Green shoots coming but west may vie with east for labour: SHR

HUMAN RESOURCES consultants Strategic Human Resources and Livingstone are set to merge, doubling the size of operations in what they call ‘a merger of equals’, readying to take advantage of the next boom in mining and energy. 
Green shoots coming but west may vie with east for labour: SHR Green shoots coming but west may vie with east for labour: SHR Green shoots coming but west may vie with east for labour: SHR Green shoots coming but west may vie with east for labour: SHR Green shoots coming but west may vie with east for labour: SHR

SHR director Belinda Honey

SHR's director Belinda Honey told Energy News they were already seeing green shoots, but this time around things are going to look very different. 
 
"Some of the big energy companies are getting ready for their big projects, we've been doing some market analytics for post-2020", she said.
 
Though she wouldn't be drawn on which majors were requesting studies, 2020 is when Woodside Petroleum's final investment decision for its Scarborough LNG project comes in.
 
Looking at labour market is now "a real focus of our business the past six months compared with 12 months ago," she said. 
 
Back then it was all about restructuring and cost cutting. 
 
"Now we're looking at lessons learned from the last round," she said. 
 
Some of the more significant labour costs have come down since the boom, and rates have come back in terms of operations. 
 
"The market has been very, very competitive in the past year as labour costs come down," she said.
 
However, the labour market out west will be different this time around as the east coast ramps up civil infrastructure projects that will keep its own labour force occupied there, rather than keen to restart FIFO life again. 
 
"From a labour perspective it's not necessarily higher rates that will keep workers.
 
"If they look at those infrastructure projects on the east coast ... if you're in Sydney on a good wage, you might stay. 
 
"There is a real need to look at the total package: salary, rosters, other benefits, training and development," she said. 
 
Similar to Monday's National Energy Resources Australia report, Honey believes automation, remote operated vehicles, artificial intelligence and digitalisation are going to change industry and employment. 
 
NERA's Preparing Australia's Future Oil and Gas Workforce looks at the challenges through to 2030 and the likely impacts on workforce size, and its survey of over 30 industry experts suggests that 5% of Australia's direct oil and gas workforce could be employed in AI and machine learning by 2030. 
 
Perth-based robot and ROV company Nexxis is already moving on the robot and remote vehicle space and have done work for most of the major LNG projects on the North West Shelf. 
 
However, Nexxis too sees the next wave of jobs coming from working with robots, rather than being replaced by them, though CEO Jason De Silveira sees a need for far more training, telling Energy News last month the company is tentatively looking to work with TAFEs in the future. 
 
"Training is also important," Honey said, noting that miner Rio Tinto has been working closely with TAFEs to clearly identify what needs to be done. 
 
"There needs to be a real link between TAFEs and industry." 
 
"The skill requirement has to change and as we move towards a greater level of automation TAFEs and universities have a role to play." 
 
 

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