500 vacancies and record rates
Contractors forced to nearly unprecedented lengths to entice skilled workers back.
Wednesday 27 September 2017
An underground mining contractor has been forced to offer near record hourly rates to entice the skilled miners they need to complete contracts in a revived Central Queensland mining industry.
In the same week that the Queensland Resources Council claimed there were more than 70 mining lease applications currently being assessed by the Queensland Government, Mackay based PIMS group has been offering more than $85 an hour for short-term skilled labour to work on a longwall move.
Director at PIMS Andrew Itzstein told Shift Miner it’s what’s required to get the people they need
“The rate depends on the skills required for the role and of course the length of the contract," he said.
"These roles are for skilled and experienced workers for a longwall move.
“People are not willing to move for cheaper rates at the moment because they don't have the confidence that there is going to be follow-up work.
“We are trying to attract people who may have left the industry and are doing something else, or just trying to attract the experienced people already employed that can do the job.
“However it's very difficult with wages up ten to 15% in the last 12 months.”
Mackay based workplace consultant Craig Joy says there is evidence of a skills shortfall for mining related business.
“I don't know whether $85 is a record or not, I am not a specialist for longwall moves, but there is definitely upward pressure again.
“I was talking to a colleague about this, and he had calculated there was something like 500 vacancies among mining businesses at the moment.
“It’s just the nature of the beast; you have a significant downturn followed by mining companies wanting things done yesterday at any price.
“As soon as there is a rumour of a shortage, the miners tend to panic, and that pushed prices up.”