Mining jobs subdued, but key roles needed in each state

Subdued employment levels in mining and resource sectors were predicted by recruiting company Hays, which has identified key employment trends in their recently released Quarterly Report January – March 2015.

The report stated that rapid decline in iron ore prices of 2014 has depressed overall sentiment in the WA mining sector, which will have an impact on the level of new employment in the industry.

Key roles required in WA include Electrical and Instrumentation technicians, which are in shortage due to experienced staff moving to the oil and gas sector.

Mechanical fitters are required for mechanical upgrades, and Hays has noted a trend for smaller owner operators to take over from contract miners and shutdown contracts to perform their own works.

Many experienced tradespeople and technicians are sticking to stable employment rather than moving around the job market, resulting in a shortage of tradespeople for shutdowns.

Shutdown planners are always in high demand, due to the high pressure demands of the role, and difficulty of finding trade qualified planners who are also computer literate.

Amid steady coal prices in NSW there have been significant increases in the level of contract recruitment, with short to medium term contracts required for technical experts.

Also with most mechanical engineers pursuing careers in projects or design, there is a shortage of Reliability Engineers.

Companies in NSW are seeking Maintenance Planners for mobile and fixed plant to streamline performance of maintenance crews, Boilermakers and Welders with heavy fabrication experience, and Plant Mechanics with underground diesel equipment experience.

The trend for increased contract work is following in Queensland as well, with a number of companies having dealt redundancies to full time employees, only to offer the same positions out to contract miners, who can rehire the same staff under different pay and conditions with temporary, short-term contracts.

Queensland needs FIFO Diesel Fitters, Process Engineers and Mechanical Maintenance Supervisors.

Across the board, good boilermakers, welders and diesel mechanics are in short supply, despite high candidate levels, indicating difficulties with finding tradespeople who meet strict company recruitment standards.

Employment remains subdued in South Australia, where low commodity prices led to lower production and maintenance activity.

However there remain shortages of Underground Mechanical Engineers and Welding Supervisors due to staff moving into oil and gas, or mining interstate to Queensland or WA.

See the Australian Mining Jobs Board for more detailed information about the latest jobs in the industry.

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