Update on training and education for the Extractive industry

By on January 31, 2019

DR ELIZABETH GIBSON, CMPA, reports on the latest Extractive IRC meeting.

The Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC) provides advice to Commonwealth and State Industry and Skills Ministers on the implementation of national Vocational Education and Training (VET) policies and approves nationally recognised training packages for implementation in the VET system.

The AISC draws on advice from its network of Industry Reference Committees (IRCs). IRCs are made up of people with experience, skills and knowledge of their particular industry sector and are responsible for developing training packages that meet the needs of Australian industry. Further information can be found at www.aisc.net.au

The Extractive IRC meets via telephone or face to face 4 times per annum and is supported by a Skills Services Organisation (SSO): Skills for Australia PwC (www.skillsforaustralia.com). The most recent meeting was held on 1st November 2018 in Sydney.

Cross Sector Projects

There are a number of cross sector projects:

  • Big data: data management, data analytics, and data driven decision making as well as capture, storage and utilization of this data;
  • Cyber security: information security, data protection and privacy;
  • Teamwork and communication;
  • Inclusion of people with disability;
  • Supply chain: traditional supply chain management practices;
  • Digital skills: coding skills, digital literacy skills and 3D printing/ manufacturing skills;
  • Automation: use of robotics, drones and remote operations systems;
  • Environmental sustainability: environmentally friendly products, manufacturing and waste processes and sustainable energy production; and
  • Online and social media: consumer engagement via online
  • and social media.

Mining, Drilling and Civil Infrastructure Industry (MDCI) Sector (includes Extractives) Project

Mine Supervisor: The objective of this project is to address a skills gap with supervisors in the MDCI sector, particularly around the areas of leadership, communication, and risk management.

The following Units of Competency will be reviewed as part of the project:

RIICOM301D:     Communicate Information;
RIIRIS301D:       Apply risk management processes;
RIIWHS301D:     Conduct safety and health investigations;
RIIRIS402D:       Carry out the risk management processes;
RIIUND401D:      Apply and monitor the ventilation management plan;
RIIWHS403D:     Apply the mine work health and safety management plan;
RIIRIS401D:       Apply site risk management system;
RIICOM302D:    Communicate workplace information;
RIIBEF301D:     Run on-site operations; and
RIIBEF402D:     Supervise on-site operations. 


Status: Draft training products have been developed for which consultation was held until 19th January 2019.

Extractive IRC Projects to commence in 2019

Construction Materials Testing:

  • In 2013 NATA (National Association of Testing Authorities) updated their policies to introduce mandatory on-site lab testing of construction materials, involving independent experts reviewing and assessing the quality assurance of materials testing. The RII training package needs to be updated to account for these changes and ensure ongoing alignment with industry requirements for construction materials testing.
  • Some laboratories located at smaller regional quarry sites have been adversely affected by the policy change, and workers have difficulties meeting the competence requirements for NATA accreditation due to insufficient existing training.

Geotechnical Risks in Quarries:

Geotechnical hazards are the cause of a number of serious safety incidents that have occurred in quarries. Existing geotechnical risk training needs to be updated to enhance its focus on safety.

The current training offered in the geotechnical space only accounts for supervisory roles and above. However, geotechnical risks impact all workers in quarries, ranging from operators to vehicle drivers, and there is a strong demand by industry to develop “non-technical” units in order to create a stronger awareness of the potential hazards and to minimize risk onsite.

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