23 March 2006

Australia's top paying jobs

Australia's skill shortage means some of the country's top paying jobs are going to migrants. Companies are now recruiting overseas for top paying positions including diesel fitters who stand to make $150,000-plus.

Although diesel fitters are the most sought after employees in the country at the moment, engineers, accountants, electrical estimators, draftsmen and bakers are also in high demand, particularly regional areas.

The managing director of one of Brisbane's largest recruitment consultancies, Workpac, said the diesel fitter would easily bring in $150,000-plus as long as they were prepared to fly in and fly out of jobs at remote locations, mostly in the mining sector.

Phil Smart of Workpac also pointed out that the skills shortage currently affecting Australia’s booming economy will be here for some to come and is not a trend we will be seeing the end of any time soon. He predicted a skills shortage in the Western world continuing for 10 years. The current shortage has forced an increasingly large number of companies in Australia, New Zealand and Canada to recruit overseas with contracting firms to bring in the skilled labour required.

A brief roadmap of where the shortages are worst in the state by recruitment firm Nayler Business Solutions reveals that engineering is one of the hardest roles to fill.

Nayler, who interviews about 15,000 candidates a year, points out that engineering technical sales roles are most needed in central and north Queensland.

Drafting and design engineers are lacking in mechanical and petrochemical fields in Brisbane while accountants, particularly financial and management accountants, are needed throughout the state.

Nayler indicated there’s a world shortage and a number of countries are spending billions of dollars to try and get people back. Both Australia and New Zealand have ten of thousands of it citizens living and working abroad accounting for part of skills shortage.

In the electrical sector, engineers in the power generation market, from transmission to distribution are keenly sought in the greater Brisbane area while electrical estimators (both commercial and industrial) are in demand on the Gold Coast.

Candidates for electrical estimators were almost impossible to source in rural areas. Technical sales personnel were wanted in northern Queensland, Townsville and Cairns while in the building products sector, technical sales roles were needed in Brisbane, central and north Queensland.

Designers, especially drafting within the timber and steel industries, were needed state-wide while architectural sales and various other specification sales staff were in big demand in the southeast of the state, the Gold and Sunshine coasts and in Brisbane.

One of the lesser known trades, bakers, is also in high demand with local operators Brumby's being forced to close a few regional stores last year because they could not source bakers.

Brumby's chief Michael Sherlock was forced to travel to Vietnam to recruit quality bakers, currently paying about $40,000 a year in salary to the imported staff.


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