Now is the perfect time to boost Indigenous employment and traineeship opportunities, according to research from Energy Skills Queensland’s (ESQ) 2013 Queensland CSG to LNG Workforce Plan.
The resources industry is currently well positioned to expand workforce opportunities across Queensland, encouraging increased participation for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
The coal seam gas (CSG) and liquid natural gas (LNG) sectors could create twice as many jobs as previously anticipated, with around 15,000 people in Queensland now expected to be employed at its peak, ESQ Chief Executive Glenn Porter said in a November 7 media statement.
“Based on our findings we have made a series of recommendations to Government and industry on how to ensure Queensland does not face a critical shortage of necessary skilled workers to support the industry,” he said.
Bolstering support for employment and training opportunities for Indigenous Australians while creating opportunities for long-term career progression will increase prospects for the local workforce and economy.
With a focus on reducing the industry’s reliance on non-Queenslander workers, the Workforce report highlighted a number of sectors and occupations that will be critical in creating opportunities for Indigenous employment and apprenticeships in Toowoomba and other areas of Queensland.
There were more than 20 positions and skills identified by the report as roles that will be highly sought-after by growing resource sector organisations and projects, including geologists, drillers, engineers, technical trainers and health and safety officers.
The Workforce report forecasts that approximately 85 per cent of the overall operations workforce will be required in the Surat Basin and surrounding areas, with the remaining 10 per cent and 5 per cent will be needed in Gladstone and Brisbane respectively.
The report also highlighted that the CSG field facilities workforce will require the largest numbers of personnel, filling roles across the development, maintenance and shutdown phases of gas wells.
Gas companies will directly employ 35 per cent of workers, while the remaining 65 per cent will be contracted through supply chain contractors.
With a strong employment future forecast in Queensland’s resources industry, it is important to ensure opportunities are available for Indigenous job seekers through proven training and employment programs, such as ESQ’s own Queensland Workforce Skilling Strategy.
“We are committed to working with CSG and LNG industry organisations and will continue to work with government training organisations and Indigenous communities to further develop the training infrastructure and capability in Queensland to deliver a highly skilled, competent, safe and productive workforce,” Mr Porter said.