Skills outlook shifts to shrink trade roles

Skilled tradespeople will be even more in demand as Bowen Basin mines recover from flood-enforced shutdowns.
Skilled tradespeople will be even more in demand as Bowen Basin mines recover from flood-enforced shutdowns. Daryl Wright

A REPORT has found that a new industry response on skills development is needed to avoid an undersupply of critical skills, as Australia's resources sector shifts from construction into operations and major oil and gas projects come online.

Skill needs was one of the key findings in the report released yesterday by the Australian Workforce and Productivity Agency (AWPA), which examines the changing skills and employment outlook in Australia's resources sector until 2018.

Based on economic modelling of growth scenarios, the report finds that professional and specialist jobs are on the rise while trade and labouring positions are shrinking.

Employment in Australia's burgeoning oil and gas operations are likely to increase by 57% while mining operations employment is likely to steadily increase by 7.4%.

The big decline will be in resources project construction, where low-growth scenario modelling finds employment is likely to peak at 83,324 workers in 2014 and then fall to 7708 in 2018.

"Resources companies will face challenges in recruiting and retaining workers with the required specialist operational skills and experience," AWPA chairman Philip Bullock said.

"Global competition for skilled workers is increasing and workforce planning needs to proceed quickly to ensure domestic workers are available to fill time-critical shortages in the second half of this decade."

Topics:  skills shortage training

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