Australia's largest oil and gas employers met with more than 900 tertiary students at the Australasian Oil & Gas Exhibition & Conference (AOG) in Perth today, in a bid to address the skills shortage and widening age gap threatening the resources sector.
The AOG Graduate Careers Day gave students the chance to meet major employers face-to-face and learn more about job opportunities, graduate programs and vacation work available in the industry.
Offering a mix of presentations and interaction between students and employers, the day featured speakers from Woodside, Subsea 7, Technip, OilCareers, The University of Western Australia, Wood Group Kenny, Sclumberger, Fluor, Open Door Migration, Saipem, The Institute of Marine Engineering Science and Technology and The Resource Channel.
OilCareers managing director Mark Guest said the next generation of workers was critical to the ongoing success of the oil and gas industry, with a vast number of projects coming online both in Australia and overseas.
“There simply aren’t enough people with adequate experience or knowledge coming up through the ranks to meet project demands. Employers are being left with little choice other than to lure back retirees because of the scarcity of new workers,” Mr Guest said.
Mr Guest said while the widening generation gap had been a concern for the oil and gas industry for some time, its effects would be fully felt in the next five years as a large portion of the workforce reaches retirement age.
“Australian universities and TAFEs produce about 9500 engineering graduates each year, compared to annual national demand of as high as 20,000 a year,” he said. “We’ve seen a significant increase in job vacancies advertised, indicating the volume and scale of projects in Australia is placing an extraordinary premium on engineering personnel,” he said.
Students attending the AOG Graduate Careers Day heard free presentations, learnt about new career pathways and picked up invaluable job searching and career planning advice.
AOG event director Bill Hare said the initiative also provided a unique opportunity for Australia’s leading oil and gas employers.
“Securing, training and retaining emerging talent are integral to the continuing growth of Australia’s resources industry,” he said.
“We see the Careers Day as not just an opportunity for students, but also a chance for employers to talk directly to hundreds of top math, science and engineering graduates and get them thinking about a career in our industry.”
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