28/07/2009 - 14:03

CME backs calls for more foreign workers

28/07/2009 - 14:03

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The Chamber of Minerals and Energy has backed Premier Colin Barnett's suggestion of relaxing foreign worker restrictions with the state potentially requiring an additional 26,000 employees by 2013.

The Chamber of Minerals and Energy has backed Premier Colin Barnett's suggestion of relaxing foreign worker restrictions with the state potentially requiring an additional 26,000 employees by 2013.

Yesterday, Mr Barnett warned of a possible relaxation on restrictions if Western Australia is to avoid another major skills shortage within two years.

The premier attributed the looming shortage to several projects, such as the Gorgon LNG project and the Oakajee deepwater port, all going forward at the same time.

Today, the CME said while there were a number of job losses in the minerals and energy sectors, there were 2,000 more people employed in the WA resources sector now than at the same time last year.

According to CME's Growth Outlook Study, positive growth will continue to occur to 2020.

"The current environment is the perfect opportunity for people considering a career in the resource sector to gain skills and position themselves for when growth returns," CME chief executive Reg Howard-Smith said.

"The resource sector actively promotes and supports the employment of the local workforce. However this is an industry that competes on a global market for critical skills.

"The resource sector is still experiencing a shortage in some areas which are important to business sustainability.

"To meet industry needs it is important the Australian skilled migration system is flexible and efficient."

Mr Howard-Smith called for the Barnett government to form the State Migration Taskforce to ensure the development of a WA migration strategy and policy framework for the next five to 10 years.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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