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Skills demand strong with 100,000 construction jobs on major Australian projects

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30 May 2013

A NEW labour market index launched by national resource industry employer group AREEA shows construction labour requirements on Australia’s mining, energy and infrastructure projects will peak at nearly 100,000 workers in 2013.

Speaking at Mining Skills Australia’s Summit in Sydney today, Australian Mines and Metals Association (AREEA) director of group services Tara Diamond, announced the first biannual AREEA-Pit Crew Labour Market Index.

“This unique industry tool details the labour demands for major Australian resource and infrastructure projects, breaking down specific areas of the skills shortage and capital investment state-by-state,” Ms Diamond says.

“This index shows that while construction workforce numbers are coming off a massive peak in 2012, during 2013 Australia will still see 98,869 people walk through the gate of a major resources, energy or infrastructure projects.

“LNG investment is having the most significant impact on the demand for labour and, despite the need for urgent policy action to address productivity and cost pressures, employment numbers are still set to increase over 2013 towards an expected peak in 2014.

“The Index also shows that while Queensland and Western Australia are home to the majority of major projects, the Northern Territory will experience the greatest labour shortages.

“Labour demand for the Northern Territory’s emerging resource industry will peak at 5,644 skilled construction and trade workers in the coming year, but availability risks being just half of that.

“The ability to meet this demand requires a collaborative approach to facilitate greater domestic labour mobility between states and ongoing investment in training and skills development.”

The AREEA-Pit Crew Labour Market Index draws from the proven labour forecasting system developed by specialist firm Pit Crew Management Consulting.

The Pit Crew modeling reveals Australia’s resource employers will experience a potential skills shortage of 4,000 specialist welders and boilermakers as the mechanical phases of major LNG projects ramp up. Other skills shortages during 2013 include:

Pipe Fitters
Mechanical Fitters
Electrical Trades
Crane Operators
Riggers and Scaffolders
Production Managers
Experienced Production Operators
Engineering Technicians “

Pit Crew and AREEA have formed a strategic relationship to provide an updated labour market index twice a year,” says Pit Crew managing director Peter Dyball.

“Our modelling includes a range of infrastructure projects which also draw upon the resource industry’s construction labour pool. These projects include roads, power stations, port facilities, hospitals and public rail infrastructure.

“In addition to the construction labour, as these projects head towards completion they are ramping up an operations workforce, which will also require offsite support services.”

In developing the first of the bi-annual Labour Index, Pit Crew modelled 422 resources, energy and infrastructure projects within the Australian market, uncovering a total capital value of $728.8 billion.

Approximately 259 projects are approved with a value of $446.4 billion, while a pipeline of 163 less advanced projects is poised to deliver another $282.4 billion of investment.

Information about employment opportunities on major Australian resources and related-infrastructure projects can be found at industry-endorsed careers website AREEA miningoilandgasjobs.com.

Click here for a PDF of this media release including relevant media contact.

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