Resources jobs safe well into the future despite automation
THE Queensland resources industry is planning investments in technology and innovation that will make it one of the state's most cutting-edge job creators, the Queensland Resources Council says.
The council's latest quarterly State of the Sector survey found resources CEOs were on the cusp of new investments in a range of advanced equipment including automated vehicles and virtual reality tools.
"The resources industry is one of Queensland's most resilient and innovative sectors. And that's good news for people who want jobs both now and in the coming decades," QRC chief executive Ian Macfarlane said.
QRC's State of the Sector survey found 91 per cent of CEOs were planning further automation activities, a third were implementing artificial intelligence and almost 10 per cent were planning to use augmented reality technologies. For example, a virtual reality computer version of a mine could guide equipment on the most efficient and safest path.
"The investments are being targeted to make mining smarter, safer and to deliver even better value to Queenslanders," Mr Macfarlane said.
"New technologies can increase safety for workers through use in hazardous situations such as fires, or preventing collisions in remote operations.
"New technologies can also be used to maximise returns from mining projects in a sustainable way.
"The more of our commodities that are accessible the greater the royalties return for Queensland. But there's no replacing the skills and expertise of resources employees.
"Importantly, company CEOs see automation and innovation as a way to enhance their mining projects, not focused as a way to reduce jobs.
"Resources jobs will continue well into the future, as our resources sector strengthens its role as an early adopter of technology.
"More than 80 per cent of resources companies expect the demand for STEM graduates to increase in the next five years."