Call for reform of skills reporting in the oil and gas industry

GOVERNMENT and industry are unable to address the oil and gas industry skills shortage because outdated government statistics make it impossible to gauge its dimensions, E-Oz Energy Skills Australia CEO Bob Taylor says.

Lou Caruana

Australian Workforce and Productivity Agency analysis on the looming problem was correct and the industry was a serious area of concern for Australian skills, he said.

“The oil and gas sector is under-represented in formal government statistics with no occupational code explicitly related to industry participants. Instead, its occupations are obscured within broad construction or plumbing classifications,” Taylor said.

“Compounding this problem is the fact that its industry codes are based on an outdated town gas industry which excludes transmission industry operations and pipeline transport.

“We do not have an accurate picture of how many workers are currently in the industry, their skills profile, and how growth can be expected to impact skills demand. For as long as this is the case, RTOs will have extreme difficulty in making a business case to justify the development of training resources, the recruitment of staff, and formation of partnerships with industry.”

The AWPA has recently warned the increasing skills shortage in the oil and gas industry will need to be filled by foreign workers, unless governments and education providers develop a national strategy with new university courses and apprenticeship schemes.