The rollout of Australian Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and other resource projects will greatly impact on the already dire skills shortages, and drive it to critical levels this year.
The need to source staff from offshore has been increasingly considered and discussed across the mining industry.
In December, mining giant Clive Palmer announced plans to have 10 per cent of workers at his $8 billion coal development in the Galilee Basin of central-west Queensland sourced from China.
"In Western Australia, in our projects there, we’ve had something like 10 per cent who are Chinese people on site," Palmer said.
"We’ve had 7000 workers, we’ve had about seven or eight hundred Chinese engineers who are directing the work.”
He said it “would probably turn out something like that” at his Queensland site.
The inaugural Opportunities Australia – Engineering, Mining Oil and Gas Expo will be held in Alberta, Canada, in May to create a platform for employers to meet, interview and hire highly skilled professionals who are motivated and ready to make a move down under.
Rupert Merrick, General Manager of Working In Ltd, that host the event, said going offshore for personnel is a viable solution for Australia’s mining industry.
“The current tug of war of engineering, mining, oil and gas professionals will see wage blow-outs across the industry. International recruitment is a key way to combat this,” he said.
Alberta is renowned for its world class natural resource base which has an estimated 39 trillion cubic feet of remaining established natural gas reserves.
It is home to over 170 000 professionals who work in the resource and energy sectors, and the organisers say the Opportunities Australia Expo in Canada are expecting thousand of professionals who are interested in finding opportunities that exist, securing employments and moving to Australia to turn out.
“Australian employers at the event will be thrilled with the calibre of candidates that attend. This expo provides a great opportunity to recruit highly skilled individuals who are motivated and ready to move.” Merrick said.
Australian employers will conduct seminars designed to bring their business, current projects and employment opportunities to life.
Caltex Australia and Origin Energy have already signed to exhibit at the event and BHP Billiton recently confirmed gold sponsorship status of the event.
The Opportunities Australia Expo, which has run successfully in the UK for the past 12 years will be held in Alberta’s largest city, Calgary, on 7 and 8 May and Alberta’s capital city, Edmonton on 14 and 15 May.