In Western Australia we are seeing increased capital allocation for projects, generally for improvements and upgrades. A number of employers delayed projects over the last 12 to 18 months in response to commodity prices, butin the last quarter more projects went live as companies took advantage of reduced contractor costs.
We have also seen an upward trend in small to medium projects and therefore demand for candidates who can deliver projects end to end.
With continuous technology improvements, larger employers may require candidates in their technology/improvements team. Often employers look for candidates with a background in operational engineering,with exposure to finance, ICT or strategy.
When they do recruit, employers are offering temporary assignments over permanent roles. They will only consider local candidates who meet an increasingly long list of requirements. They want to do more with less and keep their business commercially viable by ensuring that employees are flexible and multi-skilled.
Queensland’s resources and mining market is seeing low levels of job activity. Cost cutting is the focus and any vacancies are offered on a temporary basis.
Jobs that are available are usually in operations and require very particular expertise. For example, a Pump Crew role requires a candidate with pump experience, RII for pit dewatering, a dozers ticket and a poly welding ticket.
In South Australia activity in the mining industry remains low. Most mining companies have downsized and put recruitment on hold. They are in cost saving mode and will only hire temporary candidates to assist with workload if they win a new contract.
The South Australian government is offering incentives to motivate mining companies to relocate their head office to the state to create employment.
When they recruit, employers look for candidates who can multi-task and possess business development skills.
We are also seeing redundancies in New South Wales’coal sector as coal prices fall and mines cut costs. Temporary vacancies have increased, allowing immediately available candidates to secure short-term work.
When they recruit, employers are taking advantage of the larger candidate pool to identify someone with not only the necessary technical skills and experience but also the right cultural fit.
In Victoria we are seeing a lot of movement in the quarry space. Employers in this area are recruiting temporary candidates. While most commodities remain at a standstill, gold should pickup towards the end of 2016 with some mines looking to expand underground.
Skills in demand
All round Operators – These candidates are in demand for cost efficiency reasons. Production teams are very specific regarding the types and number of licenses they require from their workers. This allows them to operate with a smaller workforce and therefore save money.
Process Technicians – Experienced Process Technicians with gold experience and nationally accredited tickets are in short supply for temporary roles. We are encouraging employers to consider offering permanent roles or temporary-to-permanent contracts in order to attract candidates.
Project Managers/Project Engineers – Due to the investment in projects and improvements across sites Project Managers and or Project Engineers are required. Candidates must have specific end to end experience and be from a client background of values no more than $15m.
Pump Operators – It is currently the wet season in Mackay and the Bowen Basin, and therefore Pump Operators are a mandatory requirement on site.
Dozer Operators - Mines are trying a new department, mine services, to save money in production. Dozer Operators are multi-skilled, can perform a number of jobs and work across all departments. Therefore they can help where they are needed across the mine site.
Dispatch Operators - Working in the control room requires a unique set of skills. As a result these candidates are seldom unemployed.
Rubber Liners – These candidates are in demand since there is a shortage of suitably experienced Rubber Liners. With no formal training provided for this trade, people can only gain expertise through experience.
Belt Splicers – Most suitable candidates are still interstate, which has created a shortage of local Belt Splicers in South Australia.
Underground Mobile Plant Operators – Due to the downturn in resources and mining, a large number of candidates have moved interstate. This has created a local shortage of Underground Mobile Plant Operators.
New South Wales
Plant Mechanics – Plant Mechanics are needed for temporary roles when there is a short-term increased workload.
Haul Truck Operators – These candidates are also required for temporary roles to meet short-term workload increases.
Underground Operators and Tradespeople - Due to continued expansions in the western hard rock fields, we are seeing demand for Underground Operators and Trades.
Mechanical Fitters - Due to an increase in workload we are seeing demand for Fitters, in particular within the resources segment.
Plant Operators - Plant Operators are sought since a lot of these candidates moved into other industries after the downturn.
Engineers - Most Engineers have moved away from mining into oil & gas or construction. Underground Engineers will be in even greater demand as we see gold move underground.
Candidates continue to be flexible in relation to salary, location and the level of the position they are applying for. This gives employers an opportunity to secure strong candidates for mid-level roles which may assist them in growing their business.
Candidates in NSW are open to FIFO work and are looking at Western Australian and Queensland vacancies.
They are also up-skilling in order to become a more highly qualified candidate.
Some candidates are looking to leave the industry altogether while others are looking for any immediate vacancies, either short or long-term.