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Addressing skills shortage requires long-term solution: Report


Collaborative efforts to create long-term solutions to the ongoing skills shortage are in strong demand. New figures confirm that occupations in the resources and energy sector may remain in short supply beyond 2023.

The 2022 National Skills Priority List has revealed occupation supply shortages in every state and territory, a challenge that has been occurring for the past two years.

Employer surveys, in-depth stakeholder involvement, and thorough statistical research of the labour market are all used to construct the Skills Priority List, which is produced by the National Skills Commission.

Engineers, geologists, drillers, and tradespeople are among the roles impacted by the skills gap, directly affecting industry-critical production and site work maintenance. These shortfalls make it more challenging to run the energy and resource sector as a whole, and to expand new projects.

According to the Australian Resources and Energy Employer Association (AREEA) director of operations Tara Diamond, labour supply and skills challenges “threaten the continuity of existing operations as well as create headaches for new project development, potentially impacting both the future growth of the industry as well as Australia’s reputation as a reliable country to invest in”.

A report conducted by AREEA found Australia’s resources and energy sector will need an extra 24,000 employees by 2027.

The Skills Priority List found effective solutions that span a lengthy timeframe are necessary to combat well-known problems across training outcomes, such as vocational education and training (VET), along with labour mobility and skilled migration concerns. Advocation for these solutions requires a strong collaborative effort between the resources and energy industry and the government to ensure the tenure of the shortage is not prolonged.

Diamond believes this will be a “long-term, incremental process”.

“AREEA is also working hard with members on initiatives to promote the industry as a desirable, future-focused industry where new generations of skilled people can enjoy long, well-paid careers and be part of innovation and new energy technologies.”

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