A Western Australian vocational education and training (VET) alliance between Rio Tinto and South Metropolitan TAFE to encourage input and involvement from the mining and resources industry will result in the development of Australia's first automation qualifications.
The WA VET Collaboration, chaired by industry leader Jim Walker, will inform curriculum development, education opportunities and strategies to build new skills and capabilities of the Western Australian workforce. This industry input will result in Australia's first nationally accredited courses in automation with a Certificate II course primarily aimed at secondary students, and a Certificate IV course to support the jobs of the future.
"Automation, technology and innovation will transform a range of industries and create new opportunities, and we need to be ahead of the curve to ensure our workforce can take advantage of that." said Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery. "Creating clear education and training pathways is key to maintaining our competitive advantage as a leader in automation technology. By partnering directly with industry, we can ensure the new curriculum futureproofs jobs by training Western Australians with the skills we know industry will need. This is a great example of industry working collaboratively with government to ensure our training sector creates a highly skilled workforce."
Science Minister Dave Kelly said "Research shows that 75 per cent of the fastest growing occupations in Australia require STEM skills. That is why as a priority, the McGowan Government is developing a State STEM strategy to lift the profile of STEM and to ensure every Western Australian has an equal opportunity to the jobs of the future. However, a 'STEM ready' WA workforce cannot be delivered by Government alone. That is why this initiative by Rio Tinto, working with TAFE, is so important."
This is the next step of a landmark partnership between South Metropolitan TAFE and Rio Tinto announced in October last year, with Rio Tinto contributing $2 million towards the new training program. The program is expected to be delivered for the first time in 2019.