CQ mining companies seek local technicians

AS CENTRAL Queensland's mining companies focus on productivity, a new report has found a growing demand for regionally-based skilled applicants.

Central Queensland's minefields are a hotspot for diesel fitters, mining and geotechnical engineers and electricians, according to the latest October-December report from recruiting experts Hays.

The report said regionally-sourced mining professionals helped minimise costs.

"If skilled candidates are prepared to live in regional Queensland, companies can often create permanent opportunities for them," the report said.

"In recent months we have also seen a rise in technical white collar contract positions.

"This is a result of the large scale redundancies across both the coal and metalliferous sector in the past six months."

It said fluctuating commodity prices and the highly valued Australian dollar had meant that mining houses were still not able to commit to hiring permanent employees, but could use contactors to help meet their short-term production/operational targets.

And it said companies were much less likely to support 457 visas now as they want to look for local candidates.

"FIFO interstate work is also less likely in the foreseeable future as more candidates are available in local markets," it said.

Jobs in demand

  • Mining Engineers: As mining companies streamline their workforce they are looking for more highly skilled candidates to perform in both planning and production roles, Hays said. However salaries have remained the same.
  • Geotechnical Engineers: Geotechnical engineers with at least one to three years underground experience are being sought rather than taking on graduates. However Hays said there is a shortage of suitable candidates at this level.
  • Senior Metallurgists: As mining companies remain focused on increasing productivity from their existing plants, employers are looking for senior metallurgists with specialised experienced.
  • HV Electricians: Hays said there are many candidates in the market with the correct qualifications, but mining companies are looking for candidates that have very specific experience with the type and model of machinery used on their projects.
  • Diesel Fitters: As with HV electricians, miners demand very specific experience in terms of the type and model of the machinery previously worked on.


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