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Coal and jobs in Australia

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This article is part of the Coal Issues portal on SourceWatch, a project of CoalSwarm and the Center for Media and Democracy. See here for help on adding material to CoalSwarm.

This article is part of the CoalSwarm coverage of Australia and coal
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The main publicly available data on coal industry employment in Australia is collated by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Rio Tinto's concern about recruiting mine staff

In an October 2011 address to the Australian Institute of Company Directors in Sydney, Rio Tinto's Chairman Jan du Plessis stated that a major challenge for companies such as Rio Tinto was recruiting new staff.[1]

"The demand for skilled labour to meet the requirements of a burgeoning energy and resources sector is already straining HR departments and wage budgets across the country. And all the signs indicate that this problem will become even more acute. The giant wave of investment in the minerals sector cannot be stalled in order to build a pool of skilled workers. At Rio Tinto, we have identified diversity in the workforce as a key tool in boosting the pool of skilled workers, with gender and ethnic diversity helping to broaden the available talent."
"I believe that any solution to the skills shortage will need innovative thinking from business and government, working together. Amplifying opportunities for young people aiming for a career in the resources sector to take an apprenticeship, or to undertake other forms of training, will be an essential part of the mix. Maximising training and re-skilling opportunities for those wishing to move into the resources field will be fundamental. Needless to say, wage increases linked to productivity improvements must be at the core of any labour negotiations. Without this principle firmly in place, efficiency gains and improved work practices will be much harder to come by. "
"Australian jobs are, of course, paramount, but realistically, skilled migration and temporary skilled migration have to be part of the response, and I'm pleased to acknowledge that the Government has recognised this."

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References

  1. Jan du Plessis, "A global business perspective on managing for growth in a volatile international environment", Speech to the Australian Institute of Company Directors - Sydney, November 4, 2011, pages 10-11.

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