Fast-tracking automated technology pathways, skill sets and qualifications in open-cut mining operations in Queensland
The Queensland Future Skills (QFS) Partnership is an award-winning training project delivered by BHP Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA), TAFE Queensland and CQUniversity Australia.
- The QFS Partnership is an award-winning collaboration that is introducing training targeted at supporting new technologies within the resources sector, with a special focus on facilitating the fast-tracked development and delivery of new autonomy related qualifications for open-cut mining operations in Queensland.
- Through this partnership the training and industry partners have rapidly developed new courses, skill sets and micro-credentials which are now being delivered directly into industry and secondary schools by CQUniversity and TAFE Queensland.
- The success of the partnership has now also seen it branch out into new sectors such as agriculture where the use of technology and automation is gaining speed.
BHP Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA)
BHP Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) is Australia’s largest producer and supplier of seaborne metallurgical coal and is owned 50:50 by BHP and Mitsubishi Development. BMA operates seven Bowen Basin mines (Goonyella Riverside, Broadmeadow, Daunia, Peak Downs, Saraji, Blackwater and Caval Ridge) and owns and operates the Hay Point Coal Terminal near Mackay.
BMA identified a need for the fast-tracked development and delivery of automated technology pathways, skill sets and qualifications for an open-cut mining environment in Queensland.
A multi-million-dollar collaboration between BMA, TAFE Queensland and CQ University Australia was formed, resulting in the Queensland Future Skills (QFS) Partnership. This partnership has developed and is now delivering new programs to prepare the mining, equipment, technology and services sector workforce for emerging skills demands and employment opportunities of Industry 4.0.
The partnership’s governance and engagement model brought together the resources sector, researchers and government, to co-design and support the implementation of training programs led by a centralised program management office. The cornerstone to the partnership’s success is using targeted, current and authentic industry and community engagement, research and analysis to inform decision-making and planning.
All partners acknowledge that vocational education and training has a critical role to play in supporting industry, workers and communities to adapt to this change and ensure the future and security of regional and remote jobs.
Bringing together the brain power of problem solvers and facilitators from the ground up, that’s how the partnership was designed – fit-for-purpose solutions through consistent and open communication. TAFE Queensland and CQ University have developed tailored ‘at pace’ products. As of the end of October 2022, more than 80 students from five schools across Queensland are currently participating in the Certificate II in Autonomous Technologies (10935NAT) specialising in new, digital, and autonomous technologies.
The partnership has already won several awards including the Outstanding Training Initiative of the Year as part of the Resources Training Council’s 2021 Innovative Skilling Awards, and the Premier’s Industry Collaboration Award at the 2022 Queensland Training Awards.
There is often much discussion about future workforces and the QFS Partnership is taking action now, to deliver the skills into Queensland communities that will be needed in the next five, 10, 15 and 20 years. The partnership is rapidly developing new courses, skill sets and micro-credentials which are now being delivered directly into industry and secondary schools by CQUniversity and TAFE Queensland.
The success of the partnership has now also seen in branch out into new sectors such as agriculture where the use of technology and automation is gaining speed.