30 Sep 2011

Mining firm predicts thousands of workers needed

9:14 am on 30 September 2011

Mining giant BHP Billiton estimates Australia's resources industry will need more than 150,000 extra workers over the next five years.

Mining companies are warning the Australian Government that it needs to boost spending on training or risk wasting the boom and damaging the rest of the economy.

The ABC reports that some analysts are sceptical about that argument saying that miners are just trying to shift the cost of training their workers on to taxpayers.

The mining industry has been trying to recruit people from the cities and from regions struggling with high unemployment.

Tom Reid from the Australian Mines and Metals Association says the Government needs to liberalise its skilled migration policies.

The Minerals Council has also been agitating for the Government to boost spending on mining-related training and university courses.

But the Melbourne Institute's Mark Wooden says mining companies should not expect the Government to take on responsibility for training all their workers.