09 January 2012

New demand for Australia visa holders to fill mining shortages

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While Europe's firms are forced to take tentative steps in their fragile economy when it comes to managing their staff levels, the booming Australian mining industry means that demand for employment continues to rise. In order to lure the best talents from other industries on uncertain ground, Australian firms are resorting to less conventional measures.

Australia visa

With the Australian mining industry continuing to boom, firms are desperate for more skilled migrants to be granted visas.

Jobs which are expected to be in high demand in 2012 include technical managers, maintenance superintendents, electrical tradesmen and study managers in port and rail operations as well as a variety of engineering disciplines including mining, environment and electrical.

In order to try and meet the staffing demands of the burgeoning industry, mining companies in Queensland are poaching skilled workers from the banking and retail sectors as well as hiring overseas workers. And to ensure that the newly recruited workers arrive ready to work as quickly as possible, many of the country's major mining corporations are implementing fly-in fly-out services.

With so many positions available, many of Australia's mining industry leaders are complaining about shortage of skilled workers available to fill the positions. Mining heiress and Australia's richest woman Gina Rinehart estimated that the shortage could be as high as 150,000 positions.

Chief Executive of the Association of Mining and Exploration (AMEC) Simon Bennison said that unless the Australian government relaxed its limitations on skilled workers emigrating to Australia, smaller mining projects that fall below the AU$10 billion level which allows companies easier access to foreign workers could be lost.

Despite the continued shortage, the Manpower Employment Outlook Survey showed that 32% of Australia and New Zealand's mining firms planned to increase their workforce, with just 12% planning to downsize.

With so much competition for the few skilled foreign workers with an Australian visa which firms have access to, managing director of the ManpowerGroup Australia and New Zealand Lincoln Crawley warned that firms would have to stay alert to the risks companies face if they do not offer the very best to their employees.

Lincoln Crawley said "Head hunting is still very active, and many workers are keen to hear what's on offer from other companies. Employers therefore need to be provided a compelling employment offer that combines financial and lifestyle benefits, with long-term incentives such as share plans, which encourage employees to stay loyal."

The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent migration consultancy specialising in helping people lodge applications with the Australian Embassy.

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