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Energy

October – December 2014

Hotspots

Victoria:

Data Analysts – These professionals are in demand with distributors and retailers in Victoria. For a small number of the distributors the overrun of the AMI project has resulted in the need to source candidates, predominantly on short-term contracts. These Analysts are required to help clear a backlog of data and push the project through to completion. Meter Data Analysts, Interval specialists and those experienced on the AMI project are becoming increasingly sought after. In addition, retailers are beginning to gear up for proposed changes in 2015 that are designed to lead Victoria into a ‘power of choice’ market.

Lineworkers – Linesmen/women are still being actively sourced, although we are seeing a slight slowdown in this area for two reasons. The first is budget cuts from the distributors which have had a knock on effect for the contractors. The second is that over the past three months companies have successfully recruited employees to meet their current workload.
However, there is still an interest in qualified and experienced candidates for both Glove and Barrier and General Lineworkers.

Asset Managers – Consultancies and contractors in Victoria continue to look for high calibre Asset Managers.

Energy Traders – Energy Traders are in demand in Victoria as candidates are moving across to focus on gas trading. This is resulting in a shortage of experienced spot market and short-term trading market Energy Traders. With electricity consumption declining, there is a greater demand for candidates who can help companies trade efficiently and intelligently.

Secondary Design Engineers – There has been an increase in demand for Secondary Design Engineers, with Protection and Control Engineers being particularly sought after. A number of utilities service providers in Victoria are looking to add professionals with these skills to their existing workforce to increase the scope of their services.

New South Wales:

Construction Managers – Large site-based projects are being undertaken in regional NSW and have created a need for Construction Managers. Demand is particularly strong for managers at renewable energy projects.

Quality and Civil & Structural Engineers – Renewable energy projects in regional locations have also fuelled a need for Quality Engineers and Civil & Structural Engineers.

Qualified Electricians – Electricians are required to deliver projects and maintain current assets across the board.

OHS professionals – Occupational health and safety professionals at all levels are in demand across power generation projects.

Western Australia:

Sales Engineers – With energy being an extremely competitive market, experienced Sales Engineers who specialise in generators are invaluable to companies. Those with an established client base in other states who are looking to enter the local market are highly sought.

Qualified Drillers – There is a shortage of Directional Drillers with Western Power accreditation in the state.

Operations Managers/Superintendents 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.

Mechanical Engineers with coal fired power station experience – There is a shortage of suitable candidates with current knowledge of Australian compliance regulations.

Queensland:

Lineworkers/G&B – The demand for Linesmen/women and Glove and Barrier candidates continues, with employers placing more emphasis on finding people in metro areas than in regional areas.

Protection Engineers – There is an ongoing demand for experienced and degree qualified Protection Engineers.

Substation Technicians – The continuous network upgrade of existing assets has fuelled this demand.

Trends

In Victoria we are currently seeing companies focus more on temporary placements for white collar roles. The focus is still on permanent placements in the trades space as employers often invest in training their trades professionals and therefore want to retain them. The market has become less candidate-driven, which has resulted in organisations being able to utilise high calibre candidates for short-term assignments, with a view to converting to a permanent role should the workload increase.

Within the data space, we expect new jobs to be created as retail companies are looking to build up their teams in preparation for the more competitive meter data market in Victoria in 2015.

Most employers within the power generation sector in New South Wales are currently hiring people on a temporary contract basis with a ‘try before you buy’ philosophy. As the Federal Government is unlikely to support future renewable energy projects and work is often won on a project basis, hiring contractors is the solution.

If the Federal Government abolishes the renewable energy target it is likely to limit future investment in large scale renewable energy projects. Job opportunities across the traditional transmission and distribution and power generation sectors in NSW continue to be limited and depend on which organisation wins a project and whether they require new staff.

The job market for energy professionals continues to be competitive in Western Australia. Despite seeing a drop in recruitment activity in transmission and distribution within the public sector, demand from power generation remains consistent with the creation of new operations and maintenance positions.

As large scale projects start to ramp up we are seeing less demand for temporary and contract work. Permanent recruitment is increasing as companies refocus on production and the efficiency of operations. We are seeing a trend towards doing 'more with less' and accreditations in lean manufacturing principals, such as Six Sigma, are favoured for senior management positions.

There has been more demand for temporary recruitment in recent months in Queensland.
 

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