Queensland Future Skills Partnership

October 2022

BHP Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) – the largest producer and supplier of seaborne metallurgical coal with seven mines across the Bowen Basin – identified a need for the fast-tracked development and delivery of automated technology pathways, skill sets and qualifications for an open-cut mining environment in Queensland.  

The response was a multi-million-dollar collaboration between BMA, TAFE Queensland and CQ University Australia, the Queensland Future Skills Partnership. This partnership has developed and is now delivering new programs to prepare the Mining, Equipment, Technology and Services sector workforce for emerging skills demands and employment opportunities of Industry 4.0. 

Genuine Client Focus

The cornerstone to the partnership’s success is using targeted, current and authentic industry and community engagement, research and analysis to inform decision-making and planning.

TAFE Queensland and CQ University have developed tailored ‘at pace’ products - microcredentials, skill sets and a Certificate II - to fit the emerging needs of the industry. Bringing together the brain power of problem solvers and facilitators from the ground up, that’s how the partnership was designed – fit-for-purpose solutions through consistent and open communication. Our education partners work together so well. It’s seamless.

Vocational education and training has a critical role to play in supporting industry, workers and communities to adapt to this change and ensure the future and security of regional and remote jobs. TAFE Queensland has a reputation for excellence in training product development and CQ University values the regional focus they’ve built with BMA.  

The client sees one team. Coordinating the systems behind the scenes isn’t always easy, but there’s a united front. Working directly with BMA, their experts and suppliers, means a tailored fit. Client focus can be as simple as putting yourself in their shoes. Our priority is what will work for them, not us – being solution focused.

There’s an absolute commitment to deliver what we say we will. Our response is “yes we can” and then we work together on how, thinking outside the box. A deep understanding of what’s valuable to the client is key.

Professional Project Management

The partnership’s governance and engagement model brought together the resources sector, researchers and government, to co-design and support the implementation of training programs led by a centralised program management office.

The structure is a real strength. Our management committee – BMA, TAFE Queensland and CQ University – meet weekly

The industry Steering Committee - including BMA’s suppliers and even competitors - is given most responsibility. They sign off on the program of work, scope, timeframes, frameworks for qualifications, implementation plans and roll out. A dedicated project led approach has enhanced the professionalism our client sees.

The partnership demonstrates how training providers can work with industry in emergent areas, in response to workforce development needs in regional Australia. 

The effort put into the initial set-up – joint KPIs, project approach etc. - pays dividends. Genuine engagement with education, mining partners, equipment manufacturers, state and local government has also identified opportunities to continue to work collaboratively. BMA strives to be the employer of choice and this partnership aims to build a skilled pipeline of workers for the industry. Building long-term solutions with our education partners is a key part of our workforce strategy.