25,000 new jobs for CQ

CENTRAL Queensland is facing a massive skills shortage next year, employers are being warned.

Major industrial and resources sector projects will create up to 25,000 jobs in the region over the next 10 years – and existing business will find it increasingly difficult to find the staff they need, says Rockhampton Regional Development chief executive Gary Kerr.

A seminar in Rockhampton next week will give employers information about importing skilled workers from overseas, and Mr Kerr says he thinks that for some companies, recruiting abroad is the best way to avoid workforce problems.

“The seminar is a pre-emptive exercise to prepare people for the problems that lie ahead,” he said.

“Around 25,000 positions will be created by new projects over the next 10 years. Companies will find it increasingly difficult to find skilled workers in construction, engineering, fabrication, transport and logistics.”

He said the old problem of high wages in the mines tempting workers away from Rockhampton’s businesses was likely to return, placing further pressure on the jobs market.

“In the past the mines have solved their recruitment issues by offering high wages to source labour from other local companies and there’s every reason to believe that will become increasingly common again next year,” he said.

“Our skills base is nowhere near the level that will be required if the planned projects go ahead.”

The seminar, on Tuesday, is aimed at informing larger employers about the range of visa options available and updating them on changes to the 457 visa program.

Presenters will include: Glenda Hutch, the industry outreach officer from the Department of Immigration and Citizenship; Sue McNulty, the director of Migration and Skills Recruitment, Queensland; and Jacob Reinders, manager of migration services with the Department of Employment.

Attendance is free of charge. The seminar will be at 149 Bolsover Street from 5.15pm.



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