• Media Release

Mining apprentices and trainees up 19 per cent

Apprentices and trainees in the mining industry increased 19 percent in 2022, according to the latest data from the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) released today.

Overall, 7,689 apprentices and trainees joined the mining workforce in 2022.

Commencements for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander apprentices and trainees in the industry also increased by 14 per cent, but the greatest increase was in the number of women commencing – a 26 per cent increase compared to 2021.

Apprenticeships and traineeships are an important pathway into the minerals industry, with high demand for qualified tradespeople in highly paid and secure jobs.

The mining industry has for decades invested in collaborative partnerships such as developing tailored work readiness, apprenticeship and traineeship, cadetship and recruitment pathways.

The growth in female apprentices and trainees reflects the industry’s commitment to increasing the representation of women across the workforce, a trend that must continue.

Apprentices gain skills for life and the demand for skilled workers is forecast to increase, with Australian mining investing billions in adopting the latest technology to improve safety, productivity and decarbonise.

While these figures are very encouraging, there is no guarantee that the industry will continue to employ more Australians, including new apprentices and trainees, if policy settings discourage new employment.

The federal government’s ‘Same Job, Same Pay’ proposed legislation would severely impact the Australian mining industry’s ability to employ more apprentices, due to the requirement to pay them the same as more experienced workers who are directly employed.

Instead of making the industry more competitive and attractive for investment, the federal government’s proposed legislation would be a handbrake on mining wages, investment and jobs growth.

Today’s data also revealed that the average number of apprentices and trainees in training also increased in 2022 by 16 per cent (to 11,652), which included an increase of 21 per cent of women and a 16 per cent of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Overall, the number of completed apprenticeships and traineeships in the mining industry increased by 10 per cent (to 3,626).