Asset Engineers – With distributors focusing on reducing the risks and costs associated with their existing assets, there is a growing need for people with the right mix of technical, engineering and project management skills.
Market Traders – There remains a need for experienced electricity Traders due to the ongoing organisational restructuring in the industry that is creating new positions.
Design Engineers – Candidates with a strong design engineering or drafting background are sought after by consultancies who second them out. However, this only applies to the consultancies and does not branch out to the distributors.
G&B Lineworkers – Companies with sufficient work on their books in Victoria are still interested in experienced Glove and Barrier candidates.
Fitters & Electricians – With projects commencing this quarter, we are seeing an increase in demand for Fitters and Electricians.
New South Wales:
Project Planners and Schedulers – With some key development projects being undertaken or about to start this year, Planning and Scheduling experts are required in the power generation and renewable energy industries. Candidates with site based planning and resource construction backgrounds are sought. Those who can utilise Primavera P6 software are particularly in demand.
Commissioning Superintendents – This quarter will see a rise in demand for commissioning experts for the energisation of new greenfield projects that were under construction in 2014. Electrical engineering, installation testing procedures and program set up skills will be in demand.
Contracts Administrators – With projects generally subcontracting out packages of work, Contracts Administrators with strong commercial contract skills are in high demand. Candidates with a resource construction background are preferred.
Project Managers – Employers are showing a preference for Project Managers with expertise in managing multiple disciplines (civil, civil structural, electrical, commissioning) in an effort to reduce headcount and make cost savings. Candidates with power generation greenfield construction backgrounds are favoured.
Quality Coordinators – With most large scale power projects having an element of federal funding, Quality Coordinators are in high demand. People with previous quality assurance backgrounds in resource construction are proving to be highly sought after on any major power project being undertaken.
Qualified Drillers – There is a shortage of Directional Drillers with Western Power accreditation in the state.
Operations Managers/Mechanical Engineers with coal fired power station experience – There is a severe lack of candidates with up-to-date knowledge of the detailed operations and maintenance of coal fired plants.
Controls Engineers – Candidates need to have an in-depth understanding of controls systems, the ability to effectively refurbish existing controls systems and the ability to install and commission new systems.
Live Line Workers – Fully qualified Glove & Barrier Live Line workers are needed in south- east Queensland to undertake network maintenance.
Secondary Systems Test Technicians – Demand has increased for these Technicians but given the specialist skill set required there is a shortage of candidates. The age of Queensland’s assets and the need to upgrade the existing network will see this demand continue.
Substation Technicians – The continuous network upgrade of existing assets has fuelled this demand.
Apart from the skills shortages mentioned above, Victoria’s energy sector has a high number of quality candidates on the market. We are seeing an increase in short-term positions and more casual employment arrangements.
In Western Australia energy companies will continue to focus on the efficiency of their operations to ensure output is maximised at minimal cost. The trend to do more with less is expected to continue in 2015. Efficiently managing the maintenance of existing assets will continue to be a common theme and the performance of existing employees will remain under scrutiny.
In the first quarter we will potentially see a flagship power station project enter into its construction phase. Forecasted employment for the project is currently uncertain but there are likely to be contract opportunities.