New centre to contribute to skilled workforce in SA

More than 25,000 new jobs are forecast in the mining, defence, transport, engineering and allied industries over the next five years.

The new $38.3 million Mining, Engineering and Transport (MET) Centre will contribute to training people for these jobs, according to an August 28 press release from the South Australian (SA) government.

The new MET Centre was opened on August 28, and Employment, Higher Education and Skills Minister Gail Gago said the centre will provide cross-discipline and dual-trade training.

“The State Government is committed to ensuring people have opportunities to improve their skills and capacity to find rewarding jobs in areas of strategic priority to SA,” Ms Gago said.

Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis reinforced the importance of having a skilled workforce for engineering and design jobs, mining jobs and defence positions.

Resource and energy companies in SA are expected to create thousands of jobs in the region over the next 15 years.

“This investment links in perfectly with one of our key economic priorities to unlock the full potential of SA’s resources, energy and renewable assets,” Mr Koutsantonis explained.

“We need to ensure we have the skills and capability here in SA to capitalise on the billions of dollars being invested in our State by the resources sector.”

A study conducted by the Resources and Engineering Skills Alliance (RESA) last year of 20 operating resource projects in the state estimated that an average of 15,000 workers a year would be needed in the resource sector until 2020.

Promising projects include Rex Minerals’ Hillside, OZ Minerals’ Carrapateena and Eyre Peninsula iron ore projects.

The most in-demand professions in the sector were found to be mining and miscellaneous engineers, geologists, metallurgists and accountants.

RESA Project Manager Andrea McCarthy said to increase employment numbers in the state, there would be need to be initiatives with the government to encourage more exploration development.