METS chief’s warning for Mackay: unite or miss out
AUTOMATION in mining has presented a golden opportunity to build remote operations centres in areas like Mackay and will actually boost jobs, not downsize the workforce.
That was the message of METS Ignited chief executive Adrian Beer at Friday’s Resource Industry Network industry briefing, where he warned the industry could miss out on the growth opportunity if it failed to embrace collaboration.
Mr Beer said a report released by METS Ignited last month gave a positive assessment of the impact of automation.
A recent industry report by Perth-based research group State of Play also revealed 73 per cent of mining executives surveyed believe robotics and automation will have the biggest impact on the industry in the next 15 years.
“What we identified is actually automation will increase the number of jobs, but the types of jobs will certainly change,” Mr Beer said.
“We will miss the opportunity to continue to have a leadership role globally and be recognised as an industry leader if we have individual technology companies continue to try on their own to just sell their products to an international market.
“ … To collaborate is the only way we’re going to maintain the rate of growth we need to make automation a growth opportunity.”
Mr Beer said there was plenty of expertise, innovation and small to medium-sized tech companies in Mackay which had already solved significant mining operation challenges.
“What we need to do in the region is scale and grow those and get people to work together to turn their combined products into a solution, then scale and take those globally,” he said.
There was also plenty of praise for Mackay’s $7 million Resource Centre of Excellence, set to be completed in March next year, which Mr Beer described as “critical” for Mackay’s success.
METS Ignited is an industry-led, government-funded, growth centre for the METS sector.
Adrian Beer’s top tips for what METS businesses need to do to stay ahead of the game:
1. You don’t need to do it by yourself — work together with other industries
2. Invest in skills and training
3. Train young people on the technology they need to apply to industry challenges