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Critical skills gaps in mining revealed


Energy Skills Queensland’s (ESQ) 2013 Queensland CSG to LNG Workforce Plan has revealed more workers will be employed through supply chain contractors than as direct employees of the gas companies in the future.


The Workforce Plan outlines the operations and maintenance workforce needed in Queensland from 2014 to 2034, including the identification of more than 20 critical skills and occupations.

The findings were announced at the Plan’s launch during Energy Skills Queensland’s Annual Conference in Brisbane on Monday November 4.

ESQ chief executive officer Glenn Porter said the research identified the upstream (CSG field facilities) workforce would require the largest staff numbers and it was anticipated 65 per cent of workers would be contractors.

“There is now a greater understanding of the required contracting workforce and updated project figures meaning the peak workforce numbers have more than doubled from original estimates,” Mr Porter said.

“Arrow Energy, Conoco Phillips, Origin Energy, Santos and QGC provided their company workforce data and information regarding their projected workforce needs which we have aggregated into this industry skills demand forecast.

“Through this unique collaboration we have developed a shared understanding of the industry’s combined future workforce needs and compared this to Queensland labour market data to identify skills gaps.

“The gap we have identified between skills demand and supply will provide industry with a list of critical occupational groupings which will enable the industry to focus its attention and resources on strategies to meet the skills shortages we have identified.”

ESQ’s Workforce plan has identified more than 20 critical skills and occupations, which include: drillers, geologists, telecommunications technicians, electrical fitters, engineers, technical trainers and health & safety officers

Over a 20 year forecast period the workforce is expected to peak at around 14,900 workers in 2024, more than doubled original assessments into future industry growth in Queensland.


“There is now a greater understanding of the required contracting workforce and updated project figures meaning the peak workforce numbers have more than doubled from original estimates.”


Approximately 85 per cent of the overall operations workforce will be required in the Surat Basin and surrounding areas, with approximately 10 per cent and 5 per cent required in Gladstone and Brisbane respectively.

thoughtMr Porter said the CSG to LNG industry presented Queensland with potential for a wealth of long term employment and economic benefits so it was essential the industry continued to work together.

“The CSG to LNG industry has the potential to generate significant positive economic and social benefits on a national scale for Australia, Queensland, and for regional economies,” he said.

“As a result of our findings we have developed a number of key recommendations which will contribute to building a workforce which is flexible and competent, and to ensure all benefits from this emerging industry are realised.

“We recommend workforce planning initiatives are prioritised to improve training and employment investment decisions and that further investigations are urgently carried out to ensure individuals and organisations can capitalise on building sustainable career paths within the industry.

“There’s also a critical need to work more with the contracted workforce as this is where most workers will be employed, and where the greatest risks are from a health, safety, environment and productivity perspective.”

The Workforce Plan also identified the industry is well positioned to increase workforce participation for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, creating opportunities for long-term career progression.

“We are committed to working with CSG to LNG industry organisations and will continue to work with government, training organisations and other key stakeholders to further develop the training infrastructure and capability in Queensland to deliver a highly skilled, competent, safe and productive workforce.”


Energy Skills Queensland
Energy Skills Queensland is the Industry Skills Body leading energy industry and government engagement on education and training, skills development and labour market issues.


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