Global Advanced Research Journal of Educational Research and Reviews (GARJERR) ISSN: 2315-5132

March 2013, 2(3): pp. 049-059

Copyright © 2013 Global Advanced Research Journals


Full Length Research Paper

Building an Australian Indigenous Mining Workforce with Competency Based Training in the Australian Vocational Education and Training (VET) System

Cecil Pearson AL * and Sandra Daff

Senior Research Fellow, School of Management, Curtin University GPO Box U1987Perth, Western Australia 6845.

Specialist Indigenous Relations, Pacific Aluminium PO Box 21 Nhulunbuy, Northern Territory, 0881.

*Corresponding author Email:

Accepted 29 January, 2013


The Australian mining industry is undergoing resurgence in economic development, and the high demand for additional skilled workers is reflected in employment strategies targeting Indigenous people in remote regions of the nation. Driven by legislative reforms during the 1990s mining companies are installing educational vocational programmes for Indigenous communities and this paper provides primary data of five Indigenous people who successfully transitioned an inaugural unique VET scheme to become full time operators at the Pacific Aluminium refinery at Nhulunbuy on the Gove Peninsula of the Northern Territory (NT) of Australia. The presented evidence challenges simplistic assumptions the delivery of VET programmes to Indigenous people will facilitate their employment at remote Australian mining operations.

Keywords: Mining, Resurgence, Vocational Education and Training (VET)



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