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AOG 2012 to tackle skills shortage in Australia's oil and gas industry

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article image While some progress has been made, Elliot believes that not enough is being done to counteract skills shortages in the resources industry
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Jody Elliot, Director of The Resource Channel, will chair a conference session at the 2012 Australasian Oil & Gas Exhibition & Conference (AOG) examining the growing skills shortage in the Australian resources sector.

The oil and gas industry is not doing enough, Elliot states, to provide entry-level opportunities, information and advice to jobseekers in an attempt to counter this shortage, which threatens to leave Australia's resources sector 36,000 tradespeople short by 2015.

Elliot further explains that she believes one of the greatest obstacles in attracting skilled workers to the oil and gas industry is the lack of clear communication from the industry as to where jobseekers should train, what skills they should train in, and how they can increase their chances of getting a foot in the door.

"As an industry we are happy to cry poor from a skills perspective, but reticent to share information to the job market which would significantly assist those seeking a start and us, as employers," Elliot says.

The Australian Government, along with the Western Australia, South Australia and Queensland State Governments have implemented programs and initiatives to attempt to remedy this situation, Elliot adds, but states that there still exists a distinct lack of available entry-level positions.

She explains that "the gap now appears to sit squarely with industry. Numbers seem to suggest little evidence that entry level or trainee opportunities have significantly increased from previous years, despite the known demand."

Elliot will host 'Resourcing the Pipeline: Skills for Tomorrow' at AOG, a session dedicated to delving into questions such as:

  • How and where will Australian projects source the skills and labour required?
  • What skill development programs are underway in readiness?; and
  • What opportunities are being provided for those keen to secure an entry-level position?

The session will feature an opening address by Western Australia Minister for Energy and Training and Workforce Development, Peter Collier, followed by a panel discussion focussing on the key challenges, opportunities and action underway to ensure a supply of skills for the industry.

In addition to the session hosted by Elliot, Matthew Underhill, Global Managing Director of Hays Oil & Gas, will also host a presentation at AOG where he will reveal the results from Hays' 2012 survey.

The AOG Conference will be the first public release of this survey. Underhill will make specific reference to the Australian skill shortages and suggest a six point plan for employers seeking to navigate their way through a skills short recruitment market.

The 2012 Australasian Oil & Gas Exhibition & Conference will take place at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre from 22nd to 24th February.

Photo: a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from Nautical9's Flickr photo stream.

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