LNG opportunity for Blue Tongue

08/06/2015 - 10:03

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A looming shortage of skilled technicians in the oil and gas industry is the latest opportunity local business Blue Tongue is planning to tackle.

LNG  opportunity for Blue Tongue
FOCUS: Tully Young says Blue Tongue is targeting the oil and gas sector. Photo: Attila Csaszar

A looming shortage of skilled technicians in the oil and gas industry is the latest opportunity local business Blue Tongue is planning to tackle.

Since 2008, Blue Tongue has put together upskilling programs to help various businesses meet their skilled labour needs.

Its clients have included trucking, mining and civil contractors, and caravan manufacturers.

Director Tully Young sees the oil and gas industry as the next area that will face problems.

“The industry is coming to a critical juncture,” he said.

“A very different skill set is needed as they move from construction to production.

“The level of demand for skilled operators far exceeds the supply; the training is way behind.”

Blue Tongue recently ran a pilot program for electricians to be dual traded in electrical and instrumentation work, and is looking to roll that out nationally.

The pilot program was run in Queensland, where three big liquefied natural gas projects are approaching start-up or ramping up production.

Adding to that will be the Gorgon, Wheatstone, Prelude and Ichthys LNG plants over the next few years.

The industry and the Western Australian government have been focused for some time on this issue, with the Australian Centre for Energy and Process Training at Henderson expanding its operations.

Blue Tongue’s business is based on working with clients with specific needs for skilled labour, and finding the right candidates and the best trainer to fill that need.

“We employ people before they even start the program,” Mr Young said.

“It’s a whole life cycle approach, and training is just part of that.

“There is a lot of risk partnering that goes into making this achievable.”

The company has sourced, hired and up-skilled more than 300 tradespeople, with each of them having a job lined up before they start.

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