Australia Needs to Boost Oil, Gas Skill Development

Australia Needs to Boost Oil, Gas Skill Development

With Australia poised to become the world’s second largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) exporter, companies in the expanding petroleum industry will need to develop more people with specialized technical skills and industry experience. Such an approach is essential if the country hopes to maintain momentum and growth in the sector as LNG projects become operational, the Australian Workforce and Productivity Agency (AWPA) said in a December 2013 report.

Australia’s resources sector has traditionally been one of the country’s most important industries and has been an economic growth engine for most of the past decade. Exports of energy commodities and minerals reached $169 billion (AUD 187.1 billion) in 2011–12, representing about 60 percent of the total value of Australian exports, the AWPA report indicated.

Strong global energy demand has contributed to a wave of investments in LNG projects in resources-rich Australia since the second half of 2000s. Total investments in major gas projects in the country reached $181 billion (AUD 200 billion), according to estimates by the Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association (APPEA).

Growing Need for Skilled Oil, Gas Workforce

As a result, the industry urgently need to possess a sufficiently large skilled oil and gas workforce so as to meet future demands, especially as LNG projects move from the construction to the operations phase.

While many companies and education providers in the sector deliver skills development programs, such “efforts are not sufficient to prepare the industry for the challenging skills demands which lie ahead,” the AWPA said.

Given the long lead time to develop the requisite critical skills needed for the petroleum industry, the government together with education and training providers need to collaborate and plan now to develop the workforce the sector will need in the years to 2018.

The call to develop such a workforce for the petroleum sector was made in an AWPA-commissioned report, titled “Resources sector skills needs 2013”, prepared by Deloitte Access Economics.

Australia Needs to Boost Oil, Gas Skill Development


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Ryan E | Oct. 14, 2014
I am so sick and tired of hearing that there is a shortage of oil and gas workers in Australia for both up and down stream. I am about to graduate from one of the few petroleum engineering degrees in the country and thanks to some previous work experience I have managed to secure myself a job. However from my class only one other student has secured employment and the others have no chance. Both the masters and bachelor degrees will produce over 70 potential candidates, not to mention the other unis, yet there is no place available for them in industry. Every job you apply for there is over 200+ candidates. Oil companies / contractors need to stop pinching employees from each other by offering them ridiculous packages and start training young people in the country! If every company would train more juniors/grads it would increase the talent pool and give some relief to these ridiculous wages and companies wouldnt need to pinch employees from each other.

Rags | Jan. 31, 2014
That Australia is in need of skilled oil and gas professionals is an open secret. That it has unfortunately taken the Australian Government such a long time to recognize this need, is regrettable. Human Resource Development takes a long time, to develop the workplace skills required in large numbers.In this era of outsourcing, companies plug in for short-term hiring. This may work in a world where the skills are abundantly available. But the emerging skills shortage in the Upstream industry due to an ageing workforce, is here to stay for the foreseeable future. Part of the uncertainty has to do with the future of the oil industry itself, in the face of increasing environmental concerns. It is clear that the Australian Government has to get its act together and formulate a long-term energy policy which lays out the contours of the changeover to renewables. This will provide the signal to the marketplace for skill development.

Mike C Pritchard | Jan. 31, 2014
I believe the AWPA and the generic information base this article has received its apparent "honest" information from needs to re-think its material and get real about the Australian labour force and our work ethics actual attitude. Going back a number of years the industrial sector and OUR government backed and provided the advertising campaign and university budgets promoting reasoning for how Australians were recognised as an offshore commodity that showed the world how our engineering, technology, training and labour expertise was needed and welcomed overseas as a core front "OZZIE" exportable resource that promoted universities to conduct overseas scholarships and businesses to promote technical exports etc.. Since mid 2009, (via a rushed through Labour Govt backed legislation), the ATO (tax) abuse of us off-shore workers has made us dare not come home, so we now invest our offshore incomes overseas, forcing the Govt/Banks/Business to extend the cost of living in our home "girt by sea". So this in turn promotes overseas job infiltration, offshore manufacturing and imports and now I see the apparent outcome or relevent "news item" suggesting Australia needs to start training and hiring a more experienced O&G work force. Did you all know that the Ozzie O&G experienced work force started some 50 years ago and the experience is still available and also if the Govt keeps to wanting a "67" year old retirement age we are here longer??? How about this??? AU Govt and ATO make a realistic across the board fair tax system, actually pay the right wages reflective to overseas workers rates, remove the overseas companies one eyed HR employment practices when reviewing Aussies CVs for proper fairness, and I would guarantee the young, old & experienced and very sought after Aussies would flock back to the home they thought and fought for to support their children and families!!!


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