The discussion ranged around the employment, skills development and impacts the project would have.
The Minister explored how this significant project could provide more jobs, support skills development and boost national productivity.
The draft National Content Plan for the Papua LNG Project was also discussed. Minister Sawang looks forward to seeing the details of local employment creation once TotalEnergies finalizes the plan with the Ministry and Department of Petroleum and Energy. Minister Sawang wants to see a workforce nationalization plan that prioritizes nationals-jobs meant for Papua New Guineans must go to Papua New Guineans.
Her meeting with TotalEnergies is part of her engagement plan with different stakeholders for dialogue and cooperation to improve labour market outcomes and deliver on the targets set in the Medium-Term Development Plan IV.
For the petroleum and gas industry the MTDP IV projects the creation of at least 15, 000 new jobs. She wanted to understand how TotalEnergies would contribute to the challenge of increasing the number of Papua New Guineans engaged in the second gas project workforce and the opportunities with the EPC contractors for national companies to secure contracts during the construction phase.
In challenging the resource sector to support the Government’s development agenda, Minister Sawang stated, “I call on the resource industry to have clear commitments for education, training and skills development of Papua New Guineans and for their certification.”
“I will instruct my department to re-examine and strengthen their monitoring framework so we can track progress towards the Government’s targets.
I appreciate that the bulk of employment opportunities with oil and gas projects are within the construction phase and that the skills required are lower than the production phase but I would like the extractive industry to recognize that skills uplift of our people allows employability in future resource projects and within other sectors of the economy. There must be a pathway for mobilization of these skills to subsequent projects after the construction phase or exported offshore.”
Minister Sawang emphasized, “I am determined to advance women’s economic integration and I inquired on the concrete actions being taken to realize the full potential of women in resource projects as well as in the project impacted communities.”
“I was pleased with the efforts within TotalEnergies to achieve an inclusive and diverse workforce. We have an obligation to address one of our greatest development challenges of improving the status of girls and women. Government can must do more to create decent work for women.”
Whilst the resource projects are important for economic growth the challenges they bring must be carefully managed.
Sawang stated, “We must apply prudently the once-only State proceeds from the non-renewable resource projects to productive use as outlined in our development plans to set Papua New Guinea on a higher inclusive sustainable growth path.”
“I will support the immediate establishment of the PNG Sovereign Wealth Fund to manage the adverse impacts of large resource projects and the volatile prices and income from the mineral and petroleum sector. I am pleased that this a target of the MTDP IV.
“Our focus must be on building on the non-extractive sectors that will provide jobs and income for our growing young population,” said Minister Sawang.