Cracks start to show in WA mining skills shortage, DFP Mining and Resources Job Index finds

Sarah Steger and Stuart McKinnon | The West Australian

Monday, 20 May 2019 9:10AM

Data has revealed the growing skills shortage in WA’s resources sector, with job vacancies unmatched since February 2014. The April DFP Mining and Resources Job Index report shows WA job vacancies rose 1.4 per cent last month, compared with a 1.1 per cent fall nationally. DFP Recruitment chief executive Robert van Stokrom said the State was “absolutely” facing a skills shortage — a consequence of having the best mining jobs market in more than five years. “The positivity of it is the fact that things are continuing to improve for WA and that vacancies are improving in the mining sector, which obviously points to a resurgence in mining jobs which is a good thing,” he said. “But not being able to fill those jobs is the not so good thing.” Putting the “encouraging jobs market” down to iron ore, Mr van Stokrom said the mineral was driving growth “in all facets: extraction, transportation, export”. The price of iron ore has risen to five-year highs recently on the back of supply disruptions in Brazil. WA’s three big iron ore producers — Rio Tinto, BHP and Fortescue Metals Group — are also building new mines, collectively an investment of more than $10 billion.

The trades most in need include electricians, carpenters, plumbers, machine fitters, diesel fitters and their associated trades. Drillers, mining engineers, metallurgists and geologists are also in demand. “We’re not talking about senior roles either — we’re talking about the people who actually do the work,” Mr van Stokrom said. “I travel to Karratha, Goldfields and Kalgoorlie on a regular basis, so I’m on the ground there a lot and all of our branches are reporting difficulties obtaining the people they need to fill the roles.” Also on the up are mining and resource job advertisements, which jumped 5.8 per cent last month. According to Seek, this puts mining and resources among the top five industries with the highest job ad growth in Australia. In a statement responding to the Federal Coalition’s election victory yesterday, WA Chamber of Minerals and Energy chief executive Paul Everingham said the State’s resources sector would need an additional 15,000 specific skilled roles over the next six months. “During the election campaign, Mr Morrison committed a new $525 million skills package with 80,000 new apprenticeships, in addition to record education funding,” he said. “While this might not help in the short-term, it’s reassuring to know that we will have skilled workers coming through.”

Please contact Tom Hatch on (03) 8632 9952 for more information on the DFP Mining and Resources Job Index or to download a copy complete the form here.

How can you help employees deal with the Christmas rush?

Our forums on Employee Wellbeing revealed the many challenges faced by both managers and employees with regard to workplace stress. In the article below, WorkPro shares some tips on how to effectively deal with workplace stress during the time leading up to Christmas.

Christmas is just around the corner, and already businesses across the country are preparing to deal with the rush of shoppers that will inevitably flood the stores.

According to Roy Morgan’s annual Christmas retail sales forecasts conducted in conjunction with the Australian Retailers Association (ARA), Australians will spend nearly $51.5 billion across retail stores during the Christmas trading period from November 9-December 24 (46 days).

Of course, your employees will be the ones largely bearing the brunt of the holiday rush. What can you do to help your staff better cope in these busy times?

1. Ensure they know how to manage their stress

Stress is an all too common by-product of the modern business world, with Safe Work Australia finding that it costs Australian companies more than $10 billion every single year. What’s more, this mental pressure can be further compounded when employees are faced with the big crowds typically associated with Christmas shopping.

You can help minimise the risks by ensuring that your staff are aware of how they can reduce stress in the workplace to better cope with the demands of the job.


Stress in retail


2. Maintain employee morale

In times of chaos at work, it’s important that those at the top employ strategies to keep morale high across the workforce. This is an art itself, and there are many ways to boosting confidence amongst your staff, but Forbes contributor Cheryl Conner surmised that there are six key elements to it:

  1. Be empathetic
  2. Recognise and reward good performance
  3. Create a fun company culture
  4. Consider providing additional non-monetary benefits
  5. Look internally first when promoting
  6. Ensure employees understand and appreciate the company’s vision

3. Make sure you have sufficient staff

Arguably the best ways to help your employees deal with the Christmas rush is to ensure that you have enough staff on hand. Historically, getting people into temporary jobs quickly has been challenging, but thanks to web-based staff induction services, the process is now simpler than ever. Hiring sufficient workers to accommodate the busy period will help you provide better customer service while also keeping your existing employees more satisfied and stress free.

Find out more information on how to effectively deal with workplace stress and our forms covering employee wellbeing.

The End of An Era

After a wonderful ten years, my term as the President of the RCSA Board has come to an end. With a new breed of members now on board, I am excited to pass on the baton, confident that the fresh and innovative ideas they have will continue leading the industry to great new heights. It really is an exciting time to be part of such a credible industry body. As you can imagine, I was incredibly humbled by an article published on rcsanews.comRCSA President Proudly Crosses the Finish Line After Ten Years  about my tenure as President. Thank you RCSA, it’s been a pleasure!