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Resources and Infrastructure Cross Sector

Overview

This page provides information and data on qualifications that apply to multiple sectors within the Mining, Drilling and Civil Infrastructure industry.

Nationally recognised training for occupations in the Mining, Drilling and Civil Infrastructure industry is delivered under the RII – Resources and Infrastructure Industry Training Package.

For information specific to Civil Infrastructure, Coal Mining, Drilling, Extractive Industries and Metalliferous Mining sectors, please visit the respective pages.

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

 

Employment trends

Employment snapshot

The mining boom from 2007 to 2013 saw the employment level in the Mining industry (not further defined) rise significantly, peaking at around 50,200 in 2013. However, the post boom years saw the employment level decline radically to 300 by 2021. The employment level in the Mining industry is projected to increase to around 400 by 2025.

Drillers, Miners and Shot Firers and Metal Fitters and Machinists each comprise 10% of the Mining industry (not further defined) workforce, with the employment level in these occupations expected to grow by 6% and 5% respectively until 2025. Employment in the Structural Steel and Welding Trades, which makes up 6% of the Mining Industry workforce, is projected to increase by 2% in the same period.

Training trends

Training snapshot

There were approximately 7,600 program enrolments in Resources and Infrastructure cross sector qualifications during 2020, decreasing from around 8,260 in 2019. Program enrolments have declined overall from roughly 9,350 in 2016. Program completions have fluctuated between 2016 and 2019 and have declined from approximately 3,020 in 2019 to around 2,260 in 2020.

During 2020, the majority of enrolments (61%) were in certificate II level qualifications, with a further 34% in certificate III level qualifications. The Certificate I & II in Resource and Infrastructure Operations/Work Preparation accounted for roughly 56% of the total enrolments, followed by Certificate III in Emergency Response and Rescue with 20% and Certificate II, III & IV in Resource Processing with 19%. The main intended occupations for qualifications in this sector were Other Construction and Mining Labourers, Emergency Service Worker and Engineering Production Worker.

Private training providers delivered the majority of training in Resources and Infrastructure cross sector-related qualifications in 2020 (79%), with TAFE institutes delivering a further 17%. Approximately 51% of all subjects were Domestic Fee for Service and around 49% were Commonwealth and state funded.

Students who enrolled in 2020 were mainly residing in Queensland (56%) and Western Australia (22%). The majority of training was delivered in Queensland (58%), followed by Western Australia (24%).

Apprenticeship and traineeship commencements and completions in Resources and Infrastructure cross sector qualifications peaked in 2012 and 2013 respectively, then declined steadily over the next few years until 2016. Following a slight upturn in commencement numbers to around 290 in 2018, there was a decline to roughly 220 commencements in 2020. Completions have remained fairly stable from 2016, with approximately 150 completions in 2020. Apprentices and trainees were mainly training towards the intended occupations of Engineering Production Worker or Earthmoving Plant Operator (General). Western Australia and Tasmania reported 47% and 21% of apprenticeship and traineeship training respectively, followed by 13% in Queensland.

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

The Mining, Drilling and Civil Infrastructure IRC's 2019 Skills Forecast identifies several key issues affecting skills and training needs across Mining Resources and Infrastructure sectors including:

  • Industry has indicated the need for the creation of job role streams for dry, wet and chemical processing in Resource Processing-related qualifications. These areas require different skills and knowledge, and the creation of job role streams would allow learners to deepen their expertise and be more prepared for the workplace.
  • Industry also supports updating the Certificate IV in Resource Processing to align to the role of a Resource Processing Supervisor and incorporate more business and nontechnical skills, with the aim to create industry standards for supervisors, improve learning outcomes and decrease adverse worksite incidents.
  • Safety standards and the risk of untrained individuals drilling through underground pipes requires the Trenchless Technology training products to be updated to reflect new technology used, and a skill set created for underground location services to improve consistency in operator skills and knowledge. This will also enable greater recognition for specialist skills in the job market.
  • More flexibility is needed in the Mining Exploration-related qualifications for learners to follow either a mine technician or field technician career path.
  • Blasting is a highly technical operational procedure, however current workers within the industry are lacking technical knowledge relating to explosives, workers are completing their qualifications with too little practical knowledge of what their role entails, there is currently a skill gap in the field of electronic blasting and there is a lack of knowledge relating to environmental concerns of controlling blast emissions and dust production as well as the mineral recovery benefits of electronic blasting.

Project 2A Trenchless Technology, included in the Mining, Drilling and Civil Infrastructure IRC's 2019 Skills Forecast, addresses the issues identified by industry. The changes to the training products in the Case for Endorsement are:

  • The RII31615 Certificate III in Trenchless Technology was updated to improve its alignment to operator job roles in trenchless technology, including updating the selection of core/elective units to reflect industry needs, and increasing the flexibility of packaging rules.
  • 11 existing units of competency used in trenchless technology were updated to reflect current industry practice for operator job roles, and to clarify training outcomes for users.
  • Two new units of competency in vacuum excavation and tracking directional boring operations were created to address industry demand for training in these fields.

The Case for Change for Project 1L Contemporary and Emerging Blasting Methods addressed three issues identified by industry:

  1. Blasting techniques have become more sophisticated to achieve more efficient, safe and accurate outcomes. Upskilling is required in new methods in electronic blasting, the use of drones, GPS tracking technology and data collection.
  2. Environmental concerns that relate to blasting methods are becoming increasingly important and the benefits of environmentally-conscious blasting, including the control of fuel/dust production and mineral recovery were not addressed by the nationally-recognised training.
  3. The ability to protect data and intellectual property from security breaches is an issue impacting industries worldwide, and managing the security of data and IT systems for explosives is a crucial skill that needs to be addressed by the RII Training Package.

The 2B Common Skills Project aimed to update training products for common skills across coal and metalliferous mining, quarrying, drilling and civil infrastructure in response to broad health and safety challenges and technological change affecting these industry sectors, and clarify and strengthen career progression pathways for entry-level workers. The Case for Change lists the training product changes as:

  • RII20115 Certificate II in Resources and Infrastructure Work Preparation has been updated to clarify and strengthen career progression pathways for entry level workers.
  • RII21315 Certificate II in Cross Industry Operations was deleted due to low industry use and relevance.
  • 81 units of competency used across coal and metalliferous mining, quarrying, drilling and civil infrastructure operations were updated to reflect current industry processes and requirements and to clarify training outcomes.
  • 14 units of competency were deleted due to low industry use and duplication of other existing units of competency.

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

Mining, Drilling and Civil Infrastructure IRCs

 

Relevant research

Case for Endorsement: Project 1B Traffic Management Project, 1F Supervisors, Project 1G Bituminous Surfacing, Project 2A Trenchless Technology, Project 2F Emergency Response and Rescue – PwC’s Skills for Australia (document can be found under Release heading)

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)

 

Mining regulators – Coal, Metalliferous, Drilling and Quarrying

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 – All sub-sectors

Access Canberra

NT WorkSafe

Safe Work Australia

SafeWork SA

SafeWork NSW

WorkSafe Queensland

WorkSafe Tasmania

WorkSafe Victoria

WorkSafe Western Australia

 

Specialist regulators – Coal, Metalliferous, Drilling and Quarrying

Australasian Explosives Industry and Safety Group (AEISG)

 

Specialist regulators – Water well drilling

Australian Drilling Industry Association (ADIA)

NT Department of Environment, Parks and Water Security

QLD Department of Resources

SA Department of Environment and Water

TAS Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment

VIC Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning

WA Department of Water and Environmental Regulation

Water NSW

 

Industry associations and advisory bodies

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

State training advisory bodies

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

Construction Industry Training Board (SA)

Energy Skills Queensland (ESQ)

Industry Skills Advisory Council Northern Territory (ISAC NT)

Resources Industry Training Council (RITCWA)

 

Employee associations

Australian Manufacturers 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 2 digit industry employment projections to May 2025
    • B0 Mining nfd.
  • by ANZSCO, selected 4 digit occupations, employment projections to May 2025
    • 7122 Drillers Miners and Shot Firers
    • 3232 Metal Fitters and Machinists
    • 3223 Structural Steel and Welding Trades Workers
    • 8219 Other Construction and Mining Labourers
    • 3129 Other Building and Engineering Technicians.

 

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 2 digit 'B0 Mining 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:
    • B0 Mining nfd
    • 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 and MNM Metalliferous Mining Training Packages

  • Certificate I & II in Resource and Infrastructure Operations /Work Preparation
    • RII10106 - Certificate I in Resource and Infrastructure Operations
    • RII10109 - Certificate I in Resources and Infrastructure Operations
    • RII10113 - Certificate I in Resources and Infrastructure Operations
    • RII10115 - Certificate I in Resources and Infrastructure Operations
    • RII20109 - Certificate II in Resources and Infrastructure Work Preparation
    • RII20113 - Certificate II in Resources and Infrastructure Work Preparation
    • RII20115 - Certificate II in Resources and Infrastructure Work Preparation
    • RII20120 – Certificate II in Resources and Infrastructure Work Preparation.
  • Certificate II, III & IV in Resource Processing
    • RII20509 - Certificate II in Resource Processing
    • RII20513 - Certificate II in Resource Processing
    • RII20515 - Certificate II in Resource Processing
    • RII20520 – Certificate II in Resource Processing
    • RII30409 - Certificate III in Resource Processing
    • RII30411 - Certificate III in Resource Processing
    • RII30413 - Certificate III in Resource Processing
    • RII30415 - Certificate III in Resource Processing
    • RII30420 – Certificate III in Resource Processing
    • RII40509 - Certificate IV in Resource Processing
    • RII40513 - Certificate IV in Resource Processing
    • RII40515 - Certificate IV in Resource Processing
    • RII40520 – Certificate IV in Resource Processing.
  • Certificate III in Mine Emergency Response and Rescue
    • RII30709 - Certificate III in Mine Emergency Response and Rescue
    • RII30713 - Certificate III in Mine Emergency Response and Rescue
    • RII30715 - Certificate III in Mine Emergency Response and Rescue
    • RII30719 – Certificate III in Emergency Response and Rescue.
  • Other Cross Sector Qualifications
    • MNM30405 – Certificate III in Mining Exploration
    • MNM30406 – Certificate III in Mining Exploration
    • RII20609 – Certificate II in Mining Field/Exploration Operations
    • RII20613 – Certificate II in Mining / Field Exploration
    • RII20615 – Certificate II in Mining / Field Exploration
    • RII20620 – Certificate II in Mining / Field Exploration
    • RII21315 – Certificate II in Cross Industry Operations
    • RII30509 – Certificate III in Mining Exploration
    • RII30511 – Certificate III in Mining Exploration
    • RII30513 – Certificate III in Mining Exploration
    • RII30515 – Certificate III in Mining Exploration
    • RII30520 – Certificate III in Mining Exploration
    • RII30611 – Certificate III in Small Mining Operations
    • RII30615 – Certificate III in Small Mining Operations
    • RII31609 – Certificate III in Trenchless Technology
    • RII31613 – Certificate III in Trenchless Technology
    • RII31615 – Certificate III in Trenchless Technology
    • RII31619 – Certificate III in Trenchless Technology
    • RII50109 – Diploma of Surface Operations Management
    • RII50113 – Diploma of Surface Operations Management
    • RII50115 – Diploma of Surface Operations Management
    • RII50120 – Diploma of Surface Operations Management
    • RII50309 – Diploma of Minerals Processing
    • RII50313 – Diploma of Minerals Processing
    • RII50315 – Diploma of Minerals Processing
    • RII60209 – Advanced Diploma of Extractive Industries Management
    • RII60213 – Advanced Diploma of Extractive Industries Management
    • RII60215 – Advanced Diploma of Extractive Industries Management
    • RII60220 – Advanced Diploma of Extractive Industries Management.

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 the 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 and MNM Metalliferous Mining Training Packages  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.
Updated: 26 Oct 2021
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