.
“Looking forward, jobs growth over the next five years is likely to continue due to increasing global demand for traditional resources like coal, base metals and gas plus the growing demand for new economy minerals such as cobalt, graphite, vanadium and rare earths which are being used to build everything from microchips to electric vehicles.”
“This demand will create a growing and increasingly diverse pipeline of jobs for Queenslanders, with the National Skills Commission projecting employment in our sector will grow by a further 8 percent to 2025.”
According to the latest SEEK employment data, there are currently more than 1300 resources jobs on offer in Queensland, with more than 70 per cent paying upwards of $100,000 per year.
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