Potential skills shortage on the horizon

The WA mining sector could face a major skills shortage within the next two years, according to the Chamber of Minerals and Energy.

The Western Australian mining sector could face a major skills shortage within the next two years, the Chamber of Minerals and Energy (CME) said in a statement yesterday.

According to the CME, a further 26,000 workers will be required by 2013 as several multi-billion projects begin in the State’s north.

“With in excess of $72 billion worth of resource sector projects either committed or planned for Western Australia, there is continued demand for employees in this sector,” the CMA said in the statement.

The suggestions of a skill shortage come after recent figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showing more than 20,000 jobs have been lost in the WA mining and energy sectors since November last year.

“Despite the current financial crisis causing a weakening in general demand, the CME’s growth outlook study suggests positive growth will occur to 2020,” the Chamber said.

The CME has backed calls from Western Australian Premier Colin Barnett for more relaxed rules on skilled migrant visas to allow foreign workers to fill skilled positions.

The Chamber said it wants the Western Australian Government to establish the State Migration Taskforce announced in its 2009/10 Budget to ensure the development of a state migration strategy and policy frameworks for the next 10 years.

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