Who is MTEC?

The Minerals Tertiary Education Council (MTEC) is a division of the Minerals Council of Australia. Since its inception MTEC has relentlessly pursued the development of world-class education for a world-class minerals Industry. The minerals industry recognised that the delivery of education in Australia's universities had to change if the industry was to maintain and grow its international competitiveness. In October 1999, the industry developed a course of action to ensure the supply and quality of technical professionals. Since this time MTEC has been a major driver in establishing three national higher education programs in Mining Engineering, Minerals Geoscience and Metallurgy across 15 Australian universities, which now produce the bulk of new, highly skilled technical professionals from those disciplines

Why was MTEC Established?

The minerals industry concluded in its discussion paper Back from the Brink (1998) that the delivery of education in Australia's universities had to change if the industry was to maintain and grow its international competitiveness. A course of action was recommended to ensure the supply and quality of technical professionals.

Since 1999, over $30 million of industry funds have been allocated to assist MTEC in the development of industry-focused courses and in the employment of academic staff and educational specialists.

The MTEC Programs

Through its university partners, MTEC currently supports and runs a range of educational programs in the Australian minerals tertiary education sector including: (hyperlink within site)

  • Mining Education Australia (MEA)

  • Minerals Geoscience Masters (MGM)

  • Metallurgical Education Partnership (MEP)

  • Minerals Industry National Associate Degree (MINAD) Project

MTEC also runs support programs and projects to assist with attraction, retention and up-skilling of professionals for the Australian minerals industry and is the policy/research division of the MCA dedicated to the tertiary education sector.

A Positive Vision for the Future

A productive workforce needs to be a skilled workforce. The Minerals Council of Australia (MCA), led by its higher education arm MTEC, is developing and implementing national strategies to ensure the adequate supply of skills to the industry to increase minerals industry labour productivity by: Advocating public policy and institutional capacity building for improved delivery in the tertiary education sector – both the university sector and vocational education and training sector (VET) – in minerals industry related areas. This policy position of MTEC has been recognised internationally as the foundation of a “stable, competent, innovative workforce” (p.81) and promoted within a recent Washington publication, Emerging Workforce Trends in the U.S. Energy and Mining Industries: A Call To Action.

By building an uninterrupted, sustainable education and training pathway to increase workforce participation, diversity and skills, regardless of the business cycle, MTEC is delivering a world-class system of mining education. The financial support to our partner universities has provided unencumbered funds to counteract the “relatively high costs” of minerals-related programs: some $34 million over the past decade alone. MTEC has re-connected industry with education, so that the three programs have been designed in collaboration with industry to ensure graduates are industry-ready with the right balance of theoretical, technical and soft skills. Through MTEC, industry has demonstrated a long-term skills development strategy beyond the cyclical imperatives of the present.

Yet MTEC does not rest on its laurels, and continues to devise strategies to ensure there is a consistent and long-term supply of appropriately skilled professionals entering Australia’s largest export industry. The Minerals Industry National Associate Degree (MINAD) program is one such initiative that seeks out “true partnership between industry, government and academia to reshape minerals education in Australia,” and will provide the minerals industry with efficient, appropriately skilled paraprofessional workers as part of their workforce profile. By moving beyond reactionary initiatives to counter cyclical industry requirements, the MINAD project is a natural extension to the MCA’s vision of an uninterrupted sustainable education and training pathway for workforce participation, diversity and skills.