Monadelphous growth defies the odds

critical minerals

Monadelphous has been a standout performer in a strong mining industry throughout the pandemic, vastly expanding its workforce despite its peers suffering from labour shortages.

At the company’s annual general meeting, managing director Rob Velletri announced some impressive employment figures for the engineering group.

“We ended the year with a total workforce, including subcontractors, of around 7800, up 37 per cent,” Velletri said.

“During the year, we achieved our largest employee-base since May 2013, with our direct employee numbers peaking at over 7600.”

In a labour market where a shortage of 40,000 people is predicted over the coming years, Monadelphous seemingly by-passed the issues felt across Australia’s mining industry.

Velletri acknowledged the issues being faced in regards to restrictions on domestic and international travel.

“High levels of industry activity in an already tight labour market, combined with COVID-19 related travel restrictions and border closures, placed significant pressure on our ability to attract and retain labour,” he said.

“In response, we undertook a number of initiatives to bolster employee engagement and attract new employees.”

These initiatives focussed on building a strong culture, identifying career opportunities and being flexible with work environments and arrangements.

The company formally established a Workplace Flexibility policy to ensure a strong work/life balance for its staff members and improved its parental leave policy.

Velletri said improvements were also made in the administrative department.

“We also progressed a number of strategic attraction initiatives,” he said.

“This included streamlining our internal processes to ensure application and onboarding is as easy as possible, updating our employer branding program, which now clearly articulates why our employees choose to work with us and what’s on offer to prospective employees.”

These initiatives played a part in a string of contracts for Monadelphous with the likes of long-term partners BHP and Rio Tinto.

The company’s engineering construction division achieved its highest revenue since 2015, securing new contracts worth about $620 million, including $200 million since June 30.

Much of this was in the iron ore space, but Velletri recognised the growing place of battery metals and renewable energy projects taking place around Australia.

“With demand for battery metals increasing rapidly, related developments in lithium, copper, nickel and rare earths will provide a solid pipeline of opportunities in the coming years,” Velletri said.

“These markets, along with the gold sector, will present opportunities for Monadelphous in Australia, South America, Mongolia and Papua New Guinea.”

“Australia’s transition towards clean energy continues to gain momentum. The portfolio of new wind farms coming to market in the next few years is expected to provide opportunities for Zenviron (a Monadelphous joint venture), particularly as electrical grid access improves in New South Wales and Victoria.”

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