Recruiters forecast shortage of skilled people in Australia in mining sector in 2018

by Ray Clancy on January 18, 2018

in Jobs in Australia

Mining jobs used to be a real draw for skilled workers looking to work in Australia but a downturn saw the number falling.

Now a new report suggests that the sector is recovering and some skills shortages have emerged with more likely to appear during 2018.

Mining Jobs


Employers in the mining sector have begun the year with a new optimism and in the main mining states of Western Australia and Queensland, mining jobs are in demand again, according to recruitment experts Hays.

In Western Australia HD fitters, dump truck operators, underground engineers, maintenance planners and exploration geologists are particularly sought and in Queensland, machine operators, boilermakers and electricians, mechanical fitters, diesel fitters and CNC machinists are likely to be among the most wanted in 2018.

Mechanical fitters, boilermakers, electricians and machinists will also be in demand in New South Wales and even in Victoria, where the mining industry has less presence, welders, pipe fitters and quarry operators are listed as among the most sought after positions.

These positions will be in short supply and high demand throughout 2018, Hays said, due to an increase in new mine sites.

It also points out that redundancies in recent years have driven employees to jobs with lower wages but better lifestyles, and one of the biggest challenges will be enticing them back or recruiting overseas.

Recruitment firm SEEK says that mining, energy and resources job adverts are growing faster than in any other sector and across all states and territories. The most opportunities are in Western Australia which currently has more than 1,500 roles advertised, annual growth of 32%.

Queensland offers the second greatest number of job opportunities across mining, energy and resources on SEEK, with opportunities growing by 73% in 2017.

SEEK’s research indicates that job security in mining has increased to the second most important spot in terms of what attracts candidates to a role or company in the industry. Jobs with the strongest growth included drilling and blasting.

Another problem is that young people are not attracted to jobs in the mining industry. Indeed, the Minerals Council of Australia says that the industry, education and the Government need to get together to work out a policy of how to attract more younger people.

Expected enrolments in mining engineering have almost halved in the past 12 months and are projected to halve again by the end of the decade. MCA figures suggest mining engineering enrolments have dropped from 171 last year to 98 this year and are on track to fall to 69 next year and 47 in 2020.

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