Gen Z’s views on mining industry will shape training course demand

- Advertisement -

A new report setting out the perceptions of Gen Z to the mining industry provides critical insights into future strategies for workforce recruitment, training, and upskilling according to the Independent Tertiary Education Council Australia (ITECA), the peak body representing independent skills training, higher education, and international education providers.

The Gen Z Perceptions of Mining Report was developed by the Mining and Automotive Skills Alliance (AUSMASA), in partnership with Year13.  The research revealed the knowledge and attitudes of young Australians (aged 15-24) towards the mining industry.

The AUSMASA report revealed that just under three-quarters (73 per cent) of young people think mining does more harm than good to the world we live in, compared to the remainder who say it does more good than harm.  On a positive note, the data shows two-thirds of young people say mining is either extremely important (24 per cent) or very important (42 per cent) to the Australian economy.

Even though most young Australians associate the mining industry with fossil fuels and their impact on climate change, just under two-thirds (61 per cent) of young people still think mining can be sustainable.

- Advertisement -

“The report is a critical tool in helping the mining industry and skills training sector look to promote careers in mining through a different prism.  We need to talk about the positive aspects of mining, such as its role in reaching net zero emissions and shift towards sustainable mining practices that provide the products we use as part of a modern-day lifestyle,” says Troy Williams, Chief Executive of the ITECA – a body that represents independent providers that support more than 89 per cent of the 4.5 million students in skills training and around 10 per cent of the 1.6 million students in a higher education awards program.

Changing attitudes demand different approach

For policymakers, the mining industry, and the skills training sector, there is an opportunity to be found in the fact that the report shows just under three-quarters of young people say mining is either extremely important (42 per cent) or very important (30 per cent) to a net zero emissions future.

“The findings in the AUSMASA are clear.  Gen Z sees the importance of mining for a sustainable future but is equally concerned about the sector’s environmental impact.  It’s a call to action for us to adapt and respond with skills training programs that address these concerns head-on,” Mr Williams says.

The importance of the AUSMAS study to independent Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) is reflected in the data from the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) on training package enrolments in the mining sector.  In the Certificate III in Surface Extraction Operation qualification, 97.3 per cent of enrolments (8,320) are with independent quality RTOs.  Independent quality RTOs support 100% of enrolments in other key qualifications for the mining sector, including the Certificate II in Underground Metalliferous Mining (685 enrolments) and the Certificate III in Drilling Operations (1,785 enrolments).

- Advertisement -

For the skills training sector, there are some great insights into future course demand.  The report shows just under a quarter (24 per cent) of young people say they would be interested in undertaking subsidised education and training, with a job in the mining industry at the end of it, in the traditional or non-traditional mining industry jobs listed in the survey.

“Gen Z wants to be at the forefront of transforming mining into a sector that not only thrives economically but also contributes positively to the planet.  ITECA members are positioned to deliver them with the skills to do that,” Mr Williams says.

Share This Article