Tech transition to disrupt jobs, boost safety performance

Image: 'Staying ahead of the Game' report

Embracing new technologies in the resources industries could add $74 billion to the Australian economy by 2030 and create over 80,000 local jobs, according to a report commissioned by METS Ignited and National Energy Resources Australia (NERA).

Federal Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews said the use of analytics and robotics provided significant safety and environment benefits, while rapidly increasing job opportunities.

The report, which was prepared by consulting firm AlphaBeta, suggested potential job losses in mining and oil and gas could be more than offset by an increase in employment in Australia’s domestic supply chain supporting those sectors.

Job losses in heavy vehicle driving could potentially be replaced by increasing jobs in the primary firm, in the supply chain and the wider economy.

The benefits also include workforce development and higher paid employment in digital technology enabled positions.

These benefits would be lost to importers if Australian equipment, technology and services suppliers fail to support miners and energy producers in automating their operations, the report stated.

Australia’s domestic supply chain alone has the potential to generate an estimated $32 billion of benefits and 265,000 jobs from this tech transition.

“This kind of technology opens up new, unexplored opportunities for the resources sector and what this report shows is the huge economic opportunity if new technology is embraced,” Andrews said.

“The new jobs will be created across the country, including many in the regional areas where mining already exists, which will ensure the continued vibrancy of these communities.”

Global companies are already upskilling their workforce to ensure staff retention and access to highly skilled workforce in the region, according to the report.