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Electrical trades in high demand in Queensland mining sector

Queensland’s mining sector is experiencing a shortage of electrical trades people, diesel fitters, mechanical engineers and operators/drivers, according to a new government report on vocational education and training just released.

Minister for Education, Training and Employment John-Paul Langbroek said his department would now consider the Report’s findings as part of the 2014/15 VET investment framework.

“We’re not interested in whether or not people have certificates or diplomas if they don’t have jobs,” Langbroek said.

Commission Chair and Assistant Minister for Technical and Further Education Saxon Rice said the Annual Skills Priority Report identified key trends across the Queensland economy, pinpointing the occupations that are growing and the skills required to fill them.

“To build a strong economy, industry and government must work together to drive productivity and increase workforce participation,” Ms Rice said.

“This Report is the first significant step in delivering on the Queensland Government’s commitment to a genuine partnership with industry.”

Key findings of the report:

  • A robust rate of employment growth is expected for Queensland over the next five years. Deloitte Access Economics expects employment growth over the five years from 2013-14 to average 2.5% per annum (with a similar expectation presented by Queensland Treasury in the 2013-14 Budget). Other things equal, the stronger is employment growth, the stronger will be demand for VET skills.
  • The number of VET qualifications held by those employed is expected to increase by 327,000 over the next five years – from 1.433 million in 2013-14 to 1.760 million in 2018-19.
  • By type of VET qualification, it is the Certificate III/IV level which is expected to see the strongest rate of increase over time. Certificate III/IV qualifications are expected to account for 59% of additional VET qualifications required over the five years to 2018-19.
  • The stock of VET qualifications held by community and personal services workers is expected to rise by 91,000 over the next five years (to 331,000 by 2018-19). That reflects both strong employment growth in health care and social assistance, and the increasing professionalisation of the sector in recent times.
  • A number of industries including mining, construction and utilities all noted a shortage of electrical trades persons and an expectation of additional demand growth in the future. Diesel fitters, mechanical engineers, operators/drivers also appear as skills in demand across many industries in the report.
  • A focus on providing relevant skill sets as well as formal qualifications was identified as a critical need across many industry sectors.
  • A greater need for RTOs to collaborate with employers was a general theme across much industry consultation.
  • A key challenge for RTOs and policy makers alike will be to keep pace with innovation and digital change in order to provide training services that are best suited to the demands of industry.
  • NDIS and other policy changes are affecting demand for skilled workers in the areas of aged care and disability services, and this demand is predicted to continue to grow.
  • There are some notable examples of excellence in the provision of training provided during industry consultations. These examples generally relate to areas where there has been an observed skill need, and often have involved close partnerships between industry and training providers.

For a copy of the Annual Skills Priority Report go to: http://www.ministerialindustrycommission.com.au/Foreword-The-Annual-Skills-Priority-Report

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