VR’s the problem?
“The only people that take VR’s are those confident about getting another job”
Wednesday 22 November 2017
Industry veterans are scratching their heads over what to do about a slowly building skills crisis developing in the Queensland resources sector.
Central Queensland mining has officially swung back into a growth phase, meaning businesses are looking to recruit experienced and skilled staff after the mass departure at the end of Australia’s biggest mining construction boom.
However, the job is proving difficult with the workforce either happy elsewhere or so disenchanted with the industry that they won't even consider returning.
One local Business owner told Shift Miner he thinks part of the problem was that in this downturn companies were too quick to hand out Voluntary Redundancies (VR’s).
“It’s pretty clear to everyone, that while this has been a particularly vicious downturn, the mining cycle hasn’t disappeared and things have got better,” he said.
“This is about the fourth cycle I have been through, and one of the things that was different this time was the number of VR's handed out.
“Everyone knows, the only people that take VR’s are those about to retire or confident about getting another job, or in other words the best people.
“Then there are the involuntary redundancies, and I think so many people felt so severely burnt by that experience, they won't be back.
“The mistake we all made was not fighting hard enough to find work for our best people because there are lots of businesses around Mackay who now rank skills shortages as the biggest problem they are facing.”
Just last month General Manager of the Resource Industry Network in Mackay, Adrienne Rourke said they were working with members to try and lure workers back.
“Our members have told us that there has been a noticeable pick up within the engineering and heavy industrial sector with many businesses now on the hunt for skilled workers," she said.
“Their feedback has been that there are difficulties in employing the people they require, with so many skilled workers having left the region a few years ago during the downturn.