Qld’s resources sector leads way in attracting female and Indigenous apprentice and trainees

14 August 2023

The number of women starting an apprenticeship or traineeship in Queensland’s resources sector has tripled over the past 10 years, according to new state figures.

The latest data on Queensland apprentice and trainee numbers confirms an increasing number of young women and Indigenous people are embracing the highly paid career opportunities in the state’s mining and energy sector.

The figures from Queensland’s Department of Youth Justice, Employment, Small Business and Training also reveal the completion rate for apprentices and trainees in resources sits well above the national average.

Queensland Resources Council (QRC) Chief Executive Ian Macfarlane said the results reflect the work being done to build a diversified, skilled workforce in the resources sector.

“Over the 10-year period from 2013/14 to 2022/23, the number of females starting an apprenticeship or traineeship with resources companies operating in Queensland has more than tripled,” Mr Macfarlane said.

“Women now account for 35 per cent of total apprentice and trainee commencements in Queensland’s resources sector, up from 11 per cent 10 years ago.

“In the same period, the percentage of Indigenous trainees and apprentices in the resources sector rose from 13 to 18 per cent, which we’re very pleased to see.

“Our industry is already the biggest private employer of Indigenous women and men in Queensland, and we want to continue to see these numbers grow.

“This is a terrific testament to the work being done by resources companies to diversify their workforce to better reflect the communities in which they operate and increase the number of skilled workers available for companies to employ,” Mr Macfarlane said.

“The other good news is the latest figures confirm young women and Indigenous people are completing their apprenticeship or traineeship with Queensland resources companies at much higher rates than the national average.

“85 per cent of females and 82 per cent of Indigenous men and women in Queensland are completing their courses and setting themselves up on a path to a rewarding career in resources sector.

“Across our sector, the completion rate for apprentices and trainees sits at 76 per cent, which is around 20 per cent higher than the national average for all industries,” Mr Macfarlane said.

“It’s great to see so many young people not only choosing to take up apprenticeships and traineeships in our sector but seeing them through to completion at such high rates.

“Young Australians will play a critical role in the resources sector’s transition to a decarbonised future, so these latest figures are very encouraging.

“Industry campaigns like the QRC’s recently launched Shape Your Future, Innovate Our World campaign are doing a great job in attracting Gen Z’s attention to the jobs they can do to help the resources sector become more sustainable and ultimately achieve net zero.

The QRC’s educational arm, the Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA) runs workshops and programs to directly support the pipeline of new apprentices in Queensland’s resources sector.

The ‘Tradies for a Day’ workshops are held right across Queensland and the intensive six day ‘Oresome Trades’ camps in Mount Isa and Central Queensland are used as part of the recruitment process for major resources companies like BMA, Glencore and Anglo American.