Queensland Warns of 18,000-Strong Skills Gap

17 January 2010 (Last Updated January 17th, 2010 18:30)

Queensland's mining sector could face problems capitalising on the next super cycle of global minerals because of a shortage of skilled personnel and an ageing workforce, according to a Queensland Resources Council (QRC) State of the Sector report. QRC's deputy chief executive and direc

Queensland's mining sector could face problems capitalising on the next super cycle of global minerals because of a shortage of skilled personnel and an ageing workforce, according to a Queensland Resources Council (QRC) State of the Sector report.

QRC's deputy chief executive and director of skills policy Greg Lane said trading partners' recovery from the global economic downturn and high demand from emerging economies will put a strain on the sector’s workforce, in turn hampering the sector’s growth in the state.

"The development of the coal seam gas and LNG industries in Queensland at the levels being proposed will need to be matched by the direct and indirect employment of more than 18,000 new employees over the next decade," Lane said.

"Alongside that, labour force outlook studies are pointing to the demand for additional operational workers in the coal, bauxite, copper, lead, zinc and gold sectors in Queensland exceeding 23,000 by 2020.

"Most in demand are tradespersons and related categories, labourers and related workers and intermediate production and transport workers."

In 2009 the Federal Government launched the National Resource Sector Employment Taskforce to help mitigate the shortage of skilled worker in the minerals and energy sectors.

A new resource rent tax on the sector and uncertainty surrounding carbon pricing and emissions trading, however, has hindered efforts to secure growth in the region.