Job hotspots: where are the skills shortages?

Recruitment agency Hays has revealed the mining skills most in demand moving into 2019.

Recognising the skills shortages that have emerged, Hays has identified numerous hotspots in each state for mine workers looking for opportunities.

In Western Australia, the high levels of activity have drained the supply of skilled professionals once more, according to Hays.

The WA Chamber of Minerals and Energy predicts 20,000 local jobs will be created next financial year, with Pilbara the hotspot.

“With BHP, Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals Group all building new mines at the same time, which together require thousands of construction workers in Western Australia, the pressure is on to attract top talent,” Hays explained.

“Unlike the last boom however, where bidding wars led to inflated salaries, this time employers are unlikely to compete for staff based on salary alone.”

Hays reported that the reawakening of Queensland’s mining industry over the past 12 months had created strong demand for professionals.

“As candidate shortages intensify, skilled professionals are aware of the demand for their skills. In order to remain competitive and attract the top talent, employers are offering more flexible working rosters, relocation packages and allowances,” Hays stated.

“The rise of the mining industry across coal and mineral processing combined with the skills shortage means there are strong opportunities in Queensland for suitably qualified candidates.”

Victoria’s mining industry has been growing and is already suffering from a skills shortage as a result, according to Hays.

The agency said employers were aware of the shortage of candidates, particularly blue-collar workers, and therefore had moved quickly when a suitable candidate became available.

Elsewhere, New South Wales, South Australia and the Northern Territory are in a similar situation, with skills shortages appearing in a number of areas as activity has increased.

Mining skills in demand (source: Hays):

Western Australia
Exploration geologists
Field assistants
Underground engineers
Drill & blast operators
HD fitters
Auto electricians
Dump truck operators

Queensland
Mining engineers, geotechnical engineers, geologists and surveyors (underground)
Metallurgists and lab technicians
Dump truck, drill and process operators
Mechanical fitters, boilermakers and electricians
Diesel fitters and auto electricians

South Australia
Electrical engineers
Control system engineers
Mechanical fitters and boilermakers
Heavy diesel fitters

Northern Territory
Heavy diesel fitters
Auto electricians
Refrigeration technicians
NDT technicians
All-round operators
Geologists and field assistants
Maintenance planners / schedulers and project managers

New South Wales
Boilermakers, mechanical fitters, underground electricians and drill fitters (Hunter / Western region)
Surveyors, mining engineers and geologists

Victoria
Diesel mechanics and boilermakers
Mechanical fitters and all-round operators
Superintendents, quarry manager and operations managers.

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