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"Indigenous Workforce Participation at a Mining Operation in Northern Australia"

By C Pearson and S Daff


"The potential of the Australian minerals industry to generate considerable\ud national revenue can be jeopardised in periods of economic growth by fostering\ud a shortage of relevant educated and skilled personnel. Legal reforms of the\ud 1990s, public pressure, and benefits by employing local Aboriginal people\ud has driven the installation of work-integrated learning programs designed\ud to reduce the skill shortage by increasing the employment rate of Indigenous\ud people in the mining industry. This article reports five years of primary data\ud to detail nationally accredited attainments and relevant job outcomes of an\ud Indigenous education-vocation program that has delivered sustainable jobs\ud in a substantive remote mining operation in northern Australia. Identified\ud barriers for applicants and vocational career choices that are framed by\ud values and priorities held by regional Indigenous people are discussed to\ud focus on a conclusion challenging the mining industry and the government\ud to disclose how Indigenous training schemes are ameliorating the skills gap\ud in the Australian mining industry.

Publisher: National Institute of Labour Studies
Year: 2013
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