Published on February 22nd, 2012 | by john.weir1
Australia turns to the UK as skill shortages bite
Western AustraliaÂ a new partnership with the British Governmentâ€™s international business development arm UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) to help develop their natural resource projects.
The UKTI hopes to bring more British-based companies to work on the exploration, construction and operation of liquefied natural gas (LNG) production.
British High Commissioner to Australia Paul Madden said the Northern Australia Gas, High Value Opportunity Programme (NAG HVAP) was like a â€œclubâ€ for companies wanting to be involved in the LNG industry in Australia.
The partnership is also working with the Northern Territory and Queensland State Governments to help British companies win contracts on projects such as Chevron-operated Wheatstone, Gorgon and Woodsideâ€™s Pluto project.
According to Energy Minister Peter Collier,Â the new partnership was necessary because, despite the Governmentâ€™s investment in training, there was still a lack of skilled workers, which was only set to grow as more resource projects were announced.
â€œNo matter how much we invest in training, no matter how much we try to deliver training opportunities for Western Australia, it is simply going to be inadequate,â€ he said, adding the state would be tens of thousands of workers short.
Unions are continuing to campaign for more transparency around the awarding of contracts relating to major resource projects and have demanded the State Government ensure training of local workers.Mr Collier denied the partnership would result in Australian jobs being taken offshore and would not result in work being given to UK companies when it could be completed by WA mining service companies.
Want a job in Western Australia ? Come to Down Under Live in Birmingham February 2012.