Continued strong jobs growth in Australia’s world-leading minerals industry

Demand for mining workers across Australia continues to grow, creating new job opportunities particularly in regional communities.

An independent pilot study undertaken for MCA by technology firm CoverCard is the most comprehensive analysis ever undertaken of mining-related jobs and skills advertising in Australia.

 Using CoverCard’s unique database of more than four million mining-related jobs and skills, analysts evaluate employment trends in blue-collar jobs by applying an identification algorithm to more than 140,000 job advertisements in the sector.

 Key findings include:

  • Over the past three years, job demand was the largest in Western Australia (33 per cent of advertised mining jobs, or 46,215 on the site) followed by Queensland (29 per cent, or 40,613) and New South Wales (22 per cent 30,810 jobs).
  • Job demand in Australia was up 120 per cent in the three months to November 2018 (16,000 positions) compared to the three months March 2016 (6,000 positions).
  • Fly-in fly-out (FIFO) options recorded the highest advertising frequency in the Northern Territory (46 per cent) followed by Western Australia (32 per cent). The largest growth in references to FIFO was in NSW.  Overall, national FIFO requirement in advertisements across the period was about 18 per cent or 24,779 positions.

The study also found that there was strong interest in skilled Australian workers able to operate in high-risk environments, based on an analysis of licence requirements.

Forklift operators, working safely at heights and working on boom-type elevating work platforms and safely working in confined spaces were the most sought-after occupations.

Both basic and advanced rigging tickets and construction induction cards were also frequently included in job descriptions by employers. There was also keen interest in people with handling crane payloads (‘dogging’) skills.

At a regional level, there was high demand for Gas Test Atmospheres’ certificate in Western Australia while in Queensland, employers needed workers with the High Risk Licence: CB Bridge and Gantry Crane Licence.

MCA General Manager – Workforce Dr Gavin Lind said this analysis provided industry and job-seekers with an excellent understanding of which skills are in demand as the mining industry continues to grow and provide highly paid, high skilled jobs in regional Australia. 

 ‘This analysis not only shows an industry continuing to grow and employ people in regional Australia, it will also help people wanting to work in mining to target their choice of qualification,’ Dr Lind said. 

‘Training institutions will also now have better information on which qualifications are most in demand across mining regions.’

CoverCard CEO Matt Tomlins said the study backs the company’s view that there are a core set of qualifications and licences that give job seekers a real edge in the mining sector.

'Algorithmic labour market analysis is an exciting new product offering for us and can assist organisations and policy makers understand the skills in demand in their area of interest,' Mr Tomlins said.

MCA will work with CoverCard to continue the analysis of jobs and training opportunities into the future.

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