Jobseekers who want to work in Queensland’s resources sector had a new opportunity every hour during the pandemic.
In the year to February 2021, nearly 10,260 mining jobs were vacant across the Sunshine State despite the worldwide coronavirus virus (COVID-19). This means an average of one new position became available each hour of the day, according to the latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
15 per cent jump
The Queensland Resources Council (QRC) revealed direct job opportunities in coal, metal, oil and gas jumped 15 per cent across state to 76,854 positions compared to 12 months earlier.
“It shows the resources sector is resilient and it is strong,” QRC chief executive Ian Macfarlane said in a public statement.
“To be able to add 10,259 direct jobs in the circumstances we have had is an extraordinary outcome for our sector, and a tribute to the companies and hard-working men and women in resources, and our supportive suppliers and communities across Queensland.”
Women and indigenous people benefit
The percentage of female and Indigenous Australian workers also increased by 25 per cent and 0.8 per cent respectively.
A total of 6841 full-time equivalent women worked in the sector during the 2020 financial year, while the 4.8 percent representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders was the “highest rate of any private sector in the state”.
520 jobs coming
Genex Power hopes to add a further 500 construction jobs, and a further 20 operational positions, after securing $47 million of federal funding for its $777M Kidston Stage 2 Pumped Hydro Energy Storage Project.
Head contractors John Holland and McDonnell Dowell will construct the nation’s first 250 megawatt pumped hydro plant since 1984 at the former Kidston Gold Mine, 280km northwest of Townsville.
Two existing mining pits will be converted into water reservoirs. Water will be released from the upper to the lower reservoir, passing through reversible turbines during peak power-demand periods.
Water will later be pumped back from the lower reservoir to the upper reservoir using electricity imported from the National Electricity Market during off-peak periods.
Construction is expected to end in the year 2024.
No experience needed
Meanwhile, Fortescue Metals Group is investing $25M to create 200 new entry-level and trainee positions across its autonomous operations, safety, business administration, human resources, operations and hospitality departments.
The proponent promised to target locals who “have never worked in the mining sector”, women and people who identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.
Once the program is up and running, successful candidates will undertake a 12-month formal training program at Fortescue’s autonomous operations.
“These traineeships show that you do not need to have experience to get your foot in the door,” mine control trainee Leteasha Desmond said in a public statement.
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