According to a report released by the Australian recruitment company Hays, the renewed optimism and investor confidence are assisting in increasing vacancies across Australia’s mining industry in 2018.

TAM Jan17 02Past redundancies and uncertainty of previous years drove much of the workforce into other alternative industries or overseas. Recent increase in new mine sites and expanding production, however, are once again beginning to create a skills shortage in the industry.

The report speculates that HD Fitters will be in high demand in Western Australia during the first half of 2018 in response to increased production, which results in maintenance requirements for mobile plant equipment. For similar reasons, dump truck operators will also be sought.

Additionally, exploration geologists will be in demand in response to increased exploration budgets as companies take advantage of investment and low operating costs. Underground engineers will be another area of need, particularly in gold mines that are increasing production in response to the steady gold price.

Queensland, on the other hand, will see high demand for quality diesel fitters throughout the first half of 2018, given the shortage of people with suitable mining experience.

Dragline operators will also be sought. With new draglines arriving on multiple sites in the Bowen Basin, and a shortage of dragline operators in the state, demand exceeds supply.

Demand in Queensland will also be high for excavator operators, underground jumbo operators, boilermakers and electricians.

Mechanical fitters with mining experience will also be needed as projects increase production.

As in Queensland, with expansions at Olympic Dam and the Port Pirie redevelopment, South Australia’s demand will also be for mechanical fitters. For similar reasons, Hays also expect to see high demand this half for boilermaker welders and trades assistants.

Even Victoria, where mining has a lower presence, during the first half of 2018 there will be a need for mechanical fitters, boilermakers, pipe fitters, quarry operators and welders.

Mechanical fitters and plant mechanics will be in high demand in New South Wales’ mining market. Employers will require candidates with experience using certain equipment, especially underground.

With multiple sites around NSW, demand will be high for boilermakers with specific mining experience. Industrial electricians will be another area of demand, while a range of electricians will be needed, in particular those with flameproof experience or a flameproof ticket.

Both CNC and manual machinists will be sought for workshop-based work.

NSW will also require white collar professionals this half. While trades dominated demand last year due to the need for mines and related industries to upgrade and renew machines and equipment, Hays is seeing growing needs for OHS advisors, mechanical engineers, exploration geologists and commissioning site supervisors.