Employment & skills

The minerals industry workforce

Our Miners at Work fact sheet details the industry's diverse and highly-skilled workforce.


Peabody, in partnership with the Minerals Council of Australia, invites students from the University of Wollongong to apply for a 2018 Women in Engineering Scholarship.

The scholarship is open to all female graduate engineering students studying in Australia and provides $8,000 per annum for the final two years of study.

To be eligible for the scholarship, applicants must:

  • Be currently enrolled in full-time study in an engineering degree (mining, electrical, environmental, mechanical or other)
  • Be in the final two years of their engineering degree
  • Have a GPA of 5 or more (or equivalent to 65 per cent or more)
  • Include an accompanying CV.

Applications close at 5pm on 21 May.


A productive workforce needs to be a skilled workforce. The MCA advocates building an uninterrupted, sustainable education and training pathway to increase workforce participation, workforce diversity and workforce skills, regardless of the business cycle in the industry.

The MCA continues to develop and implement national strategies to ensure the adequate supply of skills to the industry and to increase minerals industry labour productivity by:

  • Advocating public policy and institutional capacity building for improved delivery in the tertiary education sector — both the university sector and the vocational education and training sector (VET) — in minerals industry related areas
  • Working with industry and government to build an outputs-based model of VET quality
  • Advocating diverse training opportunities in the minerals sector that suit business and workforce needs, including advanced adult apprenticeships
  • Supporting programs that build a gender and culturally diverse workforce aligned to business needs
  • Demonstrating the extensive education and training (including privately-funded training) undertaken by the minerals industry
  • Providing a definitive national reference point for industry career and employment information
  • Improving community and stakeholder access to information on industry career opportunities and education and training pathways.
  • Along with building industry capacity, there is a need to reduce third-party intervention in minerals sector workplaces. Over the past two decades, direct employer-employee relationships have provided the foundation for the industry’s capacity to meet changing market conditions, with benefits to individuals and communities alike. Against this backdrop, the MCA is:
  • Highlighting the value of a range of work arrangements that suit business and workforce needs, including fly-in, fly-out (FIFO)
  • Supporting the retention of an uncapped temporary skilled migration scheme (457 visas) and reform to the Enterprise Migration Agreement (EMA) scheme to support long-term growth in the industry
  • Supporting reform of the Fair Work Act to ensure Australian workplace laws support flexibility, choice and direct relationships.

(1) Australian Workforce and Productivity Agency (AWPA), National Workforce Development Strategy – Mining, Australian Government, 2013.  Throughout this submission, references to ‘mining’ for statistical purposes will in many cases include oil and gas extraction, in line with industry-wide data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
(2) Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics (BREE), Resources and Energy Quarterly, September Quarter 2014. Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS),  Average weekly earnings, ABS Cat. No. 6302.0.
(3) AWPA, Resource sector skills needs 2013, Australian Government 2013.