New South Wales
In New South Wales temporary recruitment remains the preferred option for mines that are looking to fill gaps in their team. Flexibility is the key given current market conditions.
In some cases employers have redeployed their existing staff to other sites, which is a great strategy to fill talent gaps and prevent redundancies.
Hard rock mines in western NSW are performing well and recruiting permanent staff who are willing to relocate to the region long-term.
In terms of skills in demand for the October to December 2015 quarter, we’re seeing high demand for Maintenance Trades. Companies that made redundancies are now securing small packages of work that they need to staff quickly.
Workshop Trades are also sought due to increased maintenance projects across the Valley.
Safety Advisors are needed for contract roles as employers pick up short-term projects.
In terms of candidate trends, more senior level professionals are moving out of mining and making way for mid-level candidates to progress their career.
In Queensland we are seeing a steady flow of jobs for candidates who are willing to relocate to Mt Isa. Employers are no longer flying-in and flying-out staff, so interested candidates must be prepared to base themselves in Mt Isa permanently.
In the Bowen Basin more temporary roles are available. Employers are also willing to up-skill candidates and do not expect candidates to meet 100 per cent of the requirements. We’re also seeing higher demand for skilled trades to work on mine site maintenance.
In terms of skills in demand, we’re seeing demand in Mt Isa for Refrigeration and Air Con Mechanics. These roles have been residentially based and it is very difficult to find people who are willing to move to Mt Isa with the required trade qualifications. There is also a shortage of Electricians with the skills required who are willing to live locally.
Rear Dump Operators with 793 & 797 CAT experience, Shovel Operators (hydraulic & electric) and Dragline Operators are all required in the Bowen Basin. With rates decreasing in coal mining, employers are hiring more staff. So while hourly rates are lower, job flow is higher.
In addition, maintenance requirements and a decrease in the number of local skilled trades in the Bowen Basin have created a need for Electricians for wash plant shutdowns.
Mechanical Fitters are also needed to work on shutdowns, however most fitters have focused mainly on diesel fitting, which is not in as high demand.
Underground trades are also sought. Given the reduction in rates, people are looking for work on the surface.
Still in the Bowen Basin, Riggers who are coal and site inducted are sought, as are Boilermakers, Fitters and Electricians. Mine trades with site inductions are required for shutdown work. Contracts could be long or short term, but employers definitely want candidates who are already site inducted. Add the overlapping of some bigger shutdowns and there is a shortage of suitable candidates.
We’re also seeing demand for Data Analysts. Employers are recruiting both experienced mining professionals, as well as a selection of non-mining professionals who have experience in a particular area of expertise, such as data analysis. The industry is looking for new ideas and fresh viewpoints in order to meet ever growing production volumes. These positions need to be well balanced with industry experienced miners to ensure planning matches the reality of operational capabilities.
Processing Engineers are also sought to optimise quality and reduce costs.
Safety Compliance (ICAM and Legislation) specialists are needed too. Safety is currently under the spotlight and we need specialists who can investigate and advise to ensure ongoing safety performances exceed requirements.
Underground Electrical Coordinators and Planners are an area of shortage within Queensland. The equipment used underground is very different from open cut and companies look to source candidates with specific underground experience in this area.
Mechanical Technical Standards Engineers are also sought to review, update and change standards in order to upgrade safety procedures and ensure efficiency with processes across multiple sites for the same company.
In terms of candidate trends, jobseekers who are relocating to Mt Isa understand that they must be mine site compliant in order to work. They are therefore proactively getting their medicals, working and heights and confined space organised before they expect to commence.
Candidates in the Bowen Basin are looking for ongoing work and also rates similar to those given before the downturn. However those candidates willing to accept short-term contracts are the ones that are usually then achieving ongoing work.
Candidates who have comprehensive up-to-date resumes are gaining more interest from employers. When writing your resume it is important to include your achievements in the key areas of responsibility in your previous roles. For more CV advice please visit the career advice page of our website.
In South Australia a lot of organisations are going through restructures. Those that are recruiting are usually looking for temporary trades for shut-down work.
In terms of skills in demand for the October to December 2015 quarter in South Australia, we’re seeing high demand for degree qualified Project Managers. Multiple projects are starting at the same time in Adelaide and in order to improve productivity employers look for candidates with an engineering degree rather than a PM with project management experience only. A candidate with an engineering degree can sign off engineering design rather than outsourcing it.
Project Engineers with an electrical design background are also sought. Most of the candidates with these skills are working in Western Australia or Queensland and given local salaries and average contract lengths it can be a challenge for employers to attract them back.
Rubber Liners are also in high demand. Most of the wear lining or chemical lining in storage tanks and processing plants must be replaced at certain times. This is an ongoing maintenance process, but this particular trade does not have an apprenticeship and people can only learn by experience. Therefore there is a shortage of suitably experienced local professionals.
In Western Australia we have seen a shift in job flow from the iron ore Pilbara to the goldfields. The majority of vacancy activity is temporary in order to assist with projects or cover long-term roles. We are also seeing permanent Kalgoorlie residential roles, for which employers need candidates who are willing to relocate to Kalgoorlie. Candidates for roles where there is a skill shortage are also in demand, such as Auto Electricians, UG Auto Electricians and Geologists.
The main gold producers have strong budgets for this financial year with the majority spending money on their exploration projects. This has led to a significant increase in the need for Geologists, Field Assistants and Drillers.
Another area where we have seen an increase is for All-round Operators to assist contractors with gold production.
Skills in demand
In terms of skills in demand for the October to December 2015 quarter in Western Australia, we’re seeing high demand for Underground and Surface Auto Electricians. Residential Kalgoorlie candidates are in demand, but candidates are often unwilling to leave existing permanent roles.
HV Electricians with Electric Truck Experience are also sought. There is a shortage of candidates with this niche skill set since only certain sites in the state use this trade.
Fixed Plant Electricians are another area of demand. Most Electricians are working in the construction industry or on commissioning projects on 4/1 rosters and high wages. Therefore, there is a shortage of experienced gold Electricians. Maintenance employers are using temporary Electricians for short-term project work.
All-round Operators are in demand for cost efficiency reasons. Production teams are very specific on the types and number of licenses they require from their workers. All-round Operators allow them to operate with a smaller workforce and therefore save money.
Geologists/Field Assistants are needed too. Kalgoorlie residents and gold experienced Geologists/Field Assistants are in high demand. This is a consequence of the stable commodity price and gold producers increasing their exploration budgets. Prior to this there was a significant number of candidates who left Kalgoorlie to seek work elsewhere in Western Australia, but now we are seeing a return in job flow for the Kalgoorlie area.