SA Mines and Energy Journal : April-May 2010
APRIL/MAY 2010 SA MINES & ENERGY JOURNAL 31 WORKFORCE countered the gloomy national picture of resource-related employment presented in January by the Australian Institute of Geoscientists, as well as more recent claims by some politicians that SA's exploration industry is going "backwards" . The groundwork for the GAP was laid before the onset of the GFC by SACOME's Skills and Education Committee, made up of key industry representatives. PIRSA responded swiftly by supporting the initiative financially. Graham Ascough, Managing Director of SA explorer Mithril Resources and a key member of the SACOME Skills and Education Committee, believes the program will have a positive impact on SA's exploration sector well into the future. "There was an instantaneous impact on jobs for our geoscience graduates as local explorers scaled back their projects as a result of the GFC, " he said. "In difficult economic times, GAP is assisting geoscientists to find relevant work and gain valuable experience in the resources sector, ensuring the retention and development of a strong geoscience skills base in SA over the long term. " Geoscientist Assistance Program Providing salary subsidies to resources companies for posts created to support mining and exploration projects is just one of the incentives the GAP has introduced. Practical incentives for SA-based projects and geoscientists include: • Introducing suitably qualified and or experienced GAP registered candidates to companies. • Providing salary subsidies of up to $25000pa. • Providing training grants of up to $1000 for individual "site readiness" training (eg first-aid and four-wheel-drive skills). • Funding for unemployed geoscientists to attend industry-leading conferences and networking events. • Geoscience skills enhancement training programs. • Company-specific training packages to address dentified skills needs. • Mentoring of geoscience graduates and follow-up monitoring of employment placements. For more information about GAP, contact Lisa Jeffery at SACOME on (08) 8202 9999.