In his opening address at this morning’s Diggers & Dealers Mining Forum in Kalgoorlie, Mr Giorgetta said the skills shortage needed to be dealt with urgently to continue to supply the mining sector’s future demand for skilled workers.
“This is approaching crisis level and action needs to be taken now,” he said.
“We require enrolments today, so that the skills pipeline is satisfied in the future.”
The greatest threat to the looming Lithium, Iron Ore and Resources projects currently in the pipeline is a skills shortage.
The conference chair identified dwindling enrolment numbers across the country’s tertiary institutions as being the root cause.
“In my view, the big decline in the number of enrolments in mining engineering, metallurgy, geology and surveying is the biggest problem the industry will face in future years.”
“To remain successful, however, we need to continually have a pipeline of the best and brightest students entering our industry,” Mr Giorgetta said.
The comments come amid mounting industry pressure as Lithium Producers (Covalent Lithium, Albermale, Tianqi) and Lithium explorers (Pilbara Minerals, Galaxy, Neo Metals, Altura) all compete for a share of the limited jobs market.
Australia is the world’s largest producer of spodumene concentrate with mines already in production, and with several more to come.
However, in a state dominated by Iron ore heavy weights who already have projects in the pipeline like BHP (South Flank $2.9b), RIO TINTO (Koodaideri $3Bn), FMG (Eliwana $2.3b) it can ill afford to have another skills shortage as previously seen a decade ago.
2019 is shaping up to be a decisive year for Western Australia.