Approximately 184,500 people are directly employed in mining, oil and gas operations which is about 1.6 per cent of the Australian workforce. The jobs and associated skills required for these resource operations can vary from project to project and company to company. Despite Resource Sector employment only representing a small proportion of our total workforce, it has a major impact on the future prosperity and sustainability of the Wide Bay Burnett regional economy.
As a driver of national and subsequently regional wealth, the Resource Sector has the potential to provide the Wide Bay Burnett region with long-term, sustainable employment opportunities through direct engagement with the sector or in support industries. Regional Development Australia Wide Bay Burnett (RDA WBB) is committed to achieving employment participation outcomes for the Wide Bay Burnett's unemployed labour force.
Critical to the ongoing operations of the sector is its ability to maintain a skilled workforce. Resource Sector labour shortages impact on regional skills shortages with the promise of higher wages attracting workers away from regional centres. Effective planning and appropriate training will mitigate this potential impact by providing a skilled labour pool of people who are not currently within the workforce to quickly replace existing workers.
The RDA WBB Roadmap V2.0 clearly indicates that Advancing Education and Training and Driving Economic Prosperity and Job Creation are key regional priorities. Through RDA WBB's regional consultation process conducted in March 2012 it was identified that matching the skills of our unemployed labour force with those required for the resources sector is the most important component of RDA WBB's workforce development activities.