More CSG-LNG jobs than previously forecast, but minerals job vacancies have plummeted

Yesterday I attended the Energy Skills Queensland (ESQ) Annual Conference at the Royal International Convention Centre at the RNA Showgrounds in Brisbane. At the Conference, ESQ released its Queensland CSG to LNG Industry Workforce Plan, which received coverage from ABC News (Queensland’s gas industry tipped to double new jobs):

Energy Skills Queensland (ESQ) has released its 2013 workforce plan and it shows demand for skilled workers in the coal seam and liquefied natural gas industries is set to explode.

ESQ chief executive officer Glenn Porter says the workforce is expected to peak near 14,900 workers by 2024, more than double original assessments.

The workforce plan will become available soon on the ESQ website.

The good news on gas was offset by bad news from minerals, with Dr Gavin Lind from the Minerals Council of Australia noting in his presentation that minerals job vacancies, based on the search terms “engineering”, “metallurgy” and “geoscience”, had plummeted from around 3,500 in early 2013 to fewer than 530 in the last week of October. According to Dr Lind, employment of geologists and geo-scientists is a leading indicator of the state of the sector.

The best presentation of the day was from Kevin Berg, General Manager of the Gladstone Curtis Island LNG project for Bechtel, which is building all the LNG processing facilities on the island. Kevin noted that Curtis Island is Bechtel’s biggest project anywhere in the world and is using the equivalent of 13 Eiffel Towers in steel. After Kevin’s presentation, Master of Ceremonies Madonna King noted she was impressed by the “sheer scale” of the project.

Finally, I should note Education and Training Minister John-Paul Langbroek gave a good introductory address to the conference, in which he noted the Government is aiming to bring TAFE into the 21st Century. With fully contestable funding coming in July 2014, TAFE will certainly be forced to do that, otherwise it will lose a lot of market share and have to severely cut back on its operations.

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