OPPORTUNITIES exist for graduates to get employment with the LNG project, but they are relatively small, Esso Highlands managing director Peter Graham said.
He was speaking at the 55th graduation ceremony at the University of Papua New Guinea last Friday.
Esso, a subsidiary of global giant ExxonMobil, is the operator of the gas project.
Mr Graham was invited to speak on the opportunities that the massive project brings to the country and its people, including those graduating from tertiary institutions.
Mr Graham said in the construction phase, they would require thousands of workers with various skill levels such as cooks, labourers, drivers, secretaries, carpenters, welders, electricians, and highly skilled positions like managers, engineers, scientists, and computer technicians.
Some of these jobs are reserved for Papua New Guineans by law while others, more highly skilled, are open to PNG citizens and foreigners.
“Our aim is to meet and wherever possible, exceed these requirements by filling positions wherever practical with PNG citizens.
“As operator of the project, Esso Highlands will directly hire and train graduates from engineering, accounting, business and other disciplines.
“It’s important to understand that these numbers will be relatively small as we look to bring graduates into the organisation on a gradual, ongoing basis,” he said.
Already, Esso has 22 PNG graduates in Australia working with the project team to gain valuable on-the-job experience.
They have also committed to a number of other training and development initiatives in PNG to develop PNG citizens.
Esso is currently recruiting the first trench of 60 operations and maintenance trainees who will go to work in the gas plants through the 30-year operations phase.
“These recruits, 180 in total, will receive formal training over a period of about four years in PNG and overseas,” Mr Graham said.