In October 2016, Warren Mundine addressed the Minerals Council of Australia Workforce of the Future Forum in Canberra on the topic of Indigenous people and the future minerals industry workforce. In that address he said: The questions and answers on the future workforce and economic development are the same for Indigenous and non-Indigenous people. It’s not corporate social responsibility. It’s business. If you find the right solutions to the challenges, the outlook for Indigenous Australians and the future minerals industry workforce is bright.
Following that address, the Minerals Council of Australia commissioned this paper to expand on the key themes and explore how the minerals industry can meet the challenges put to it in that address. This includes how the industry can:
- Shape and guide economic development in Indigenous communities, particularly in remote and regional Australia
- Build resource pools for those communities beyond the minerals industry workforce, including by training workers of the future who meet the needs of both the industry and the communities from which they are drawn
- Develop new engagement models for Indigenous people and the minerals industry
- Prepare for the future workforce and future Australian economy.
Indigenous people have a seat at the table for virtually every mining project in Australia. The minerals industry will be able to build more effective and valuable partnerships with Indigenous groups that have sustainable communities with real economies. Through its activities and engagement with Indigenous people and communities, the minerals industry can assist communities to achieve this, in turn helping to secure its own future workforce and network of resources. The future workforce isn’t just something that will happen to the minerals industry. It’s something the industry can shape and direct.
Mundine, N. W. & Henderson, E. (2017). Crafting the future: Minerals industry engagement with Indigenous Australia. Forrest: Minerals Council of Australia.