Engineers, boilermakers and fitters are among the most demanded mining professionals in Australia, according to the latest report from recruitment firm Hays.
A particular recruitment issue for 2013, says the study, will be the continued skills shortage of specialist candidates in some industries. The Energy sector, for example, will face fierce competition for talent against the higher salaries of the oil and gas industry.
Hays says employers in this niche should be aware that if the market changes this year, it may see some of their recent candidate appointments going back to the mines and chasing extra dollars.
The firm’s quarterly report also shows that companies in Australia’s Northern Territory, Queensland, Western Australia, and parts of New South Wales are now paying prime salaries for certain positions.
But Hays logistics senior regional director, Tim James, warns that while labour shortages for some positions is a reality, applicants still need to fit a strict selection criteria.
“Whilst these skills are in hot demand, employers remain cautious about hiring candidates that appear to have moved around too often and they are also being very specific with their requirements, being more demanding about core and soft skills,” he said.
James says Aussie employers want candidates with a proven and stable background and that they are willing to wait to find the exact match.
“In terms of long-term solutions some employers are interested in candidates that can take a step up to fill a role rather than have some more senior take a step back,” he adds.
The following are the skills Hays expects to have the greatest demand in the first quarter this year, by region:
New South Wales
Boilermakers – Boilermakers are more available than in previous quarters, however, those with specific Hunter Valley Mine Site Inductions will secure short-term contract work to support fluctuating project requirements.
Mechanical Engineers – For Mechanical Engineers, opportunities exist for candidates with mobile plant for underground mines. Whilst orders are slow, investment is still being put in to product development.
Project Engineers (Mechanical & Civil) and Project Managers (Mechanical & Civil) – As regional industries are focused on delivery of mining infrastructure, these candidates remain in demand.
OH&S Advisors – These candidates are in demand as the industry in the Northern Territory is still growing and as sites get bigger and more complicated the safety side of their operations is becoming more paramount.
Electrical, Fixed Plant, Reliability and Mining Engineers – The need for these candidates is due to a skill shortage in the Northern Territory – as more sites look to have their workforce based here they are finding it difficult to have the right candidates relocate.
Residential Senior Maintenance Supervisors, Senior Vulcan Mine Surveyors, Experienced Digger Fitters, Residential Mobile Maintenance Planners and High Voltage Electricians – These candidates are in demand as there is a shortage of good experienced candidates especially within the locations required. High Voltage
Electricians must also have Electric Drive Truck Experience.
Senior Mine Geologists, Mining Engineer, Contract Mining Engineer, Process Manager and Maintenance Supervisor – Each of these skills is absolutely necessary to the operation of producing mine sites.
Continued operation and profitability of key assets for mining organizations is the highest priority at present.
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