CME welcomes addition of mining-related skills to priority migration occupation list

The Chamber of Minerals and Energy of WA (CME) welcomes today’s inclusion of a range of mining-related skills on the Federal Government’s Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List.

The list, developed in conjunction with the National Skills Commission, seeks to ensure critical occupations are filled to continue to create Australian jobs and assist the country’s ongoing recovery from the impact of COVID-19.

In the wake of a report that identified WA’s mining and resources operations as needing up to 40,000 more workers in the next two years, CME Chief Executive Paul Everingham said seven of the 22 occupations added to the list were in areas of need for the sector.

“The report we released this week revealed a potential peak shortfall of 33,000 workers in 2023, with demand strong for skilled shutdown, construction and operational workers,” Mr Everingham said.

“Pleasingly, these additions to the Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List can help our sector address some of its pressing workforce requirements.

“Electrical engineers, civil engineers, structural engineers, geotechnical engineers, mining engineers and surveyors are all professions that were identified as continuing to be in strong demand for the mining and resources sector.

“We also hear from companies that service our sector that there is considerable current competition for chefs, so it’s encouraging to see that trade included on the list as well.”

The report, undertaken by independent labour specialists Pit Crew Consulting, identified a range of occupations in which the mining and resources sector would face acute shortages over the next three years, including:

  • Mining Engineers
  • Metallurgists
  • Underground surveyors
  • Civil, electrical and mechanical engineers
  • Geologists
  • Geophysicists
  • Auto electricians
  • Diesel fitters
  • Mechanical fitters
  • Boiler makers
  • Welders
  • Drillers

CME this week raised the possibility of safely-managed skilled international migration being one lever that could help reduce the magnitude of any worker shortfalls.

“While there has to be clear national priority around community safety given the threat of COVID-19, targeted and well-planned skilled migration will be important to addressing a skills squeeze that extends well beyond our sector,” Mr Everingham said.

“With $140 billion in projects in the WA mining and resources sector pipeline, we are going to need access to all available workers to fully capitalise on the considerable opportunities that are in front of us.”

CME will be one of a variety of industry peak body groups taking part in the WA Government’s Skills Summit on June 30.

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