On its face, initiatives like decarbonisation and our commitments to the Paris Agreement seem to spell the end for mining and resource extraction in Australia – but this is far from the truth. As a careers advisor, it’s important to be able to match students’ interests and passions with pathways into viable, enduring career paths. Here’s why you should keep the mining and resources sector high on your list.
There has been a major proliferation of new ‘green’ technologies, allowing us to power and supply our industries and homes while reducing our ecological footprint. However, these technologies don’t mean that the mining and resources sector will be shutting down any time soon.
There is still a major demand for renewable resources as the world transitions to other energy sources. For example, Northern Queensland is uniquely positioned to supply green hydrogen not only to Australia, but to nations such as Japan and South Korea, who have identified Australian natural resources as key to their energy supply. The creation of the infrastructure alone to support this demand is estimated to create thousands of skilled jobs, with many more required to manage the extraction process.
The mining and resources sector also has a major role to play in the electrification process. Australia is a major exporter of minerals and metals such as lithium and copper, which are used in technologies such as energy storage. Australia also has other critical minerals that are used for technologies such as solar panels and wind turbines, making our assets an important piece in the green technology puzzle.
Producing More, Using Less
The industry is striving to make its current operations more sustainable by reducing their carbon footprint. There has been major investment in technologies such as autonomous operations, renewable energy deployment, fuel switching, battery storage, electrification, and artificial intelligence – just to name a few. These new technologies are being used to access mineral resources in a safer and more efficient way, helping to reduce energy consumption and further preserve local environments.
Still a Major Player
Beyond the sector’s plans for the future, there is still a significant demand for young skilled workers to enter the workforce. The mining equipment, technology and services (METS) sector currently represents almost one in ten Australian jobs. The industry is also projected to grow at least six per cent over the next five years.
This incredible demand also means that the resources sector is searching for young people looking to gain industry-specific skills in this area. That is why Year13 has collaborated with the Australian Minerals and Energy Skills Alliance (AUSMESA) to deliver Resourcefulness, an e-learning platform designed to help young people learn more about what the future holds for the sector, as well as key jobs and career paths they could pursue.
In its first year, it raised Australian Gen Z awareness of careers in the mining and resources industry, reaching over 1.5 million young people. Surveyed participants also reported being twice as likely to enter the industry after graduating. However you slice it, the resources sector has a major part to play across every major Australian sector, making it one to watch for any student searching for a rewarding and in-demand career. Check out the Australian Minerals and Energy Skills Alliance website today!