Macarthur Coal's mining operations at Coppabella in Queensland's Bowen Basin.
Macarthur Coal's mining operations at Coppabella in Queensland's Bowen Basin. Macarthur Coal

Jobs by the truckload

A JOBS rush could spell a bonanza for the Sunshine Coast with thousands expected to cash in on the booming mining and gas industries.

Up to 2000 people are expected at a Mining and Gas Jobs Expo in Caloundra tomorrow where some skilled workers could be recruited on the spot.

It is a sign of the exploding industry that is forecast to create 38,000 jobs over the next five years.

Industry experts expect it will solve employment issues in areas like the Sunshine Coast where trade jobs are faltering.

"It's a very exciting industry - unemployment will reduce by virtue of this massively growing industry," Glenn Porter, the chief executive officer of Energy Skills Queensland, said yesterday.

The Sunshine Coast's unemployment rate has grown to 6.12% as development has slowed over many months.

Labourers will find work outside the region at tomorrow's expo, which will spruik the job opportunities at the three big growing districts in Queensland.

Mr Porter said the bulk of the new jobs were in liquid and coal seam gas projects in Central Queensland, the Bowen Basin and the Surat Basin.

"There would be a lot of people on the Sunshine Coast who have some really good skills that may be reasonably attractive for the resources and energy industry," Mr Porter said.

"There will be recruitment companies looking to employ people now.

"There will be more jobs becoming available in 2012 as the industry really starts to ramp up."

Mayor Bob Abbot said there were opportunities to cash in on the country's two-speed economy.

"There are a lot of people on the Coast looking for jobs ... and many people come here because they want to be here and they're possibly not looking for work elsewhere," Cr Abbot said.

"The opportunities are there, the people are here."

Cr Abbot said there were opportunities for people to spend a couple of years as fly-in fly-out workers or live permanently in areas of the state where the energy industry was booming.

The adult-focused National Apprenticeships Program hopes to fill 1000 apprenticeships in the next 18 months.

It will be at the expo targeting job seekers aged between 24 and 45 who have some experience relevant to the mining and energy sectors.

"We believe there is a vast pool of talented Australians on the Sunshine Coast," executive officer Mel Nolan said.

Councillor Lew Brennan, who is in charge of the economic development portfolio, said expanding industries on the Sunshine Coast was important.

"While the traditional sectors of tourism, retail and construction are important for the Coast, we must do everything we can to grow investment in other industries, diversify the regional economy and secure employment opportunities for the people who live here," he said.

"Given the advantages this region offers ... the Coast is well-placed to support the resources sector."

Mr Porter said the expo would provide the connections that workers needed to find jobs in the booming sector.

"We have great resources to offer job seekers plenty of information about how to access training and job opportunities."

Energy Skills Queensland will have "a one-stop-shop".

It will offer advice on careers and training options and consultants who can speak with workers about how their skills can be formally recognised.

The expo is at Caloundra Events Centre from 10am. For more information visit or call 1800773048.



  • 10,378 people registered as unemployed on the Sunshine Coast
  • 169,394 people in the workforce on the Sunshine Coast
  • Australia's unemployment rate is 5.2%

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