The Queensland Government is partnering with industry heavyweights to ensure women also benefit from the influx of jobs expected in the mining boom.

Their strategy involves giving women the skills they need to be job ready.

Alice McCarthy reports.


It’s called “Women in Hard Hats”.

This Queensland Government program is about promoting non-traditional career pathways such as mining to women.

Today an information session was held at the Ipswich RSL for those interested in entering the mining workforce.

Warren Cremor, WDS Mining: “The fact of the matter is the numbers, demand that everyone get involved, otherwise we won’t reap the benefits of it, just can’t depend on traditional labour sources.”

This is the first program that’s directed specifically at getting women into underground mining.

But it’s not just about the money.

Tim Gillam, Ebenezer Employment: “One of the things we need to cover today through the information sessions is to make people aware, make the women aware, that although they might be on some good salaries and wages, there is a trade-off for that.”

That includes being away from home and risking personal safety.

From today’s session, women are invited to apply for a training program to become mine-site ready.

It is hoped women will have equal opportunity to pursue the influx of jobs set to result from the forecasted mining boom. In 2006, females made up just 6 per cent of the Queensland workforce in mining and resources. The Qld Resoruces Council aim for this percentage to be doubled by 2020.

Meredith Gray thinks she might fit the bill.

Meredith Gray, Job seeker: “I’m nearing retirement age but can’t afford it. So I thought mining would be great and I’ve always loved driving so I really wanted to drive trucks.”

Other women who think they’ve got what it takes can attend the same information sessions in Mackay and Emerald later this week.

Alice McCarthy, QUT News.