Operational Excellence Managers – Operational Excellence Managers are responsible for increasing productivity and with the cost of manufacturing high in Australia these professionals are essential to compete with overseas businesses.
Process Engineers – These professionals are responsible for the optimisation of equipment, which is essential to keep costs down. So similar to the demand for Operational Excellence Managers, employers are also looking for Process Engineers in order to compete.
Production Managers – Candidates are starting to regain their confidence in the market and those Production Managers who have been waiting to move up are either receiving a promotion or leaving to secure higher jobs elsewhere. This is creating roles at the Production Manager level. In addition, the approach of summer is traditionally the busiest time of the year for production, and this is adding to demand.
Planners and Schedulers – Planners and Schedulers are sought to streamline project coordination and prioritise work orders. Companies are looking for trade or engineering qualified candidates with a strong understanding of the design and production process for their company’s products and equipment. Engineering companies are ideally looking for candidates who can also estimate to double up in certain areas. There is not one type of software that is paramount, but we are seeing an increase in the number of employers integrating SAP.
Production Supervisors, Quality Managers and Quality Co-ordinators – We are now in Australia’s peak manufacturing season, particularly for the food and beverage sector. This is due not only to the warmer weather but also the many events that are held in summer. All these roles are involved in the manufacture of a product and therefore there is high demand to fill these roles at present.
Operations Managers and Production Managers – Top quality Operations Managers and Production Managers are in constant demand especially in the food and FMCG industries. Vacancies are made up of a mixture of growth and replacement positions as companies implement expansion and consolidation plans. We are finding that companies are looking to move more towards highly skilled Managers, as opposed to home grown Managers, as culture change and restructuring is a focus. This is mainly down to companies focusing on lean manufacturing projects and attempting to eliminate waste to drive costs down and promote self empowerment of their staff. The main areas of movement have been in the flour and feed milling, fresh food, agriculture and beverage industries.
Design Engineers – We have seen demand for good quality and multi-skilled Design Engineers with strong R&D skills. These are business critical roles and companies are looking for strong Solidworks and FEA skills. Demand exists across a number of different industries but the skill set has been the main criteria. We have seen a lot of mining based engineering candidates looking to return to the manufacturing industry, but manufacturing companies are slow to get them on board.
Maintenance and Service Supervisors – Plant Maintenance and Service Supervisors are in demand in the food and industrial sectors. Electrical or mechanical trade backgrounds and engineering qualifications are sought, mainly in FMCG and food. We are seeing an increase in Service Supervisor requirements as companies focus on maintenance rather than new builds. Companies want leadership and management qualifications to back up the trade and technical qualifications.
Following a pre-election lull, vacancy activity and candidate movement has started to increase. Most vacancies are the result of filling vacated business critical positions. We are also seeing an increase in activity in the fresh food and FMCG markets.
More candidates are available, yet companies still find it difficult to secure certain skill sets.