An 18 month apprenticeship training program for 1,000 workers and $200 million to fund targeted training projects for skills in critical demand are among a range of initiatives to address skills shortages in Australia’s resources sector.


Releasing the Government’s response to the National Resources Sector Employment Taskforce report, Minister for Skills and Jobs, Senator Chris Evans said funding is being targeted at practical, industry-based solutions designed to deliver skilled workers.


The Government is accepting all of the 31 recommendations detailed in the Resourcing the Future report which provides a comprehensive workforce plan for the resources sector. Implementing the recommendations is the first stage of a National Resource Sector Workforce Strategy.


Industry and Government will each provide $2 million to co-fund the scheme which will be managed by East Coast Apprenticeships.


The Government has also opened the $200 million Critical Skills Investment Fund to partner with industry to provide training and employment opportunities.


In order to implement a key recommendation, Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations Secretary, Lisa Paul, will chair a steering committee to develop a national planning framework to identify the labour and skills needs of new resource projects.


The Australian and Queensland Governments are jointly funding a project to ensure locals are trained and employed in jobs associated with building the new coal seam gas trains in Gladstone.


Delivering the Government’s election commitment, a Cairns-based Fly-In Fly-Out Coordinator will be appointed to match jobseekers with mining, construction and infrastructure projects in remote areas across North Queensland. If successful, this pilot project may be rolled out to other regional centres.


A Memorandum of Understanding between the Australian Government and the MCA will underpin a new Indigenous employment strategy for the Pilbara. A regional coordinator and five local MoU coordinators will be appointed to increase employment and business opportunities for Indigenous people.


The Government will also fund a project to work with industry on strategies to attract and retain more women to the resources sector.


The National Resources Sector Workforce Strategy, the Government response and details on the FIFO Coordinator role can be found at Applications close on Monday 11 April 2011.


Information on the Critical Skills Investment Fund and the submission of expressions of interest for industry training and workforce development projects are available from

Submissions close on Friday 8 April 2011.