33 000 workers needed in WA by next year

The skills shortage across resource and construction industries is continuing to worsen, with Western Australia alone needing to fund an extra 33 000 skilled workers by the end of 2012.

The Chamber of Minerals and Energy have compiled a report on the growth outlook for the state, which found that if the positions aren’t filled, it could have dire consequences for projects in terms of budget and timeframes and may ruin Western Australia’s reputation as a competitive mining market.

The West Australian is reporting that the 10-year forecast of labour and infrastructure report, to be released today, shows an extra 34 000 skilled workers need to be employed in resource projects in the Pilbara alone and says direct employment in the sector will soon pass 120 000 across WA, making up 10 per cent of the state’s workforce.

The shortage is expected to be most dire when projects including Gorgon, Pluto and BHP Billiotn’s Pilbara expansion reach their peaks and.

As many as 90 per cent of the workforce will be employed on fly-in., fly-out contracts, which is sure to further add to the already hot debate about FIFO work.

About 85 per cent of the additional FIFO workers will be based in Perth or Peel and the remainder interstate.

Most of the positions will need to be made up from foreign workers, as nearly all WA residents are already employed.

In January, Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced pthe government is considering assisting 20 000 skilled migrants to enter Australia and the rates of Irish relocating here is at record levels.

"Our ability to address these significant labour issues will impact directly on the ability to deliver these projects on time and on budget," CME chief executive Reg Howard-Smith tole The West Australian yesterday.

He went on to say the ability for companies to meet deadlines impacts on its reputation and future investment.

Earlier this month an online forum was unveiled to allow for discussion about the skills shortage and attempt to fimd solutions.

Image: WA Today

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