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The resources industry has responded to the Federal Government’s new employment white paper, urging the Government to help the sector plug position gaps.

The paper sets out how the Government is planning to remove work barriers and help people secure skills and jobs that are fairly paid.

It is hoped that this will stamp down structural unemployment over a long period of time.

Both the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) and the Australian Resources & Energy Employer Association (AREEA) have responded to the white paper saying that while they acknowledge the steps taken to tamp down unemployment, not enough is being done to plug the gaps in the resources sector.

“AREEA urges the Government’s jobs plan to incorporate solutions to well-known problems in the training pipeline by improving VET (vocational education and training) and other training outcomes, labour mobility and access to skilled migration,” AREEA chief executive officer Steve Knott said.

“Strong additional investment in TAFE and apprenticeships is essential – especially advanced skill apprenticeships – with better links between secondary school, vocational education providers and universities.”

MCA chief executive officer Tania Constable echoed this statement.

“The MCA supports key investments outlined in the white paper to improve access to and development of skills,” Constable said.

“At 0.78 per cent of the minerals workforce, skilled migrants represent a small but crucial talent pipeline to address skills in critical shortage and ‘hard to fill’ roles.

“Apprentices and trainees currently make up 4.4 per cent of the minerals workforce. Advancing higher and degree level apprenticeships will further strengthen this talent pipeline.”