Farming, mining industries team up to tackle skills shortage

Regional and remote communities will benefit from a joint initiative to improve skills training in the mining and farming sectors.
A new report states that farming and mining industries will need to step up joint efforts to overcome common labour supply and training issues in regional Australia to increase the availability of skilled, job-ready workers who can work across both sectors.

According to the final report from Australian Regional Agriculture and Mining Skills (ARAMS) Project – a two-year joint project between the National Farmers’ Federation (NFF), the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) and the Australian Government – more collaboration was needed to combat a national skills shortage in the industries.

“Identifying joint opportunities to drive sustainable regions by nurturing and supporting workforce skills common to both sectors has been pivotal,” NFF CEO Ben Fargher said.

“We need to ensure regional employees are skilled in relevant areas to meet shifting demands between agriculture and mining.

“Ultimately, that gives regional people the best of both worlds in job and career opportunities before them, all the while strengthening the economic and social sustainability of regional communities.”

Farming and mining confront similar problems in sourcing suitably skilled employees in regional areas.

The report recommended providing potential employees – particularly those under-represented in the rural and regional job market, such as school leavers and Indigenous Australians – with skills-based training that is transportable between the two sectors.

“The point is to make those people ‘job ready’ and give them the ability to swap between the two sectors as opportunities and needs arise,” Fargher noted.

MCA CEO Mitch Hooke added: “Through this project we have developed, and are implementing, an industry-backed needs-driven skills, training and employment strategy for regional Australia.

“It is also a means of ensuring that we maintain sustainable regional communities.”

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