Mining /
Oil and Gas

SSO Skills Forecast

Resources and Infrastructure Industry (RII)


The Mining, Drilling and Civil Infrastructure (MDCI) sector encompasses a broad range of activities, from open cut coal mining to the construction of water and gas pipelines. The wider MDCI group can be split into the following five sub-sectors:


  • Metalliferous Mining – This sub-sector includes both the surface and underground mining of iron ore, copper, tin, nickel, gold, silver and zinc. The skills learned in metalliferous mining are also relevant to the mining of gemstone, uranium and mineral sands.

  • Coal Mining – This sub-sector includes both open cut and underground coal mining. The industry is concentrated in NSW and QLD, with the states containing 97 percent of black coal economic demonstrated resources (EDR).1 Brown coal resources are concentrated in Victoria, with around 93 percent of brown coal EDR located in the Latrobe Valley.

  • Drilling – This sub-sector includes both onshore and offshore drilling, as well as surface and underground drilling. Drilling is used in mineral exploration and production, geothermal energy production, water well drilling, civil infrastructure and agriculture. Drilling itself is a multidisciplinary industry and shares many core skills with the sub-sectors in the wider MDCI sector.

  • Extractive Industries (Quarrying) – The quarrying subsector focuses on the extraction of raw materials used in building and construction, such as sand, rock, gravel and limestone. Given the abundance of these raw materials in many parts of Australia, quarrying sites are generally located close to the major sites of building and construction. As such, the sub-sector is spread across Australia according to population and infrastructure investment.

  • Civil Infrastructure – This sub-sector includes all civic and industrial infrastructure works (excluding the erection of buildings).

Chemical, Hydrocarbons and Refining Industry (PMA)

The chemical, hydrocarbons and refining industries are a global, diverse industry group covering the production of chemicals, industrial gases and, metals and petroleum refinery. It is highly exposed to global market and economic factors.

The outputs from these sectors are often viewed as inputs across a range of downstream processing industries.

Most chemical, hydrocarbons and refinery businesses are located in the Easter States. According to IBSA Manufacturing 2019 Skills Forecast and Proposed Schedule of Work, of the 2862 chemicals, hydrocarbons and refinery industry businesses in Australia, 78% or 2257 are located in NSW, Victoria or Queensland.

The industry sectors are undergoing significant structural adjustment caused by the need to remain internationally competitive. In a number of cases, this is creating investment decisions around new technology.

Industry Reference Committee (IRC)

Industry Reference Committees (IRCs) are the formal channel for considering industry skills requirements in the development and review of training packages.

Each IRC is made up of people with close links to industry. They are leaders in their own sectors from big business to small enterprise and peak bodies to unions, who understand the skills needs of their sector, industry or occupation.

IRCs ensure training packages meet the needs and concerns of employers, employees, training providers, and people seeking training qualifications.

IRCs gather information to help develop and review training packages, ensuring the national training system provides the qualifications, knowledge and skill sets that industry needs.

IRCs represents each sub-sector of the MCDI group:

The Chemical, Hydrocarbons and Refining industry are represented by the  Process Manufacturing, Recreational Vehicle and Laboratory Industry Reference Committee.

Each IRC is supported by a Skills Service Organisation (SSO) to help them in their work. 


Skills Service Organisations (SSO)

Skills Service Organisations (SSOs) are independent, professional service organisations that support IRCs in their work developing and reviewing training packages.

SSOs support industry engagement while remaining independent from both industry and the training sector.

They prepare documents, such as the skills forecast and proposed schedule of work, and assist with training package development and review.

SSOs are a key access point for other industry stakeholders who want to play a part in the development of training packages and are financially supported by the Commonwealth Government. 

The SSO for the MCDI Group is PwC's Skills for Australia.

The SSO for the Chemicals, Hydrocarbons and Refining Industry is IBSA Manufacturing.

Resources Industry?

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Here you will find links to a range of career resources which contain information
on RITC industries and also apprenticeships and traineeships.

The Resource Industry Training Council (RITC) is a state government funded joint venture between Chamber of Minerals and Energy (CME) and the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association Ltd (APPEA), gathering industry intelligence, on current trends, skills gaps and training needs, which it provides to industry, the State Training Board (STB), Department of Training and Workforce Development (DTWD), the WA Government. RITC governance is facilitated through the RITC Advisory Board. 

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