Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Too little, too late? Skilled workers a dying breed in Darwin?

More than 20,000 workers are needed in Darwin within the next five years according to one of Australia’s leading project management specialists.

Living Planit Managing Director Lesley Bentley says more than 50 per cent of skilled jobs aren’t being filled and that’s before Inpex and other resource projects start demanding workers.

Speaking at the Northern Territory Major Projects Conference 2011 today, Ms Bentley will give the dire warning to government officials and explain the impacts of a skills shortage on the delivery of major projects.

“Darwin has the slowest take-up of jobs anywhere in the country and we need to start tackling the jobs shortage now,” Ms Bentley said.

“Today I’ll be asking if already it’s too little, too late and paint a picture that Darwin needs to become a training hub for skilled workers.”

Lesley’s comments follow BHP Chairman Jac Nasser’s projection that 60,000 workers are needed in the Pilbara region alone to deliver the iron ore projects on time.

“With a lack of skilled workers, pressure builds and too few people try to do too much,” Ms Bentley said.

“Ultimately it affects timelines, teamwork, project quality and the bottom line. Without enough skilled workers the project will be a failure.”

Ms Bentley has more than 20 years industry experience and spearheaded the Project Office under then NSW Assistant Police Commissioner, Christine Nixon, on the Wood Royal Commission into police corruption.

Lesley’s address at 4pm today coincides with the launch of a Living Planit Training Centre in Darwin tomorrow.

Living Planit will offer workshops, short courses and more advanced training in project management to workers in Darwin.

Twitteque: Skilled workers a dying breed in #DarwinNT? #topend

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