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Resources sector in transition, not decline


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Resources companies need to build the specialist skills of their workers as the sector shifts from construction into operations and major oil and gas projects come online, a workforce trends report says.

The report says the resources sector is in transition, not decline, with some of our biggest resources projects moving from a construction phase to an operations phase, and major mining, oil and gas projects coming on stream.

The Resources Sector Skills Needs 2013 report, produced by the Australian Workforce and Productivity Agency (AWPA), examines the sector’s changing skills and employment outlook to 2018.

It estimates growth in the South Australian Sector for the period to 2017, when Holden’s closure is due to be complete, at around 1400 jobs.

It finds as the industry moves from construction into an operations phase, particularly in the growing oil and gas sector, resources companies will need to develop more people with specialised technical skills and industry experience, to maintain momentum and growth in the sector.

“For the best part of a decade, the Resources Sector has been one of Australia’s most important and influential industries—and an engine of national economic growth,” the report says.

“Growth has been driven by strong demand from China, India and other developing countries resulting in investment in major resources projects, particularly in Western Australia and Queensland.

“Iron ore is now Australia’s largest export commodity in terms of revenue; we are the world’s fourth largest producer of coal; we have significant gas fields; our production of natural gas is increasing substantially; and we are set to become the world’s second largest exporter of liquefied natural gas.

“In the last few years, uncertain global economic conditions, weakening commodity prices, declining investment and increasing global competition have prompted speculation the resources boom may be coming to an end.

“However, industry experts believe the Resources Sector is in transition, not decline.”

The report says there is ample time for the sector to adjust.

“With a long lead time required to develop critical skills for the sector’s future, especially in oil and gas, it is clear industry, government, and education and training providers need to collaborate and plan now to develop the workforce the industry will need in the years to 2018.”

Key findings in the report’s snapshot of the sector

Skills in the sector

Who’s working in the sector?

Jobs in the sector

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