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Extractive Industries (Quarrying)

Overview

This page provides information and data on the Extractive Industries (Quarrying) sector, which is one component of the Mining, Drilling and Civil Infrastructure industry.

The Extractive Industries sector focuses on the extraction of raw material used in building and construction such as sand, rock, gravel and limestone. The value of the Extractive Industries sector to the Australian economy was increasing at a rate of 14% between 2007 and 2016. The sector is largely made up of small operators with only a handful of businesses employing over 200 employees as at June 2016. The Extractive Industries sector is expected to grow until 2023, driven by increased activity in the Civil Infrastructure and Residential Construction sectors given they are the primary users of the materials quarrying produces.

Vocational education and training (VET) is required for a range of Extractive Industries sector-related occupations such as:

  • Drillers, Miners and Shot Firers
  • Earthmoving Plant Operators.

Nationally recognised training for Extractive Industries (Quarrying) is delivered under the RII - Resources and Infrastructure Industry Training Package.

For more information on Civil Infrastructure, Coal Mining, Drilling and Metalliferous Mining sectors, please visit the respective pages. For information and data on training qualifications that apply to multiple sectors within the Mining, Drilling and Civil Infrastructure industry please visit the Resources and Infrastructure Cross Sector page.

Information sourced from the most recently available Skills Forecast, the Mining, Drilling and Civil Infrastructure IRC's 2019 Skills Forecast.

All data sources are available at the end of the page.

IRC and skills forecasts

The Mining, Drilling and Civil Infrastructure IRC was not required to submit an annual update to their 2019 Skills Forecast during 2020. As such, the version published in 2019 remains the most recently published Skills Forecast for this industry.

Extractive Industries IRC

Employment trends

Please note: any employment projections outlined below were calculated by the Australian Bureau of Statistics prior to COVID-19.

Employment snapshot

The employment levels for the Non-Metallic Mineral Mining and Quarrying industry sectors fluctuated between the period of 2000 and 2020, reflecting industry cycles. Industry employment levels are projected to increase for all the industry sectors with Non-Metallic Mineral Mining and Quarrying increasing from 2,100 in 2020 to 4,200 by 2024, Construction Material Mining from 2,400 to 5,400 and Other Non-Metallic Mineral Mining and Quarrying from 2,100 to 4,200.

The occupations of Drillers, Miners and Shot Firers, and Truck Drivers combined make up just under 20% of the Non-Metallic Mineral Mining and Quarrying industry workforce. The employment levels in these occupations are projected to increase 10% and 7% respectively to 2024. Earthmoving Plant Operators and Machinery Operators and Drivers nfd make up just over a further 14% of the workforce, with employment levels in these occupations projected to increase 7% and 9% respectively to 2024.

Training trends

Training snapshot

There were approximately 17,450 program enrolments in Extractive Industries-related qualifications and 1,780 program completions in 2019. Enrolment and completion numbers decreased quite sharply between 2017 and 2019 after remaining relatively stable in the previous years.

The majority of enrolments were in the Certificates III and Certificate II in Surface Extraction Operations qualifications in 2019 with 58% and 41% respectively. The main intended occupation for the training was Miner.

In 2019, over 91% of training was delivered by private training providers. The majority of funding for subjects delivered by private training providers was domestic fee for service (70%), with the remaining 30% Commonwealth and state funded. Over 71% of students resided in Queensland, with 11% from Western Australia and 9% from New South Wales.

More than three quarters of training was delivered in Queensland (78%), with 12% delivered in Western Australia.

During 2019, apprenticeship and traineeship commencements decreased from the previous year to approximately 1,480 and were similar in number to 2010. There were around 1,030 apprenticeship and traineeship completions in 2019, a decrease on the previous year, which was however the highest annual in the period covered (1,400). As at December 2019, 42% of training was reported in Queensland, with 30% in Western Australia and 22% in New South Wales. Most apprentices were training towards the intended occupation of Miner.

For more data specific to your occupation, industry or training package, visit NCVER’s VET Students by Industry. If you are prompted to log in, select cancel and you will continue to be directed to the program.

For more data specific to your region visit NCVER’s Atlas of total VET.

If you are interested in extracting NCVER data to construct tables with data relevant to you, sign up for a VOCSTATS account.

Industry insights

Industry insights on skills needs

The Mining, Drilling and Civil Infrastructure IRC's 2019 Skills Forecast identifies the top priority skills for the Extractive Industries sector as:

  • Digital literacy
  • Workplace safety practices
  • Communication skills
  • Problem solving
  • Environmental sustainability.

The top generic skills listed in the Mining, Drilling and Civil Infrastructure IRC's 2019 Skills Forecast in order of importance to the industry are:

  • Language, literacy and numeracy
  • Managerial / Leadership
  • Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills
  • Financial
  • Learning agility / Information literacy / Intellectual autonomy and self-management.

According to the job vacancy data, the top requested skills by employers were problem solving and communication. The most advertised occupations in the Extractive Industries sector were Other Stationary Plant Operators followed by Other Building and Engineering Technicians.

The Mining, Drilling and Civil Infrastructure IRC's 2019 Skills Forecast identifies three issues affecting skills and training needs within the Extractive Industries Sector:

  • Skills gaps have been identified in work practices to mitigate health, safety and environmental concerns. Quarrying operators and managers require new skills in activities such as planning and construction for dumps, dust risk management and ground instability control.
  • Growth in the uptake of new technology has highlighted the need for new competencies on remote operating centres, remote vehicle operations, autonomous vehicles and drones
  • Current nationally recognised training products do not show clear pathways for the quarrying sector. The right competencies need to be available at the right levels and more senior roles have an appropriate mix of technical, inter-personal and business skills. Stakeholders have suggested that non-technical skills be incorporated into higher level qualifications.

For insights on the broader Resources industry, please visit the Mining, Drilling and Civil Infrastructure cluster page.

Links and resources

Below is a list of industry-relevant organisations and associations. Hyperlinks have been included where available.

 

Regulators

Australian Explosives Industry and Safety Group (AEISG)

Northern Territory Department of Primary Industry & Resources

NSW Department of Industry - Resources Regulator

Queensland Department of Natural Resources and Mines

South Australian Department of Primary Industries and Regions (PIRSA)

Tasmanian Department of State Growth

Victorian Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions

Western Australian Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety

 

Safety regulators

Access Canberra

NT WorkSafe

Safe Work Australia

SafeWork SA

SafeWork NSW

WorkCover Queensland

WorkSafe Tasmania

WorkSafe Victoria

WorkSafe Western Australia

 

Industry associations and advisory bodies

For industry associations and advisory bodies specific to Civil Infrastructure, Coal Mining, Drilling and Metalliferous Mining sectors, please visit the respective pages.

 

Australian Asphalt Pavement Association (AAPA)

Cement Concrete and Aggregates Australia (CCAA)

Construction Material Processors Association (CMPA)

Institute of Quarrying Australia (IQA)

NSW Mining and Petroleum Competence Board

Victorian Limestone Producers Association (VLPA)

 

State Training Advisory Bodies

Energy Skills Queensland (ESQ)

Industry Skills Advisory Council Northern Territory (ISAC NT)

Resources Industry Training Council (RITCWA)

Resources and Infrastructure NSW Industry Training Advisory Body

 

Employee associations

Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU)

Australian Workers' Union (AWU)

Construction Forestry Mining & Energy Union (CFMEU)

Data sources and notes

Department of Employment 2020, Employment Projections, available from the Labour Market Information Portal website

  • by ANZSIC 3 digit industry, employment projections to May 2024
    • 091 Construction Material Mining
    • 099 Other Non-Metallic Mineral Mining and Quarrying
    • 090 Non-Metallic Mineral Mining and Quarrying nfd.
  • by ANZSCO, selected 4 digit occupations, employment projections to May 2024
    • 7122 Drillers Miners and Shot Firers
    • 7331 Truck Drivers
    • 7212 Earthmoving Plant Operators
    • 7000 Machinery Operators and Drivers nfd
    • 3232 Metal Fitters and Machinists
    • 7129 Other Stationary Plant Operators.

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2020, Employed persons by Industry group of main job (ANZSIC), Sex, State and Territory, November 1984 onwards, 6291.0.55.003 – EQ06, viewed 1 August 2020 https://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/DetailsPage/6291.0.55.003May%202020?OpenDocument

  • Employed total by ANZSIC 3 digit industry, 2000 to 2020, May Quarter
    • 091 Construction Material Mining
    • 099 Other Non-Metallic Mineral Mining and Quarrying
    • 090 Non-Metallic Mineral Mining and Quarrying nfd.

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2017, 2016 Census – employment, income and unpaid work, TableBuilder. Findings based on use of ABS TableBuilder data.

  • Employment level by ANZSIC 2 digit industry:
    • 09 Non-Metallic Mineral Mining and Quarrying
    • 4 digit level occupations to identify the relevant VET-related occupations in the industry as a proportion of the total workforce. 

Training data has been extracted from the National VET Provider Collection, Total VET Students and Courses from the following training package or qualifications:

RII Resources and Infrastructure Industry Training Package:

  • Certificate II in Surface Extraction Operations
    • RII20209 – Certificate II in Surface Extraction Operations
    • RII20213 – Certificate II in Surface Extraction Operations
    • RII20215 – Certificate II in Surface Extraction Operations.
  • Certificate III in Surface Extraction Operations
    • RII30109 – Certificate III in Surface Extraction Operations
    • RII30111 – Certificate III in Surface Extraction Operations
    • RII30112 – Certificate III in Surface Extraction Operations
    • RII30113 – Certificate III in Surface Extraction Operations
    • RII30115 – Certificate III in Surface Extraction Operations.
  • Certificate IV in Surface Extraction Operations
    • RII40109 – Certificate IV in Surface Extraction Operations
    • RII40113 – Certificate IV in Surface Extraction Operations
    • RII40115 – Certificate IV in Surface Extraction Operations.

Superseded qualifications and training packages are grouped with current training products.

Data covers a range of selected student and training characteristics in the following categories and years:

  • 2015 to 2019 program enrolments
  • 2015 to 2019 subject enrolments
  • 2015 to 2019 program completions.

Total VET students and courses data is reported for the calendar year. Program enrolments are the qualifications, courses and skill-sets in which students are enrolled in a given period. For students enrolled in multiple programs, all programs are counted. Program completion indicates that a student has completed a structured and integrated program of education or training. Location data uses student residence. Subject enrolment is registration of a student at a training delivery location for the purpose of undertaking a module, unit of competency or subject. For more information on the terms and definitions please refer to Total VET students and courses: terms and definitions document.

Low counts (less than 5) are not reported to protect client confidentiality.

RII Resources and Infrastructure Industry Training Package apprentice and trainee data has been extracted from the National Apprentice and Trainee Collection, including:

  • 2010 to 2019 commencements
  • 2010 to 2019 completions
  • 2019 apprentices and trainees in-training October to December 2019 collection, by qualification and state and territory of data submitter.

Generic skills data have been extracted from the Mining, Drilling and Civil Infrastructure IRC's 2019 Skills Forecast.

Job vacancy data have been extracted from Burning Glass Technologies 2020, Labor Insight Real-time Labor Market Information Tool, Burning Glass Technologies, Boston, viewed July 2020, https://www.burning-glass.com.

Data shown represent most requested generic skills and occupations according to internet job postings in Australia between July 2017 and June 2020 filtered by ANZSIC and ANZSCO classification levels listed below.

  • Labourers, Machinery Operators and Drivers, Technicians and Trades Workers
  • 09 Non-Metallic Mineral Mining and Quarrying.
Updated: 30 Nov 2020
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