South Australia’s mining workforce to grow but skill shortages may dampen boom

ID 10071297
ID 10071297

The South Australian resources sector will need to more than triple its employment by 2030 to meet demand, a study has found.

Image courtesy of [njaj] \ FreeDigitalPhotos
Image courtesy of [njaj] \ FreeDigitalPhotos
The initial figures of South Australia’s future workforce needs were released today on The Advertiser ahead of a full report by the Resources and Engineering Skills Alliance (RESA).

The report builds on earlier work by the industry body which found employment in the sector over the next seven years to approach 15,000, with a small decrease in overall demand for employment between 2015 and 2016, down to around 14,800.

However, with around 40 new mining and infrastructure projects set to get off the ground by 2030, South Australia’s resource sector workforce should double with an additional 35,000 workers needed, according to the RESA.

“There is no doubt that South Australia can look forward to a strong growth of mining-based employment across the three spheres of supply chain companies, developing mines and operational mines,” RESA chief executive Phil de Courcey said in an AAP report published on Yahoo Finance today.


According to him, the increased demand poses a serious challenge to the state to access the right talent pool in sufficient numbers.

“It poses a serious challenge of where the state sources these employees and whether we can access the right talent pool in sufficient numbers to meet this rapid growth in workforce demand for advanced mining projects,” Mr. de Courcey said.

RESA suggests the highest demand will be for crusher and dragline operators, exploration drillers, laboratory assist

ants, underground and open-cut miners and administrative support workers.

Likely to be key centres for employment growth are the northern towns of South Australia and towns in Eyre Peninsula which include Leigh Creek, Roxby Downs, Coober Pedy, Port Lincoln, Ceduna and Tumby Bay.

Final results of the report are set to be released on October 17 at an industry productivity forum in Adelaide.

SA Premier Jay Weatherill announced an extra $27 million earlier this year for the state’s 2-year Skills for All program targeting job growth in sectors such as advanced manufacturing, mining, and food production.