19 September 2012

Work in Australia mines still available

Despite reports of new mining projects being put on hold and commodity prices falling, there is still abundant opportunity in existing mines, says Australian recruitment firms.

Australia immigration

Australian recruiters say demand for skilled workers in the country's mines has not decreased.

Two of Australia's largest resource companies began to scale back their investment in the country earlier this month, which coincided with a slow in demand from China and a drop in commodity prices. This led some to declare the country's mining boom to be over.

However, further analysis showed progress to be merely stabilising and Prime Minister Julia Gillard quickly moved to issue reassuring statements, claiming Australia's mining industry would thrive for the next few decades.

It would appear as though the international recruitment industry shares the same outlook. Fred van der Tang, CEO of Randstad Australia and NZ, says the job market continues to thrive within the mining and other associated industries.

"There's more job creation in Western Australia and Queensland where the mines are," said Mr van der Tang.

One of the most common concerns for people looking to work in the mines is the remoteness of the locations and Mr van der Tang says the willingness to move around is essential to succeeding in the industry.

"We've seen a lot of people moving and out of areas. You are seeing this in just about every industry, with higher demand for contracting roles than permanent ones due to the uncertainty in the market, especially for those with marketable skills."

Adam Harris, of professional services provider Robert Walters, agreed with Mr van der Tang, saying job opportunities are plentiful with the right skills.

"If you are a mining engineer with longwall [underground coalmining] experience, you are in demand," said Mr Harris.

"You can get a job from Hunter Valley, Wollongong to Bowen Basin."

The mining industry has had to look abroad to find the necessary numbers of staff for new and remote projects. Mr van der Tang says this is becoming a more popular route.

"The people we place in Perth are probably the most international bunch of people."

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

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