SA prospects still bright
SOUTH Australia’s mining industry will flourish in spite of concerns the mining boom is at an end.
BHP’s decision to shelve its Olympic Dam plans has caused concern about the future of mining in SA.
But Resources and Engineering Skills Alliance (RESA) chief executive Phil De Courcey begs to differ.
‘‘ South Australia is well positioned,’’ he says. ‘‘ The prospect for growth in South Australia is definitely strong.
‘‘ The future plans for SA promise bigger investment and greater job opportunities.’’
De Courcey says the mining industry offers a diverse range of jobs, from mining engineers and operators to roles in supporting industries, such as truck drivers and logistics.
‘‘ At the moment there is a demand for skills and experience,’’ he says. ‘‘ Individuals with the right skills will have greater opportunities.’’
He says there are opportunities for those without previous experience or training but potential workers sometimes misunderstand the industry.
‘‘ There is the misconception that working in this industry is easy and that you don’t really have to work for the money,’’ he says. ‘‘ That is not the case. You need to make sure that you have the skills and knowledge required.’’
RESA hopes to help overcome this with programs to better inform would-be workers about mining.
De Courcey also shoots down the idea that South Australians need to move to Western Australia to find resources work. ‘‘ The objective for (RESA) is to train people in SA so that they can achieve the appropriate skills and experience needed,’’ he says.
With the wide range of courses available for those wanting to join the mining industry, it can be difficult to decide which is best.
‘‘ It’s not always about just the particular course or qualification,’’ says De Courcey.
‘‘ There is a misconception that just doing a program is enough to get you a job straight away.’’
RESA is developing a website to inform locals about employment opportunities and other sector issues.
De Courcey says the future of mining in South Australia looks bright.
‘‘ South Australia continues to grow and become a big player in the national picture,’’ he says.
‘‘ The projects are spread across the state and South Australia is lucky to have such diversity of sources.’’