Australia’s expanding LNG extraction programme is creating demand for qualified and skilled manpower
As Australia pushes ahead with its LNG extraction activities, the need for a skilled workforce is becoming more pressing. Discussing the situation, Jessica Willis, a communications officer for the University of Tasmania’s Australian Maritime College (AMC) and its commercial arm, AMC Search, noted there is also “a requirement for those that may have been inactive during the downturn to renew the mandatory qualifications that enable them to work at sea and offshore.”
AMC Search offers Australia’s largest range of maritime-related training, she said, with many of its mandatory and bespoke courses undertaken by those working in the offshore support industry. Non-mandatory courses designed specifically for the offshore industry will also see increased demand as LNG extraction activity grows, she said.
She mentioned AMC Search’s LNG Loadmaster Simulation Training, which is designed to prepare terminal representatives, onboard seafarers and portside workers to help them understand shoreside and ship operations during LNG loading. However, “support vessels required for LNG projects are ideally suited to run on LNG fuel,” she pointed out, and platform supply vessels are already the most popular type of LNG-fuelled vessel around the world.
IMO’s International Code of Safety for Ships using Gases or other Low-flashpoint Fuels (IGF Code) mandates specialised training for those who work on such vessels, she said. AMC Search is the first training provider in Australia to be accredited by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) for its IGF Code training. It is designed for deck and engineering officers and crew who directly handle and operate gas fuel systems.
As environmental regulations become more stringent in Australian waters, the offshore industry will be one of the first to be affected, as the costs of using diesel in coastal waters will increase, she predicted.
New entrants to the industry, particularly those working on OSVs, often complete AMC Search’s Certificate of Safety Training, which is endorsed by the AMSA and enables them to work on Australian-flagged vessels in international waters.
Many offshore workers also complete its online Designated Security Duties course, which is designed for those performing security duties on OSV, including anti-piracy and anti-armed robbery activities. Training is also available for offshore facility security officers, following a course run from AMC Search’s new study centre in Sydney’s Darling Harbour.