Is the future of Australian mining jobs linked to global commodity prices? What mining jobs are in high demand in Australia?
Hays Recruitment has published their 2015 July-September quarterly report and according to that, the mining sector is beginning to appear more positive, although each State has its own challenges.
In New South Wales there people with transferable skills have been favoured over those who do not have such skills.
“Candidate levels have started to decrease in New South Wales as people move into other industries,” This was due to a rise in temporary employment and lengthy recruitment processes according to HAYS.
In Queensland there is a rise in short-term contracts turning into full-time jobs after workers prove they can deliver the right mix of skills and aptitude to the employer.
The coal mining area of the Bowen Basin has witnessed a rise in activity as new machinery has been introduced therefore an increase in operators was needed to achieve higher production targets.
In Queensland candidates are now proactively going to Mt Isa when looking for their next role. They are no longer waiting for the work to come to them. This has created a local jobs market that has seen many tradespeople gain long-term contracts. Once workers hit Mt.Isa, they have the ability to begin contracts ASAP.
With the drop in iron ore prices, we’ve seen a steady movement of workers returning back to their home state of Queensland from Western Australia. Although over in Western Australia this attrition of less skilled workers has shifted the focus to high level skill recruitment.
New jobs in WA mines are also being created by the development of smaller new mines.
In South Australia it’s a slightly different story, with the majority of mining companies in the cost savings and consolidation phase and are hiring temporary staff to cover peak workloads.
What skills are in demand, state by state
There is a high demand for plant mechanics with maintenance experience. Boilermakers are also sought due to the increase in fabrication work across the Hunter. Experienced SMP supervisors are needed to work on a number projects in northwest NSW.
Demand exists for trade qualified diesel fitters and auto electricians who hold dual trade qualifications. Once again, re-enforcing the notion that these days, it pays to me multi-skilled. Commercial electricians are sought to work on fixed plant and commercial projects. Belt Splicers and site inducted trades assistants are needed too.
There is a strong industry focus on engineers with a higher level ability to analyse current performance, issues and opportunities and determine how they can be improved to reduce costs in maintenance and production.
In the IT sector, data specialists are in high demand to improve data integrity and ensure accuracy when reporting performance and making future predictions.
Maintenance improvement specialists are another area of demand. These candidates are wanted to improve maintenance strategy and planning to align a company`s various sites so that they all operate under best practice.
Pre-strip and multi-skilled operators, with a focus on haul truck operators of CAT 793, 797s; CAT Dozer D10 and 11 operators, and graders 16H&M and 24H&M, are in highly sought after.
Reliability Engineers are in high demand. Contract roles for shut-down planners are also heavily advertised.
Electrical engineers with HV and underground experience are required.
South Australia also has a shortage of rubber liners as there is no formal training school for this skill in SA.
Crusher fitters are also needed, although specialists who can undertake the rebuilding of crushers are in hard to find as the current availability of candidates have general fitting skills.
Due to a severe shortage of experienced rubber liners and belt splicers, there is a shortage of suitable candidates because there is no trade certificate for this role.
Industrial Painters/Blasters are also in high demand in Western Australia because employers are looking to hire candidates with XM Plural experience, which is a relatively new technology.
Hard rock underground mining electricians are in demand, as are gold field assistants due to the increase in gold production, which has been fueled by the recovery of the gold price.
One of the biggest attrition numbers seen in the trade sector was electricians went overseas in search of work or transferred into other industries because of the mining downturn in the state. This has lead to an alarming shortage of qualified and experienced personnel.