26 March 2010

Australian mining journals report the need for skilled workers is escalating

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Australia’s Mining Monthly journal has reported that the number of employment positions for skilled workers in the mining industry is once again starting to rise well above the numbers of candidates available to fill them.

Australian immigration

The growing need for skilled workers has meant employers may need to turn to Australian immigration.

In recent years the Australian mining industry has relied on Australian immigration to supply skilled workers, with the majority entering the country on a Subclass 457 Business (Long Stay) Visa to fill the shortfall of skilled labour.

As well as the more commonly used 457 Australian Visa  there are other avenues available for employers to access potential employees, including the 476 Skilled Graduate work visa to recruit engineering graduates from overseas.

Mining is one of the major sectors in Australia which utilises the 457 visa programme.

Queensland Resources Council chief executive Michael Roche identified the issue the state’s resource companies faced was their ability to attract and retain skilled employees.

“Labour demand projections suggest that occupational categories for which demand is expected to grow most rapidly are those for which total economy-wide employment supply is projected to grow most slowly,” he said.

Hays Resources & Mining regional director Simon Winfield said the growing demand for workers in this sector was the result of several factors.

“Firstly, there are many instances of employers opting to recruit now in an attempt to gain competitive advantage and secure the best of the available talent,” Winfield said.

“Secondly, many organisations that cut staffing numbers to the bone are going to look for new recruits to be in place pretty quickly in 2010 in order to cope with a ‘back to normal’ workload.

“Now that confidence and commodity prices are rising, employers are reassessing and re-creating vacancies where required. They are repopulating teams,” Mr Winfield told the Mining Monthly magazine.

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