25 October 2022

South Australian energy and mining job advertisements have reached the highest level on record, new industry participation figures released by the Resources and Engineering Skills Alliance (RESA) show - with 1060 jobs advertised by 284 organisations between July and September 2022.

It surpasses the previous quarter’s then-equal-record 900 vacancies, recorded from April to June 2022.

The demand for jobs is a sign of the sector’s strength, with organisations such as BHP, Nyrstar, OZ Minerals and GFG Alliance all seeking a mix of trades and operators, as well as mining, project and electrical engineers.

It comes as the state government today agreed to approve further funding for RESA worth $1.2 million over four years, to continue addressing the critical need for a suitably skilled workforce.

The funding will see $300,000 allocated each year, commencing 1 January 2023 up until 30 December 2026.

Established in 2007 by the South Australian government, RESA has played a significant role in supporting the skills development, workforce and organisation capabilities required for the mineral resources and heavy engineering sectors.

RESA’s core activities support the resources sector to build and maintain a stronger and more secure training system, to build regional capacity and grow Aboriginal participation.

As the world looks towards net-zero carbon emissions, a suitably skilled workforce is critical to the growth of the energy and mining sector and the broader South Australian economy.

The current South Australian government made a major election commitment to establish a $593 million Hydrogen Jobs Plan to help create a hydrogen industry in the state as well as employment and other opportunities, with a focus on the Upper Spencer Gulf region.

Addressing workforce and skills shortages continues to present a challenge, and the ever-evolving skills requirements of the sector and competition for skilled labour between sectors and states means that now more than ever South Australia must be ahead of the pack.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Energy and Mining Tom Koutsantonis
It’s pleasing to see the clear growth in hiring intentions among South Australian companies during the first quarter of the financial year - really demonstrating a strong level of confidence in South Australia.

RESA’s hiring intentions report provides a useful snapshot of the state of the industry and we expect hiring intentions to grow into the future as we further develop our green hydrogen plans for South Australia.

Quotes attributable to RESA Chief Executive Officer Jodie Badcock
The Resources and Engineering Skills Alliance (RESA) is committed to working with industry, government and other stakeholders to identify workforce priorities and the strategies needed to attract, retain and continually develop the skilled workforce required to support the mineral resources sector.

We welcome this opportunity to continue our involvement, both in South Australia and nationally, in driving the skilling solutions that will support industry as our critical minerals operations continue to develop a sustainable, low-carbon future.

RESA has an important role in representing the challenges and opportunities in the mineral resources industry sector.

This includes focusing on regional capability, access to training and development and opportunities for Aboriginal economic participation. RESA’s Hiring Intentions data indicates consistent growth in workforce demand in highly competitive environments.

With operations based regionally, the mineral resources sector is largely a ‘hidden’ industry, adding to the challenges of attracting new industry entrants.

With these challenges come the opportunity for RESA, industry and governments to work together to develop and workforce solutions needed to ensure we realise the potential for South Australians to be a part of the future of critical minerals.