New Certificate IV remote operations qualification creates career pathways

Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery today announced the introduction of a ground‑breaking course in remote operations — the first of its kind in Australia. Starting at South Metropolitan TAFE (SMTAFE) as a pilot course for 2020, the now nationally accredited Certificate IV in Autonomous Control and Remote Operations qualification was developed through the Resource Industry Collaboration, a landmark partnership between the McGowan Government, SMTAFE and Rio Tinto Iron Ore.

The Resource Industry Collaboration is led by WA State Training Board Chair Jim Walker and includes Rio Tinto, Santos, Yara, Komatsu, BHP, FMG, South32, Roy Hill, the Chamber of Minerals and Energy of Western Australia, TAFE WA, the University of Western Australia and Scitech.The partnership aims to ensure Western Australian workers are prepared for industry advancements, innovation and automation, and reflects the Government's commitment to collaborating with industry to create a highly skilled workforce. Today's announcement follows the introduction of two additional automation courses in June 2019, a Certificate II in Autonomous Workplace Operations and a micro-credential course for apprentices and technicians, developed under the same partnership.

Combining integrated learning in a control centre, the new qualification is designed to give students the knowledge and skills to work at some of Australia's top-tier automation facilities, such as Rio Tinto's Remote Operations Centre in Perth.Rio Tinto has committed $2 million towards the development of these qualifications, providing pathways to emerging jobs in the field of automation and placing WA at the forefront of technological development in the resources sector. Approximately 30 Rio Tinto Iron Ore employees will be involved in the pilot of the new qualification in 2020, and pending successful completion of the pilot, the first course will start in 2021.

"TAFE is an important pathway for many Western Australians — whether you're just out of school or looking for retraining opportunities, this new course will provide a unique set of skills, setting workers up for the new jobs being created through technological innovation." said Premier Mark McGowan today. "These new courses will allow us to maintain our competitive advantage as a leader in automation technology in Australia, ensuring the continued diversification of our economy and helping local workers assist the mining industry well into the future."

Speaking about the new qualification, Eductation and Training Minister Sue Ellery said "This a great example of the State Government and industry working together to ensure the training sector is responsive to technological advancements, providing opportunities for Western Australians to acquire the skills needed for emerging career paths. Western Australia is a global leader in automation and this pioneering course will allow our community to take full advantage of the many opportunities automation is expected to deliver to industry and the WA economy in the near future."

Page last updated January 13, 2020