Gen Z's Perceptions of Mining Reveal Surprising Disconnect, AUSMASA Report Finds

AUSMASA's report reveals 73% of Gen Z Australians believe mining does more harm than good, yet 61% think it can be sustainable. The report highlights the need for the industry to adapt to Gen Z's environmental concerns to ensure a sustainable future.

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Geeta Pillai
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Gen Z's Perceptions of Mining Reveal Surprising Disconnect, AUSMASA Report Finds

Gen Z's Perceptions of Mining Reveal Surprising Disconnect, AUSMASA Report Finds

A recent report by the Mining and Automotive Skills Alliance (AUSMASA), in partnership with Year13, sheds light on the perceptions of Generation Z (aged 15-24) towards the mining industry in Australia. The report, titled "Gen Z Perceptions of Mining," provides critical insights that could shape future strategies for workforce recruitment, training, and upskilling in the sector.

The findings reveal a surprising disconnect between Gen Z's views on the industry's environmental impact and its potential for sustainability. According to the report, a staggering 73% of young Australians believe that mining does more harm than good to the world. However, 61% of the same demographic think that mining can be sustainable, and 74% consider the industry important for achieving a net zero emissions future.

Why this matters: The mining industry's ability to adapt to changing environmental concerns and perceptions will have a significant impact on its future workforce and sustainability. The mining industry's ability to adapt to changing environmental concerns and perceptions will have a significant impact on its future workforce and sustainability. It must also address the expectations of the next generation while facing these challenges to ensure a successful transition to a more sustainable future.

The report also highlights the economic significance of mining in the eyes of young Australians. Twenty-four percent of respondents say mining is extremely important to the Australian economy, while 42% say it is very important. This recognition of the industry's economic value is juxtaposed with concerns about its environmental footprint.

In response to the findings, Troy Williams, ITECA Chief Executive, emphasizes the need for the mining industry and skills training sector to promote careers in mining through a different prism. He suggests highlighting the positive aspects of mining, such as its role in reaching net zero emissions and shifting towards sustainable mining practices.

The report presents an opportunity for policymakers, the mining industry, and the skills training sector to adapt and respond with skills training programs that address Gen Z's concerns about the sector's environmental impact. It also highlights the importance of independent Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) in supporting the mining sector, with 97.3% of enrolments in the Certificate III in Surface Extraction Operation qualification coming from independent quality RTOs.

Looking ahead, the report shows that 24% of young people would be interested in undertaking subsidised education and training, with a job in the mining industry at the end of it, in traditional or non-traditional mining industry jobs. This indicates a potential pool of future talent for the industry to tap into, provided it can effectively address the environmental concerns raised by Gen Z.

The AUSMASA report provides valuable insights into the perceptions of Gen Z towards the mining industry, highlighting the need for the industry to adapt and respond to their concerns. The Australian mining sector faces the challenges of commodity price fluctuations, worker safety, and environmental concerns, while also confronting the expectations of the next generation. The report's findings serve as a wake-up call for the industry to address its environmental and social impacts while showcasing its potential to contribute to a sustainable future.

Key Takeaways

  • 73% of Gen Z Australians think mining does more harm than good to the world.
  • 61% of Gen Z believe mining can be sustainable, and 74% see its importance in achieving net zero emissions.
  • 24% of Gen Z consider mining extremely important to the Australian economy, while 42% say it's very important.
  • 97.3% of mining industry training enrolments come from independent Registered Training Organisations (RTOs).
  • 24% of Gen Z would consider subsidised education and training for a job in the mining industry.