Resources sector call for increase in skilled migrant numbers

The chairman of Woodside Petroleum, Michael Chaney has called on the Australian government to facilitate a large increase in skilled migrants numbers, warning that the rapid growth of Australia?s resources and mining sectors are fuelling cost and schedule pressures.

Mr Chaney told Woodside’s annual general meeting in Perth today that the spike in demand for skilled labour in the resources sector was responsible for driving up costs, and this “runs the risk of impacting project economics”.

“In an industry experiencing such rapid growth, we must stay on top of these challenges if Australia is to realise its potential in LNG.”

Mr Chaney, who also chairs National Australia Bank, told shareholders that the Australian oil and gas industry was increasingly focused on skills development to provide the labour to develop LNG projects concurrently.

But the industry also needed more temporary skilled migration to fill the gap between supply and demand.

Mr Chaney said cost increases resulting from productivity losses were also threatening the viability of Australian projects.

“To manage these cost pressures, we must continue to improve national workforce productivity and flexibility, while providing adequate protection to employees,” he said.

The meeting was continuing at the time of this report.

Category: Migration News
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