Simulators to boost skills in resources sector
The use of simulators will help overcome the skills shortage in our booming resources sector, according to Queensland Mines and Energy Minister Geoff Wilson, who this week inspected new state-of-the-art simulators at the Mining Industry Skills Centre in Brisbane.The Minister said the simulators created a safe, yet realistic training experience for miners working in surface and underground mines in Queensland."These simulators will help train and upgrade the technical skills, and the safety and health skills of mine employees," Mr Wilson said.Following the trial of several interactive, state-of-the-art mining machinery simulators last year, the Mining Industry Skills Centre used a $3.25m Queensland Government grant to purchase 18 simulators and to develop the Simulator Training Centre."Simulators can be used for trainees and as refresher courses for employees at mine sites and in quarries,” Mr Wilson said. "The simulators are already being used at the Coppabella coal mine in Central Queensland.”"What's also exciting, is that they can also be used to train mining employees to help them deal with emergencies and crises in a controlled and safe environment.”Mr Wilson said the Mining Industry Skills Centre, the Queensland Mines Rescue Service and the Department of Mines and Energy were working together to develop mines rescue simulations."The concept is in the early stages, but it offers great potential to lift the industry's skills in mines rescue training."There are many hazards in the mining industry and people involved, from the ground up, are striving for ways to do things smarter and safer," he said.Through video headsets, simulators offer a virtual experience in operating machines such as excavators and continuous miners.The simulators cover both surface and underground mining machines, including loaders, draglines, longwall shearers and continuous miners, as well as haul trucks, wheel loaders and dozers.Mr Wilson said surface and underground mines in Queensland and New South Wales, and quarries in Queensland, had shown considerable interest in using the simulators to train workers."Three simulators will be trailer-mounted and fully mobile by the end of the year," he said.