Finance Finance News Hiring lull continues in resources sector

Hiring lull continues in resources sector

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There is a continued lull in hiring for the resources sector despite areas of skill shortages being identified.

International recruitment company Hays has released its ‘Quarterly Hotspots’ list for mining jobs in 2014.

It reveals when production in the iron ore sector in WA ramps up, there will be an increase in recruitment.

Hays’ WA state regional director Chris Kent says overall mining recruitment will lean towards temporary contracting, instead of hiring permanent staff as uncertainty continues over how long the lull will take.

“The drop in salaries is probably coming more in the form of hourly rates on contract positions,” he said.

“The permanent recruitment market in mining has been certainly affected and certainly a lot slower and it just depends on the skill set.”

Mr Kent says there are still plenty of jobs for skilled workers as the iron ore sector changes.

“As we’ve moved from expansion into production phase in iron ore, there’s still a rush for talent,” he said.

“In areas like process engineers, crusher operators, mining engineers and supervisors all those areas are quite in demand at the moment.

“People who can specialise in efficiencies, such as reliability engineers, business improvement, mechanical and electrical engineering are also in demand in some of the other commodities.”

He says in Queensland companies are moving away from hiring fly-in fly-out workers to drive-in drive-out workers.

“It’s been identified in the coal industry there that the margins really are quite small and they really are looking to try and minimise their costs,” Mr Kent said.

“Previously the fly-in fly-out workforce….has been coming from all over the world.”

Mr Kent says this trend is unlikely to extend to WA, as the state’s greater land mass makes it much more difficult.

“In Western Australia with there being less prominent cities all up the coast, it tends to be more accepted to fly-in fly-out from Perth and the surrounds,” he said.

“I think if you asked any of the major mining companies their preference would be for regional candidates who live in the area, such as Karratha, Port Hedland or Kalgoorlie.

“But equally so they still compete for talent and they have to remain competitive and some candidates don’t want to live regionally full time.”