The skills drought facing Australia's resources sector represents a golden opportunity for educational institutions to redouble their strong focus on the education of talented math, science and engineering students, according to Terry Griffiths, Chairman of Perth SUT (Society for Underwater Technology).
Griffiths, who is one of a host of industry leaders taking part in the Australasian Oil & Gas Exhibition & Conference (AOG) Careers Day on Feb. 24, said the growing skills shortage could be turned into a "skilled education opportunity".
"The current trend is for Australia to supplement its skill base by importing significant numbers of workers, however this is a double-edged sword. People need to think of the situation as a global issue, with opportunities for local educational institutions to further strengthen their focus on excelling in the education of talented students," Griffiths said.
Griffiths, a mechanical engineer with 15 years of experience in the oil and gas industry in Europe, Asia and Australia, said the skills shortage offered a unique chance for students with the right skills and motivation to progress their careers.
"The skills shortage extends beyond just the oil and gas industry. It encompasses a wide range of disciplines and careers involved in the offshore, subsea, naval and marine fields. They are all facing a demographic time-bomb where there are expected to be substantial numbers of skilled and experienced people retiring over the next few years," he said.
The AOG Careers Day invites tertiary math, science and engineering students to come and learn more about the graduate programs, vacation programs and career opportunities available with some of Australasia's largest oil and gas employers.
Griffiths said he hoped the event would help inspire upcoming thinkers, problem solvers, scientists and engineers to take up the challenge and pursue a career in oil and gas.
"Without an appreciation of the interesting, challenging and exciting careers which are available in oil and gas, too many students are choosing to drop the core math and science subjects which are essential to moving into this field," Griffiths said.
Offering a mix of presentations and face-to-face interaction between students and industry leaders, the AOG Careers Day will also feature speakers from Woodside, ConocoPhillips, WorleyParsons, J P Kenny, John Holland, INPEX, Subsea 7, GE Oil & Gas, Technip, Curtin University, and University of Western Australia.
The event is happening Feb. 24 as part of AOG 2012 at Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre. To register visit www.aogexpo.com.au/careersday.
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