Gavin Lind FAusIMM to deliver future workforce insights at IMARC 2023
This year's International Mining and Resources Conference and Expo (IMARC) will be held in Sydney from 31 Oct – 2 Nov.
As Australia’s largest mining event, IMARC brings together more than 8,500 decision makers, mining leaders, policy makers, investors, innovators and educators from over 110 countries for three days of learning, deal-making and unparalleled networking.
We spoke with Dr Gavin Lind, Chief Executive of the Mining and Automotive Skills Alliance (AUSMASA) and AusIMM Fellow, to get an insight into his presentation on ‘Attracting and upskilling the future workforce’.
Can you please give us some background on AUSMASA and what the organisation is doing to attract the next generation of mining professionals?
We are the Jobs and Skills Council (JSC) for the mining and automotive industries.
Ten JSCs have been established by the Australian Government to provide the nation’s major industries with a strong, more strategic voice in ensuring Australia’s vocational education and training (VET) sector delivers better outcomes for learners and employers.
For us, strengthening the role of the mining and automotive industries (and allied sectors) and empowering them to drive reforms to Australia’s VET system is key to ensuring they can access workers with the right skills at the right time.
Australian industry needs a strong, strategic voice to drive collaboration to address strategic workforce challenges and ensure qualifications are developed and updated faster to meet evolving needs.
We are working to reinvigorate the VET sector at a time of global economic uncertainty, and to support individuals to re-train and re-skill to find and stay in work, through courses that link with and build on their existing experience and training. We are also looking at the VET pathways and intersection with higher education.
The Australian Government has committed to delivering a collaborative, tripartite VET sector that brings employers, unions and governments together to find solutions to skills and workforce challenges, and we are part of that as the voice of the mining and automotive industries.
Your presentation at IMARC 2023 is titled ‘Attracting and upskilling the future workforce’. What are you planning to highlight in your presentation?
Attracting and upskilling the future workforce for both the mining and automotive industries is crucial to Australia’s economic prosperity and energy transition to net zero.
We are building and maintaining broad, deep and ongoing industry connections to understand the experiences and needs of employers, registered training organisations (RTOs) and learners.
We are brokering effective partnerships between industry and RTOs to harness commitment and support for vocational education and training (VET) reforms that will lead to improved outcomes for learners and employers.
We have access to, and contribute to, national baseline, whole-of-economy data and insights on current, emerging and future skills needs, through Jobs and Skills Australia, the statutory body established by the Australian Government to provide independent advice on current, emerging, and future workforce, skills, and training needs.
This includes outputs from its workforce forecasting activities, and data on VET system activity and performance.
Along with the nine other Jobs and Skills Councils (JSCs), we provide sector-specific insights to the Australian Government through Jobs and Skills Australia.
What can we learn from other industries when it comes to attracting and retaining the future workforce?
As one of 10 Australian Government Jobs and Skills Councils (JSCs) we have the opportunity to collaborate with nine other JSCs representing stakeholders from across the breadth of Australian industry.
This puts us in a prime position to develop and share with the industries we represent what other Australian industries need and what their plans are when it comes to attracting and retaining their future workforces. An element of this work is mapping transferable skills and providing information to learners and existing workers about opportunities into our industry.
We also engage with stakeholders across the training system so they understand the views and needs of industry stakeholders at the national, urban, regional, rural, and remote levels.
What are you most excited to discuss and learn about at IMARC?
IMARC is an important forum for us to hear from the most influential people in the mining industry globally.
This year they will come together to discuss collaborating on trends in mining, investment and innovation towards a sustainable future - to network, brainstorm, and knowledge-share across three days.
It will be interesting to see the developments on previous years’ conferences and to reflect on the progress the industry has made, and the new directions that miners, METS, governments, and value chain partners are embarking on to prepare for the future – particularly in the areas of digital transformation and the global energy transition.
As a Jobs and Skills Council (JSC) our focus is on workforce planning, training product development and implementation (including promotion and monitoring), and industry stewardship, and on strengthening the role of industry and empowering it to drive reforms to Australia’s vocational education and training (VET) system.
The skills needs in the mining industry are ever-evolving and growing and it is an exciting time for us to listen, consult, and act to drive continuous improvement so that learners can get into jobs faster with the right skills at the right time.