Coast opportunities to engage with resource sector

Cr Lew Brennan

Cr Lew Brennan
Cr Lew Brennan

The competition for Queensland regions to garner a slice of the resources boom cake is relentless.
Not only that but many Sunshine Coast residents are putting their hands up in a bid to gain employment in the industry.
The realities of the resources boom and what it means for a region like the Sunshine Coast was first on the menu for a gathering of representatives at this week’s Resources Sector Industry Forum held at Sunshine Coast Airport.
The forum was an important first step in discussing the challenges and opportunities in becoming a major regional player in the resources sector, with the Sunshine Coast Airport a critical component of what this region has to offer the sector.
Economic Development Portfolio Councillor Lew Brennan said there is a huge demand from the mining industry for skilled workers, and while many here on the Coast would like the opportunity to sign up, the reality is that we will have to prepare a workforce which will meet the industry’s demands, and that won’t happen overnight.
“Having part of the resources sector workforce living locally is however, only one element. There are many other ways that we – as a region – can benefit from business related investment that supplies the resources sector and supports resource industry employees,” Cr Brennan said.
“Sunshine Coast Council is well equipped to respond to these opportunities with its Delivering a Natural Advantage to Business package, which is targeted at supporting job creating investment in key sectors of the economy, such as aviation and allied industry sectors.”
Sunshine Coast Airport General Manager, Peter Pallot, said a number of good ideas were put forward at the forum, including the need to sit down with resources industry representatives to find out exactly what their needs are.
“We also need to establish clearly for ourselves what we can realistically offer the industry,” he said.
“Council is taking a leadership role in promoting the Coast to the resources sector, in partnership with a number of State and Federal Government departments, but it is important we establish partnerships with all elements of the employment pipeline, including vocational education and training, aviation support and our universities.”
The forum was an insightful first step in what will become a regular, progressive conversation between all stakeholders.
“We had about 30 representatives for this inaugural forum and I am hoping that each subsequent meeting will attract a greater and more diverse audience,” Mr Pallot said.
“We are working hard here at the airport to provide as much information as possible to attract the attention of airlines, but the way to achieving sustainable involvement in the resources sector is an across-the-Coast endeavour.”
 

Responses

  1. This is a great step forward in many ways but I need to raise an issue that I see every week involving the mining industry. On one side we are bombarded with ads saying there is a boom on and so many thousands of jobs need filling; skilled and unskilled. On the other side of the coin are many people seeking employment in the industry spending a lot of money skilling up only to be continually disappointed by the industry with no job offers and be told they are looking for experience. Now realistically with so many jobs on offer and so many people interested in them we need a conduit to bring these two together. I have thought about how this should be done and it is not a task for the training providers as they are interested in revenue first and will suggest what is deemed needed. We need someone independant of them to give confidence to rightly suspicious prospective employees that they understand the current and future needs of the mining industry. To have credibility here this independant group needs to understand on an intimate basis the needs of the industry by company by skill level with an emphasis on timing. People keen to participate need to understand if they are likey to get a position even if it is due in 6 months and the reason for this date. Again needed for credibility. The last thing coast (and other Australians) need to hear is that the industry is looking off shore for skilled workers as we cannot provide them as many have skilled up and waiting…..begging for a start. At least this group could be a place to go to receive unbiased updates of needs, timings, skill level issues and so on. I would love to be working in the mining industry myself but would love to be a part of the solution to bringing these two groups together and ease a lot of unemployed people’s minds

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