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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.

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

Employment trends

Employment snapshot

The employment levels for the Non-Metallic Mineral Mining and Quarrying industry sectors fluctuated between the period of 2001 and 2021, reflecting industry cycles. Employment levels are projected to increase for the Construction Material Mining industry sector, increasing from 3,900 in 2021 to 5,400 by 2025. The employment levels are projected to decrease for Non-Metallic Mineral Mining and Quarrying from 3,700 to 1,800 and Other Non-Metallic Mineral Mining and Quarrying from 5,400 to 4,200.

The occupations of Truck Drivers and Drillers, Miners and Shot Firers 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 by 14% and 6% respectively to 2025. Earthmoving Plant Operators and Machinery Operators and Drivers make up just over a further 14% of the workforce. The Earthmoving Plant Operators employment level is projected to increase 4% and Machinery Operators and Drivers employment levels are projected to remain stable to 2025.

Training trends

Training snapshot

There were approximately 16,760 program enrolments in Extractive Industries-related qualifications and 1,310 program completions in 2020. Enrolment and completion numbers decreased quite sharply between 2017 and 2019 after remaining relatively stable in the previous years, and have continued to decline in 2020.

The majority of enrolments were in the Certificates III and Certificate II in Surface Extraction Operations qualifications in 2020 with 57% and 42% respectively. The main intended occupation for the training was Miner.

In 2020, over 94% of training was delivered by private training providers. The majority of funding for subjects delivered by private training providers was domestic fee for service (76%), with the remaining funded by Commonwealth and state.

Over 74% of students resided in Queensland, with 11% from Western Australia and 7% from New South Wales. The majority of the training was delivered in Queensland (80%), with 9% delivered in Western Australia and 5% delivered in New South Wales.

Apprenticeship and traineeship commencements have declined significantly from roughly 1,470 in 2019 to 890 in 2020. There were approximately 980 apprenticeship and traineeship completions in 2020, a decrease on around 1,030 completions in the previous year. Most of the apprentices or trainees in this sector have an intended occupation of Miner. Queensland reported 42% of apprenticeship and traineeship training, with 37% reported by Western Australia and 15% by New South Wales.

For more data specific to your occupation, industry group or training package, visit NCVER’s Data Builder.

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 detail orientated. 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.

Project 1N Geotechnical Risks in Quarries and Project 1O Construction Materials Testing, discussed in the Mining, Drilling and Civil Infrastructure IRC's 2019 Skills Forecast, were undertaken in response to these skills and training needs. The changes to the training products outlined in the Case for Endorsement are:

  • Three new units of competency have been created to address skills gaps among quarry mobile plant operators, supervisors and managers in identifying and minimising geotechnical hazards and risks and establishing, implementing and maintaining ground control systems.
  • One new skill set has been created to address skills gaps among quarry laboratory personnel supervising construction materials testing operations.
  • One new unit of competency was created to address skills gaps among quarry laboratory supervisors in monitoring construction materials testing operations and assuring the quality of results.

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 research, organisations and associations. Hyperlinks have been included where available.

IRC and skills forecasts

Extractive Industries IRC

 

Relevant research

Case for Endorsement: 1L Blasting Methods, 1N Geotechnical Risks in Quarries, 1O Construction Materials Testing, 2B Common Skills, 2C/2G Drilling and Exploration, 2D Coal Mining – PwC’s Skills for Australia (document can be found under Release heading)

 

Regulators bodies

Australasian Explosives Industry and Safety Group (AEISG)

Northern Territory Department of Environment, Parks and Water Security

NSW Government Resources Regulator

Queensland Department of Resources

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

WorkSafe 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 Flexible Pavement Association (AFPA)

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

Building, Construction, Resources and Infrastructure Training Advisory Body (BCRITAB) (NSW)

Energy Skills Queensland (ESQ)

Industry Skills Advisory Council Northern Territory (ISAC NT)

Resources Industry Training Council (RITCWA) (WA)

 

Employee associations

Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU)

Australian Workers' Union (AWU)

Construction Forestry Mining & Energy Union (CFMEU)

Data sources and notes

Department of Employment 2021, Employment Projections, available from the Labour Market Information Portal website

  • by ANZSIC 3 digit industry, employment projections to May 2025
    • 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 2025
    • 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 2021, 6291.0.55.001 - EQ06 - Employed persons by Industry group of main job (ANZSIC), Sex, State and Territory, November 1984 onwards, viewed 1 August 2021, https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/labour/employment-and-unemployment/labour-force-australia-detailed/may-2021

  • Employed total by ANZSIC 3 digit '091 Construction Material Mining' and '099 Other Non-Metallic Mineral Mining and Quarrying', '099 Other Non-Metallic Mineral Mining and Quarrying', and '090 Non-Metallic Mineral Mining and Quarrying nfd', 2001 to 2021, May Quarter.

 

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
    • RII20220 – 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
    • RII30120 – 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
    • RII40120 – 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:

  • 2016 to 2020 program enrolments
  • 2016 to 2020 subject enrolments
  • 2016 to 2020 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:

  • 2011 to 2020 commencements
  • 2011 to 2020 completions
  • apprentices and trainees in-training October to December 2020 collection, by qualification and state and territory of data submitter.

 

Job vacancy data have been extracted from Burning Glass Technologies 2021, Labor Insight Real-time Labor Market Information Tool, Burning Glass Technologies, Boston, viewed July 2021, https://www.burning-glass.com.

Data shown represent most requested generic skills and occupations according to internet job postings in Australia between July 2018 and June 2021 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: 26 Oct 2021
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