THE Queensland Government campaign to attract more people into the teaching profession is an opportunity to fill the depleting ranks of industrial design teachers, according to the Queensland Resources Council.
QRC chief executive Ian Macfarlane said QRC has worked over the last 12 months with the government and a range of stakeholders to discuss the lack of industrial design – formerly known as 'manual arts' – teachers in Queensland schools.
Mr Macfarlane said the QRC on behalf of the State’s resources industry was working tirelessly with students and teachers to promote STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) in 75 secondary schools through the Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA).
“QMEA is a joint initiative between industry and the Government to encourage Queensland students to embrace STEM and the future opportunities open to them in study and in work,” he said.
“The QRC absolutely welcomes efforts to attract more teachers, and we particularly want to see a strong focus on getting more manual arts teachers at the front of classrooms.
“Manual arts – or industrial design as it’s now known – gives students important hand skills that are critical to a range of industries, including resource sector jobs whether it is coal, minerals or gas.”
Mr Macfarlane said the QRC would continue to work with industry to build the capacity of Industrial Design Teachers by upskilling tradespeople who might have lost jobs during the COVID-19 health crisis.
In June this year, the QRC proposed to the government that it offer 20 scholarships at $40,000 per annum for four years to assist with the upskilling of tradespeople.
TODAY'S announcement of a 1.3 percent drop in Queensland’s unemployment levels from 8.8 to 7.5 percent has been welcomed by the Queensland Resources Council.
Chief Executive Ian Macfarlane said mining and gas sector jobs continued to be advertised across the state, from Coolangatta to Cape York and Mount Isa.
According to Seek, there are currently 830 jobs in resources on offer, with more than 70 percent paying over $100,000 per annum.
Mr Macfarlane said it was no surprise the greatest decreases in unemployment figures were in the resource-rich states and territory of Western Australia, Queensland and the Northern Territory.
He said the Queensland resources industry was very proud to have been able to keep 372,000 people employed and earning throughout the COVID-19 crisis.
“A Resources Industry Recovery Agenda jointly prepared by the QRC and AMEC has identified the next steps for our industry in terms of post-COVID future growth, investment and employment opportunities,” Mr Macfarlane said.
“The plan takes the form of a partnership with the State Government and is based on the introduction of more streamlined regulatory approval processes and stable government policies, including a commitment to maintain royalty rates at current levels for the next 10 years, and no new taxes, fees or charges.”
Mr Macfarlane said Queenslanders can count on the resources sector to help the state recover from COVID.
“Resources can offer jobs, economic strength, export dollars and royalties that can be reinvested into services and infrastructure, but we need a much closer working relationship with the State Government to make this a reality,” he said.
“The LNP and Katter Australia Party have already responded positively to our industry development plan, and the QRC will continue to have constructive talks with the State Government.”
THE CFMEU's role as a guardian of the Award safety net for construction workers has been backed by the Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission (FWC) in a decision which reaffirmed workers' rights to be paid their full redundancy entitlements, a union spokespereson said.
"All businesses are legally required to be able to cover their workers' entitlements and liabilities," CFMEU national construction secretary,Dave Noonan said.
“This decision by the Full Bench of the FWC overturned an earlier decision which would have seen a Queensland construction denied his redundancy when his employer let him go.
“The employer opposed the union from bringing the appeal but the FWC recognised the CFMEU has a legitimate role in protecting the minimum safety net for all construction workers," Mr Noonan said.
"The Commission also agreed with the CFMEU's argument that the original decision was wrong under the law and should be quashed.
“The CFMEU has demonstrated its important role in safeguarding people's hard-won industrial rights," he said.
“It is significant that the ABCC and Fair Work Ombudsman were asleep at the wheel when it came to correcting the original legal error, which if allowed to stand could have significantly weakened the safety net for construction workers.
“It is also worth noting that this worker was not a member of a redundancy fund. Redundancy funds are encouraged by the union to assist in fulfilling redundancy entitlements for construction workers," Mr Noonan said.
"The CFMEU's role as a guardian of workers' rights has been explicitly recognised in this decision by the FWC. It is a role that is at the core of who we are and what we do and one from which we will not back down."