Growth in Indigenous employment in the Queensland resources sector has outstripped general jobs growth, doubling in 10 years, according to the Queensland Resources Council.
Latest census data shows Indigenous workers in the sector stood at 908 in 2006 and 2007 in 2016.
QRC chief executive Ian Macfarlane on Wednesday addressed an Indigenous employment and training forum at Myuma’s Dugalunji Training Camp near Camooweal, 180km north-west of Mount Isa.
“As a sector we can always do more to train and develop Indigenous workers, but it’s encouraging to see that despite a slight fall in numbers across the sector in the last five years as a result of the downturn, Indigenous employment increased,” Mr Macfarlane said.
“In Mount Isa the number of Indigenous people working in the resources sector increased from 177 to 206 or 16 per cent in the last five years. As a result, the proportion of Mount Isa’s employees in resources that are Indigenous has risen from 5.5 per cent to 7.4 per cent.
“Every year the QRC recognises the enormous Indigenous contribution to the sector at our Indigenous Awards in Brisbane. It is our hope that the award winners will go on to be ambassadors for the sector, acting as role models and encouraging more Indigenous people to join our industry.”
In 2006, Indigenous people comprised 3 per cent of the state’s workforce in resources, whereas in 2016, it had grown to 4 per cent. Queensland’s Indigenous population is 4 per cent which places the resources sector as one of the few industries with a fair representation.
The forum at Myuma’s Dugalunji Camp was organised as one of the initiatives under a joint QRC and Queensland Government MoU to increase Indigenous participation in the resources sector – the partnership is in its 10th year.