Skilled worker? Then Australia needs you, but there’s a virus in the works
Western region needs 40,000 workers in next two years, but border closures are denying it access to expertise
About $105bn (R1,5-trillion) in projects in Western Australia’s (WA) resources sector may not be fully realised unless the state addresses a chronic shortage in skilled workers, according to an industry group.
From electricians to metallurgists, the industry needs to attract up to 40,000 extra workers over the next two years, according to a report from consultancy Pit Crew, commissioned by WA’s Chamber of Minerals and Energy (CME). The chamber called on industry and government to collaborate on ways to combat the shortages.
Rio Tinto Group, in its March quarter production report, said labour resource availability had disrupted its maintenance work in the state, while Fortescue Metals reported in May that labour constraints had contributed to rising costs at its Iron Bridge growth project in the Pilbara. Mineral Resources said in April that a shortage of truck drivers meant about 10,000 tons a day of its haulage capacity were sitting idle...