We’re forced to use foreign talent: drilling boss

Boart Longyear's US-based CEO Craig Kipp says the skills shortage has forced the company into flying US and Canadian talent into Australia.

Kipp said while the company always tried to hire local workers there were shortages in Australia that could only be filled internationally.

He said while the company was having difficulty finding drillers in Australia the real shortage for Boart Longyear was in professional workers.

"We're having a hard time hiring drillers, but that's always been difficult," he said.

"Finding professional talent is a big problem though, and it's not even about the money, it's a real shortage."

"That's the biggest issue with operating in Australia."

Kipp said Longyear had been bringing international talent to Australia for around 18 months and while undesirable, the trend looked like continuing.

Boart Longyear is the world's biggest drilling services and products company for the mining sector, and Kipp also said he had not seen some of the weakness in the market hinted at by BHP Billiton chairman Jacques Nasser.

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