Gen Z give perspective on mining industry

As Australia’s mining sector is facing a skills shortage and is seeking a holistic approach to solving it, the Mining and Automotive Skills Alliance (AUSMASA) conducted a survey revealing the knowledge and attitudes of young Australians towards the mining sector. 

AUSMASA’s report outlines Gen Z’s perceptions of the mining industry, which fundamentally provides insight into future strategies for workforce recruitment, training, and upskilling. 

Young Australians between the ages of 15 and 24 participated in the survey, which the Independent Tertiary Education Council Australia (ITECA) says is a critical tool in helping the industry and skills training sector look to promote careers in mining through a different prism. 

Key findings from the report include 73% of young people think mining does more harm than good to the world. 

Yet, 24% of the respondents say mining is extremely important and 42% say it’s very important to the Australian economy. 

A male participant from Western Australia says the world is currently living under a capitalist system. 

“With profit being the largest motivator for companies and corporations, mining is currently an industry that contributes massively to climate change, environmental degradation, and the destruction of rural communities, intentional or not.”

Despite most young Australia’s associating mining with fossil fuels and the impact on climate change, AUSMASA reports 61% of respondents think mining can be sustainable. 

ITECA Chief Executive Troy Williams says the positive impacts mining has needs to be discussed more, such as its role in reaching net zero emissions and shifting towards sustainable mining practices. 

The latest report reveals that about 42% of respondents think mining is important to a net zero emissions future. 

“Gen Z sees the importance of mining for a sustainable future, but is equally concerned about the sector’s environmental impact. It’s a call to action for us to adapt and respond with skills training programs that address these concerns,” Williams says. 

The report analyses the data collected from the What Gen Zs Think of Mining Survey, conducted by Year13, on behalf of the Australian Minerals & Energy Skills Alliance (AUSMESA), now the Mining and Automotive Skills Alliance (AUSMASA).

The aim was to understand how young people perceive the industry and how to encourage more young Australians to pursue career opportunities in mining. 

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Images: Mining and Automotive Skills Alliance
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Written By Aaliyah Rogan
Relocated from the East Coast in New Zealand to Queensland Australia, Aaliyah is a fervent journalist who has a passion for storytelling. When Aaliyah isn’t writing stories, she is either spending time with friends and family or down at the beach.