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Project Manager : Project Manager Aug Sept 2012
8 Project Manager skills drought? Statistics show a skills shortage in labour- volatile industries demanding project managers, but industry professionals tell another side to the story – a closed labour system creating a lack of ready workers. the dePARtMeNt oF eduCAtIoN, employ ment and workplace Relations 2011 Skills Shortages Summar y painted a rosy picture compared to statistics in 2007 and 2008, stating that: “... employers experienced slightly less difficulty filling their vacancies in 2011 than in 2010, [but] the labour market remains tighter than it was in 2009 at the height of the global recession”. while this may be the case, industry experts say the reality is a more up-and-down market. Nic Thomas, a consultant for Perth- based project management training and consultancy firm Scope training, says that the supply and demand seesaw never seems to be at equilibrium. “Fears over skills shortages wage over concerns of too many trained workers strug gling for employment,” he says. “I enjoy dealing with a large amount of clients from ‘ labour volatile’ industries such as construction, mining, oil and gas. I regularly hear of challenges executive staff face in employing stable and loyal workers they can train and develop for the long-term. “on the flip side, I experience many students attending training whose rationale is to develop skills for career prog ression, often not within the same company but more so to other industries but with a common trend – from construction to mining and from mining to oil and gas.” For all the hype around significant vacancies, some young PMs report difficulties actually getting a job. Thomas says that he’s seeing a trend of ‘gatekeepers’ placing barriers of entry to specific industries, with favouritism towards personal contacts. “even in this age of equal employment opportunities it is overtly advertised or in some cases covertly controlled and limited to nepotism or cronyism. Merit-based selection is often replaced by a personal recommendation,” Thomas says. If we drill deeper, we see that most major mining or oil and gas companies actually offer employees incentives to refer a friend for employment, and, according to Thomas: “I’m not talking of a free lunch – it’s in the ra nge of $3000 to $5000.” in depth international workers On the Department of Immigration and Citizenship’s Skills Occupation List (SOL), the roles of Construction Project Manager and Project builder are classed as needed. As the peak project management industry body in Australia, AIPM's goal is to be the skills authority for migration assessment (currently VETASSESS). AIPM has recently been confirmed as an active participant in upcoming SOL discussions, and expects that project management will take the lead in the future as a direct outcome of AIPM intervention on this issue. this strategy is Creating an unintentional Closed labour system and a Catalyst For skills shortages
Project Manager June July 2012
Project Manager Oct Nov 2012