According to the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA), Australia’s mining workforce has grown by more than 20,000 over the past year and supported 5,000 new apprentices as the country’s unemployment rate continues to fall. to lower.
However, MCA Chief Executive Tania Constable is urging the federal government to provide certainty for job seekers and employers and commit to permanent funding for the Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements program to alleviate skills shortages in the sector.
The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 4.0% in February 2022, the lowest unemployment rate since August 2008, according to data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
ABS head of labor statistics Bjorn Jarvis said with employment up 77,000 and unemployment down 19,000, the jobless rate fell 0.2 points. percentage, to 4.0%.
“This is the lowest unemployment rate since August 2008 and only the third time in the history of the monthly survey that unemployment was as low as 4.0% (February 2008, August 2008, February 2022) “, did he declare.
“Lower unemployment rates occurred in the series before November 1974, when the survey was quarterly.”
Constable said Australia’s historically low unemployment rate underscores the importance of investing more in skills initiatives in the upcoming budget.
“The country’s strong economic recovery from COVID-19 has resulted in substantial job growth,” she said.
“Australian mining alone has added over 20,000 people to its workforce in the last 12 months and supported 5,000 new apprentices.
“Programs such as the Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements program have been successful in increasing the number of apprentices.”
However, Constable said these programs need additional funds to continue.
“MCA is calling on the government to provide job seekers and employers with certainty and commit to permanently funding the Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements program which will help small and medium-sized companies in the mining supply chain employ new new apprentices,” she said.
“Furthermore, the MCA calls on the government to expand the work of the National Careers Institute on new interactive career path maps to include mining and to support industry skills organizations to accelerate apprenticeships. .
“To address acute skills shortages, the MCA urges the Australian Government to reform skilled migration by simplifying skilled migration lists and reducing duplication.
“Let’s sustain the economic recovery from COVID-19 by increasing investment in skills to create more and better jobs for Australians.”