Australian first as automation course launched

TWO courses in automation will launch in Western Australia in the second half of this year.
Australian first as automation course launched Australian first as automation course launched Australian first as automation course launched Australian first as automation course launched Australian first as automation course launched

Rio's autonomous trucks

Staff reporter

Certificate II in Autonomous Workplace Operations will be introduced to TAFE curriculum and piloted by a group of Rio Tinto's iron ore workforce from August.

It will also be piloted for year 11 and 12 students in selected high schools across WA.

A Working Effectively in an Automated Workplace micro-credential course for trade-qualified, apprentices and technicians will also be available.

Rio is contributing up to A$2 million to the development of the new qualifications with a Certificate IV in Remote Centre Operations also in development.

The courses will be offered at South Metropolitan TAFE in Munster from the second semester of this year.

This is the first achievement of the Resource Industry Collaboration between the WA government, South Metropolitan TAFE and Rio.

The collaboration also includes Fortescue Metals Group, BHP, Komatsu, TAFE WA, Scitech and the University of WA.

"This is a great example of industry working in partnership with government to ensure our training sector creates a highly skilled workforce," WA premier Mark McGowan said.

"These new courses will allow us to maintain our competitive advantage as a leader in automation technology in Australia and ensure local people have the skills for the new jobs that are being created through technological innovation.

"They will also ensure the diversification of our economy and help Western Australians assist the mining industry well into the future."

Rio Tinto Iron Ore chief executive Chris Salisbury said the company was proud to have helped develop the first nationally recognised certifications in automation.

"Australia's workforce is in the midst of an important shift, as innovation and technology create new business models across all industries," he said.

"Mining has moved to become a genuine leader in innovative technology and we recognise the critical need to provide effective education programmes and opportunities to help our people succeed in this new era.    

"We believe these courses will make a long-lasting and positive difference to the lives of many Australians. It will help ensure our industry remains globally competitive and is a leader in innovative technology."

Chamber of Minerals and Energy of WA CEO Paul Everingham said members were facing challenges in attracting the skilled workforce required.

"WA's resources sector is heading into an exciting new phase in terms of technology and innovation that will create thousands of new jobs for the next generation of workers and ensure Australia's resources sector remains at the forefront of world's best practice," he said.

"In order to capitalise on these advancements towards automation, robotics and artificial intelligence, we need to ensure skilled local workers are available and we can only do this by ensuring we have courses and training opportunities that provide these skills.

"The new certificate courses will provide a fantastic opportunity for Western Australians wanting to gain the necessary skills and knowledge that will make them highly sought-after in the resources sector."