Demand for resources workers tipped to surge
The Chamber of Minerals and Energy of Western Australia has forecast demand for workers on energy and mining projects will outstrip supply within five years.
As part of the CME’s June edition of the WA Resources and Economics report, prepared with KPMG, it focused on options to secure a skilled labour force for the resources sector as part of its quarterly “Spotlight Issue”.
The number of people employed in the resources sector had increased dramatically over the decade to 2012, with the largest absolute increase in WA with 67,800 people added to the minerals and energy industry.
It said that during the period there was a 200 per cent increase in the number of employed persons in the sectors at an annual growth rate of 11.6 per cent compared to 24.4 per cent for other industries at an annual growth rate of 2.2 per cent.
Despite this, the report forecasts demand for workers on energy and mining projects would exceed supply over the next five years.
CME chief executive Reg Howard-Smith said the lack of skilled labour to build and operate new projects was a key challenge for the industry. “The section outlines key areas resources companies are focusing on to meet this challenge, including training, succession planning and workforce diversity,” he said.
Prefeasibility engineers, process controllers, operations and maintenance engineers, LNG specialists and specialists skills in ‘debottlenecking’ were likely to be in high demand. The report said other skilled areas such as metal fitters and machinists would be equally challenging to find and that companies were giving unprecedented focus to strategies that attracted and kept their workforce.