Building long-term capability in the Australian minerals industry – The MINAD project

Ayers, Ron and Dowling, David and Lind, Gavin (2014) Building long-term capability in the Australian minerals industry – The MINAD project. In: 25th Annual Conference of the Australasian Association for Engineering Education (AAEE 2014): Engineering the Knowledge Economy: Collaboration, Engagement and Employability, 7-10 Dec 2014, Wellington, New Zealand.


The minerals industry in Australia, as in many other countries, has a history of fluctuating between boom and bust scenarios. In the boom times the industry experiences severe shortages of skilled labour, whilst demand is considerably reduced in the lean times. In 2011 the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) received Federal Government funding to foster the development of two new
Associate roles within the minerals industry in the disciplines of Mining Engineering and Geoscience, in order to build long-term capability.
The purpose of the Minerals Industry National Associate Degree (MINAD) project was to develop nationally the role of Associate within the Australian minerals industry and to ensure adequate educational programs and pathways for student articulation.
The MINAD project commenced in 2012 as a partial solution to the long-term shortage of graduates from professional level Mining Engineering and Geoscience programs in Australia. The project involved educational providers, mining companies and other organizations in order to establish suitable educational programs and to engage mining companies in Associate training. The MINAD Project was guided by an Industry Advisory Panel (IAP), and utilised a structured approach for contributions from educational providers (VET and HEd) and mining companies.
A systematic curriculum development process was used to develop the structure and content of the two national educational programs. The process involved: (1) the definition of graduate outcomes; (2) the definition of a body of knowledge for each program; (3) the development of the learning outcomes and content for each course. The first two stages were undertaken nationally as part of the MINAD project. The third stage will be undertaken by each provider so as to meet contextual and institutional requirements, while delivering the required MINAD outcomes.
MINAD educational program models have been established for mining engineering and geoscience and a number of mining companies have expressed interest in integrating Associate training into their workforces. Two universities introduced MINAD program models in 2014 and a number of other educational providers have expressed interest in developing MINAD programs for introduction in 2015 or beyond.
The two pilot programs are progressing successfully and have been well received by students and the mining industry. Active recruitment campaigns sponsored by the minerals industry are underway, both in the general media and within the mining companies themselves. Recruitment through mining companies has however been difficult, as the industry continues to struggle with the concept of long term capability building during a period of industry downturn.

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: © Australasian Association for Engineering Education 2014. These proceedings are copyright. Apart from fair dealing for the purpose of private study, research, criticism or review as permitted under the Copyright Act, no part may be reproduced by any process without the written permission of the publisher.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Civil Engineering and Surveying (1 Jul 2013 -)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Civil Engineering and Surveying (1 Jul 2013 -)
Date Deposited: 23 Aug 2016 05:52
Last Modified: 22 May 2017 02:40
Uncontrolled Keywords: Mining, Geoscience, Associate Degree, Industry Collaboration
Fields of Research (2008): 13 Education > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy > 130212 Science, Technology and Engineering Curriculum and Pedagogy
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970113 Expanding Knowledge in Education

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