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Report: Mining Jobs and Opportunities in South Australia - Q1 2018/19


Report: Mining Jobs and Opportunities in South Australia - Q1 2018/19

30 November 2018

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The RESA South Australia Mining and Resources Sector Hiring Intentions Report 1 provides a leading indicator of hiring intentions and labour market sentiment. This is the summary for quarter in the 2018 19 financial year. In this quarter 767 mining and resources job advertisements were placed for roles in South Australia. In the same period last year 672 jobs were listed and 279 in Q1 2016/17. This result continues to represent consistent positive jobs growth for the sector, since Q4 FY 2015-16. The total job ads are 26% higher than those listed in the same period in FY 2012/13 before the downturn impacted on the sector.

Graph above indicates that the hiring intentions of the resources sector in South Australia are increasing from the lows of mid FY15-16 which continues to translate into more jobs and opportunities for South Australians.

Graph above demonstrates strong growth in the numbers of job vacancies from July 2016 to September 2017. In September 2019 the total number of advertisements was equal to the same period last year. This indicates strong ongoing demand for the resources sector.

Job Ads analysis for Q1 FY2018-19 indicates that, when indexed in a simple comparison against the corresponding month in the previous year, jobs growth remains positive. Consistent positive growth provides a leading indicator of employment intentions (labour demand) in the South Australian Mining Industry. Although September vacancies this financial year were equal to the same period last year the quarterly results indicate moderate ongoing growth.

When the current FY year vacancies are compared to the FY 2013 2015 index, which encompasses the peaks of 2013 and the beginning of the downturn, the number of advertisements has consistently been higher - with September 2018 showing double the vacancies.

Indexed against 2013 - 2015 benchmark (3 year average)

Graph below shows that in Q1 FY2018-19 trades and professional occupational experienced the greatest job demand. This has seen a shift from operator positions to trades. This is a continuation of earlier indicators that resources projects are moving from planning into construction and development stages and increasing operations, either from new projects or developing existing projects.

Professional occupations represented 32% of the job vacancies. The predominant subsector for this level occupation is Engineering followed by Business Development / Services and Quality/ Safety and Health.

Graph below provides a breakdown of the industry sub-sector of advertised vacancies in Q1 FY2018-19. The highest demand during this quarter has been in Maintenance/Mechanical job roles, which corresponds with the demonstrated demand for trade level occuptions. Engineering occupations and equipment operators were also prominent.

The subsector breakdown below provides some insight into the highest demand occupations within the subsectors of Trades, Drilling and Blasting, and Engineering.

Engineering represents 19% of total vacancies for the quarter. Project engineers are most in demand, followed by Reliablity and Integrity and Mining engineers. Electrical engineers made up 8% of Engineering vacancies.

Mechanical/Metal vacancies remained steady at 32% of total vacancies. Within this subsector the greatest demand was for diesel mechanics/fitters (over half) followed by Electricians (15%), other engineering trades and drill fitters (9%).

Drilling and Blasting demand slightly increased to 8% of overall vacancies Drillers made up 51% in this subsector, of which most were exploration drillers. It is noteworthy that a vacancy for drillers will usually represent more than one job opportunity.

The trade breakdown is based on the job level classification and combines subsectors. In trades the highest demand continues to be for diesel mechanics/fitters followed by auto electricians then other engineering trades (fabrication and welding).

As vacancies continue to be at current levels it will be important to monitor to pre-empt potential skills shortages resulting from the increase in demand.It is also an important consideration in company workforce planning to understand difficult to fill occupations.

As indicated in Graph below, in Q1 the majority (51%) of advertised roles were listed in the Adelaide region. Followed by 29% in the Coober Pedy and Outback region.

Graph below provides a breakdown of Adelaide vacancies by sub sector. Occupations advertised in Adelaide but likely to be undertaken in regional areas (Equipment Operator, Oil and Gas, Maintenance, Mechanical/Metal, Drilling and Blasting) make up just over one-third of the Adelaide vacancies. This reflects FIFO, interstate and intrastate opportunities for South Australians.

RESA vacancy data has captured a period of rapid job growth since Q4 2017- 18 which has stabilised since mid-2017 at levels higher than at any other period since 2013 when our records commenced.

The highest demand is in the area of engineering, automotive (diesel) and electrical trades. Engineering vacancies have increased with greatest demand in the fields of Project Management, Reliability and Integrity and Mining. This is an important observation as Universities consider their offerings for students in 2019 and beyond as there is currently no pathway currently available for mining engineers in South Australia.

RESA has also observed greater demand for FIFO workers to interstate worksites and jobs requiring relocation, particularly in trade and equipment operator occupations. With wage rates ranging up to $65 p/h and $200K p/a this is likely to create pressure to meet the demands and maintain the South Australian workforce for both mining operators, METS companies and other suppliers.

Overall consistency in job demand indicates a robust industry well positioned to continue to provide a range of job opportunities for South Australians.




Jodie Badcock - RESA

Author: Jodie Badcock


Jodie has over 20 years’ experience in the development and implementation of employment and educational programs. She has project managed national industry driven government funded programs ($5m) and, as a technical specialist, managed the maintenance and development of the Australian nationally endorsed competencies and qualifications for the resources and infrastructure sectors.

Her experience has included industry and enterprise workforce analysis and capability studies commissioned by state government and industry bodies, particularly in mining and the civil construction sectors. She has experience in project management, workforce planning and compliance, program development and implementation, facilitating industry consultation and contract management.

Jodie has worked in Central America and the United Kingdom and provided VET consulting/advisory services to companies in Malaysia.