Australian Industry Group
Primary, Extractive and Processing Sector
Terry Bourke Ph: (03) 9867 0233
National Industry Group Manager
I am writing to you in response to the Australian Industry Group's stance (Heather Ridout, ABC's P.M. 18.9.06) regarding skills' shortages in a range of industries, including mining. The general thrust seems to be that the Federal Government is to blame and that it should be doing more by way of direct training.
I have been in the mining industry for 35 years and have watched as the major mining companies have avoided their responsibilities to workers time and again. In times of low metal prices workers were shed like confetti and when the cycle inevitably turns the constant bleating begins, by retained management, complaining of the lack of geotechnical personnel, chemical and mining engineers, miners, mill operators, skilled tradesmen and construction and transport workers.
The companies and their inept managements have no-one to blame but themselves. The situation is of their own making and is a direct result of their selfish and shortsighted actions. The Australian Industry Group is part of the problem, not, from my perspective, part of the solution. What is the Australian Industry Group doing, for example, to encourage companies to employ students in jobs in their chosen fields during vacations?
Who would enter this industry with its poor record of job security? In my experience, only the very enthusiastic - just as well we've got them because they keep it going when the going gets tough.