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Engineering

April - June 2015

The engineering market in Sydney has gone from strength to strength over the last six months. With increased confidence in the market and a ‘cash injection’ from the NSW budget last year into infrastructure, we are seeing this reflected in hiring trends. Increased permanent recruitment, longer term temporary roles and quick hiring decisions made by businesses are creating an extremely buoyant market.

Hiring Managers are turning to recruiters for advice on the market and the recruitment process, enabling them to manage their time more effectively. In both civil/structural and building services we are seeing an increase in demand for Drafters who also have the ability to design. The majority of our roles still require AutoCAD, although Revit users are still in high demand.

Despite the jobs market being positive in the ACT, employers are being very selective when hiring and remain conservative in their outlook for growth. As there is a limited pool of talent available locally, employers are always open to hear about new people who have moved to the ACT area. Employers look for candidates with Australian work experience as they want to retain their staff for more than just a few years.

The Queensland market has been dominated by high rise residential, healthcare and defence projects. Being a relatively new addition to the skills required in Australian market, candidates with experience using Revit software are in high demand across disciplines.

Companies are typically looking for candidates who have like-for-like skills sets within specific areas. This is due to the high workloads involved in projects that have short completion times. However this is likely to change as the market tightens and fewer candidates are available.

Well networked candidates are in great demand as companies look to secure work for the future. Employers prefer to hire permanent staff but also hire on a contract basis.

Sentiment has improved in the market as consultancies are now immediately backfilling vacancies with another permanent employee. Until recently consultancies favoured holding off on immediately replacing departed staff due to the inconsistent work pipeline. Consultancy employers in Melbourne are always interested in hearing about interstate candidates.

Candidates with transport infrastructure experience are readily available in the market due to the East-West Link project being shelved. The top candidates are tending to look to Sydney for work.

The engineering market in Perth has gone through a significant transition in recent years as it has moved away from being focused on the resources industry to now be centred on construction projects related to population growth. Government and private investment in building projects is on the rise as Perth’s population grows.

Recruitment in architecture, building services and infrastructure is active around the Perth metro regions and bodes well for those in property sales / leasing or the facilities management industry.

The start of the year saw strong confidence in the market reflected by recruitment of both permanent and temporary staff, strong salaries and new bonus structures being put in place.

The various ongoing engineering projects in the state are at different stages but there is a continuous need for good quality engineers and contractors that can help clear work backlogs.

The public sector remains steady and Engineers and works candidates with local government experience are consistently required as natural attrition occurs and people migrate from the public sector to the private consultancies and contractors.

The market across Western Australia has picked up in all sectors except environmental and water. In the civil/structural market, employers are focused on finding the very best candidates and this has led to longer turnaround on filling jobs. In the public sector, demand for temporary staff continues to build in the Perth metro area due to government reforms being placed on hold.

With more investment in the retail and hospitality sector, Senior and Principal level Structural engineers with strong building structures experience and networks in WA are in demand.

In South Australia the market has been impacted by some large redundancies in the resources sector at companies such as Santos, Fyfe and BHP Billiton. However, we do expect the local market to rebound relatively quickly as there are still good projects on the horizon, even though some have been delayed or cancelled.

Specialist positions such as Senior Transport Engineers (Structural and Mechanical) at associate level are in demand as some businesses are planning long term. Most interest is for permanent staff, while temporary roles are expected to increase in coming quarters due to project demands, including the new Royal Adelaide Hospital.

The tier two and three building market is very competitive with several builders bidding for the same projects. Projects currently in the market are heavily based around retail and fit out with the rollout of ALDI starting to commence.

In terms of skills in demand for the April – June 2015 quarter, we’re seeing a high demand for Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) Engineers with high level government clearances.

Hydraulics Service Engineers with good modelling exposure are highly sought across the board due to an increase in building projects and refits.

The demand for Revit Drafters and Modellers remains strong across mechanical, structural and electrical engineering as BIM becomes further integrated into projects. Both contract and permanent positions are available.

Civil Designers, especially those with 12d Model software skills, are currently in strong demand to design roads.

Due to an ongoing skills shortage in the field, experienced Transport Engineers are sought in South Australia as infrastructure projects are out to tender.

Experienced mid to senior level Structural Engineers are sought to work on commercial and high rise residential building projects. There is a shortage of high quality candidates in these areas. Candidates at associate level are being sought by SME consultants looking to expand their business.

There is high demand for Project Managers with a civil engineering background in local government in WA as mid-year budget reviews have occurred and projects need to be delivered by the end of the financial year.

Environmental Consultants with strong business development skills and networks within the Western Australian market are also highly sought after. Those with experience in contaminated lands are needed due to an increase in the development of brownfield sites.

In terms of candidate trends, some people are preparing their portfolios on USBs or websites and are even offering to work for short periods unpaid. Another trend we have noticed is that candidates generally want more flexibility within their role.

Candidates are tailoring their resumes to suit each individual job role and most engineers are attaching their portfolios to their application. Candidate wanting a change because they feel as if they cannot grow in their current role, is the main reason for good candidates wanting to move.

 

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