Current VET Development Projects

By on December 3, 2019

DR ELIZABETH GIBSON, General Manager of the CMPA provides an update on the current VET system for the extractive industry.

Under the current VET system, the following units/skill sets are being developed with a brief description of the case for change:

Geotechnical Risks in Quarries

  1. 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.
  2. 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 minimise risk onsite.

Construction Materials Testing

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

New and Emerging Technologies

  1. The use of technology is the cornerstone of effective and efficient operational procedures in the
  2. Mining, Drilling and Civil Infrastructure industry. In order for the industry to keep up with the rapid growth and enhancement of existing technologies and practices, workers must receive training that is up to date.

As current technologies evolve, new technologies also emerge. Employers need workers to acquire the specific skills and knowledge needed to make best use of these technologies.

To ensure this, workers need nationally consistent training in how to use these new technologies. Key recent technological advancements for which new training is required are listed below.

  • The emergence of remote operating centres requires workers to be competent on all control room procedures. Current training only reflects the specific skills required in metalliferous mining, reinforcing the need for training product development across all industry sectors.
  • The adoption of remotely operated vehicles in the MDCI industry involves the creation of new, specialised job roles in vehicle operations. Without the appropriate remotely operated vehicle training, an operator skill shortage will remain.
  • Training for operating autonomous vehicles requires a national standard, in all MDCI sectors, or the industry will suffer from misalignment of and inconsistencies across operator skills.
  • The use of drones presents great potential in mining, particularly in surveying, capturing data pre and post blast, and counting of stockpiles, therefore workers require the skills necessary for data analysis and maintenance.

Contemporary and Emerging Blasting Methods

  1. In recent years blasting techniques have become more sophisticated to achieve more efficient, safe and accurate outcomes. New methods in electronic blasting, use of drones, GPS tracking technology and data collection are all areas where upskilling is required within the industry.
  2. Environmental concerns that relate to blasting methods are becoming increasingly important as organisations endeavour to maintain sustainable long-term operations. The benefits of environmentally conscious blasting, including the control of fuel/dust production and mineral recovery are not currently addressed by the nationally recognised training available to the industry.
  3. The ability to protect data and intellectual property from security breaches is an issue impacting industries worldwide. In the MDCI sector it has been highlighted that managing the security of data and IT systems for explosives is a crucial skill that needs to be addressed by the RII Training Package.

More information is available at

VET – Delivering Skills for Today and Tomorrow

The Australian Government has committed to strengthening the vocational education and training (VET) sector through its $525.3 million Skills Package Delivering Skills for Today and Tomorrow.

The package is intended to help train highly skilled and qualified workers, including in regional areas, to meet the needs of businesses.

The VET sector will play a key role in training new skills, as well as transferring or upskilling existing skills, for the jobs of today and tomorrow.

The Skills Package lays the building blocks for reforms identified in the Expert review of Australia’s vocational education and training system (Joyce Review), placing industry at the centre and raising the profile of VET as a career pathway of choice. It takes important steps towards longer term funding and governance reforms to help ensure that the VET system is responsive, respected and flexible into the future.

National Skills Commission

The Australian Government is investing $48.3 million to establish a National Skills Commission to oversee the Australian Government’s investment in VET. The Commission will examine options for a nationally consistent approach to funding VET qualifications. It will also drive research and analysis of future skills needs across industry to ensure the VET system addresses national labour market priorities.

Skills organisations

The Australian Government is investing $41.7 million to pilot Skills organisations in three key industries; mining resources, human services care and digital technologies (including cyber security). The Skills Organisations Pilots will drive innovative ‘end-to-end’ training solutions and enhance the role and leadership of industry in the national training system.

The Skills Organisations Pilots will provide an opportunity for industry to trial new ways of working within the current national training system, while looking for new opportunities to make sure training is able to meet employers and the economy’s needs.

National Careers Institute

The National Careers Institute will provide leadership in the delivery of high quality, evidence-based career development to enable Australians to make informed decisions about their learning, training and work pathways.

The Institute is responding to the Joyce Review recommendations for Australia to improve the quality of career development and resolve a significant amount of fragmented and difficult to use career information and services available to all Australians.

More information is available at

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