Australia’s mining, resources and energy industry has been digging deep over the past 12 months and its recovery is expected to accelerate throughout 2018. The latest data from SEEK Employment Trends shows the sector was out in front for job ad growth throughout 2017 with an overall increase of 67.7%.
The industry recorded more than 17,000 new roles in 2017 and the average advertised salary was $111,773. Growth has been primarily driven by the mining-rich states of Queensland, New South Wales and Western Australia, which recorded the highest growth of 30.1%.
Roles that saw the fastest growth in mining included Engineering and Maintenance (22.4%), Operations (18.2%) and Drill & Blast (4.1%).
Donna Ison, Principal Consultant at recruitment company Davidson, says the industry is on the up.
“There’s definitely more movement in the resources industry with exploration, production and maintenance activity all expected to increase,” she says.
“Investment is on the rise and resources and energy exports will continue to grow. There are many opportunities for permanent roles and contract roles for specific projects.”
With rebound in market activity gaining further momentum throughout 2018, Ison says employers must move quickly during the recruitment process or risk missing out on the best talent.
“Provide feedback and communicate with candidates during the process,” she says.
“Employer reputation can be harmed when candidates don’t hear for weeks at a time.”
Trades and services boomed in Australia in 2017, with the industry among the fastest growing on SEEK, with a 23.3% increase in job ads.
The industry recorded almost 34,000 new roles in 2017 and the average advertised salary was $64,227. Growth was primarily driven by the eastern states and roles that saw the highest growth included Automotive Trades (4.8%), Fitters, Turners & Machinists (3.3%) and Welders & Boilermakers (3.3%).
With the Federal Government pledging a $75 billion infrastructure investment over the next 10 years, demand for trades shows little sign of slowing down.
Huge public infrastructure projects, such as the multi-billion-dollar Metro rail tunnel projects in Sydney and Melbourne, will specifically boost the construction sector over the next eight to 10 years,” says Adam Shapley, Senior Regional Director for Hays Trades & Labour.
“Heavy diesel mechanics are in short supply, as are mechanical fitters. Boilermakers are also in demand in response to activity in the manufacturing industry.”
Paul Unstead, General Manager – Strategic at Adecco, says a decline in apprenticeships is also having an impact.
“Commencement and completion rates have been on the decline for the past few years, so demand will continue to outstrip available talent for the foreseeable future,” he says.
Shapley says employers that offer work-life balance may have a competitive edge.
“As an employer you’re responsible for ensuring your employees wellbeing is cared for, especially when it comes to manual labour,” he says.
“Offer flexible hours and rosters. This is increasingly important for jobseekers.”
Health expenditure per person is projected to more than double over the next 40 years as Australia’s ageing population continues to place significant demands on the nation’s healthcare system.
The healthcare and medical industry was among the fastest growing industries on SEEK in 2017 with job ads rising by 11.1%. While every state and territory recorded growth, this was primarily driven by Victoria (4.2%), Queensland (2.3%) and New South Wales (2.1%).
Aged-Care Nursing was among the fastest growing roles within the industry with job ads rising by 1.6%.
“The aging population is having a huge impact on the healthcare system,” says Dan Hobson, Director of Hobson Health Recruitment. “It’s not only aged-care facilities that are experiencing growth. More people are choosing to age at home and this means they are accessing community healthcare.”
Hobson adds that as people are living longer, they are more focused on living well. This may be contributing to growing demand for ancillary health services, such as physiotherapy, occupational therapy and rehabilitation, which saw a 2.1% growth in opportunities last year.
Psychology, counselling and social work also experienced growth, with job ads rising 1.9%.
“When it comes to mental health, society is continuing to evolve and the stigma is shifting, so people are more willing to speak about it and seek help,” says Hobson.
With growing demand for healthcare and medical professionals, Hobson says employers must promote a positive culture to attract and retain talent.
“Healthcare is an extremely demanding profession, so employees look for a positive culture where they feel valued and supported.”
Large-scale infrastructure investment has signaled a boom time for jobs in the engineering sector. It was one of the fastest-growing industries on SEEK in 2017 with job ads rising 26.7% and more than 12,000 new roles were recorded for the year.
The average advertised salary for engineering in 2017 was $104,898 and growth across the industry was primarily driven by Victoria, Queensland, and New South Wales.
Civil / Structural Engineering roles led the way with a 5.8% year-on-year increase in opportunities. This was followed by a 4.4% rise in job ads for Electrical / Electronic Engineering while Project Engineering came in third place with a 3% lift.
Oliver Thompson, Managing Consultant – Civil / Structural Engineering at Hudson, says demand is being driving by significant investment in infrastructure projects in Melbourne and Sydney. These include the Victorian Government’s Metro Tunnel and Sydney’s WestConnex, which is the largest transport infrastructure project in the country.
“There is exponential demand for civil engineering talent, specifically in Victoria and New South Wales,” says Thompson.
“Huge civil infrastructure projects and commercial or residential developments are also benefiting other areas of engineering, with the likes of electrical, building services and mechanical engineers also becoming highly in-demand skillsets.”
As the need for engineers continues to grow, Thompson says employers may need to lift their game in order to attract the best talent.
“Candidates are looking for better work-life balance, higher salary, job security and client-side opportunities or bigger projects,” he says.
“In my experience, if you can offer three of these, you are an attractive employer.”
Australia’s transition to an ‘Innovation Nation’ is having an impact on recruitment in the Science and Technology industry. It was among the fastest-growing industries on SEEK in 2017 with job ad growth of 22%.
Australian Government investment in research and development reached $10.3 billion in 2017-18. Alen Skaro, National Manager at specialist science and technology recruitment agency Techstaff, says this is leading to a greater need for talent. “We believe this will create an ongoing demand for scientific and technical professionals,” he says.
SEEK data shows industry growth was primarily driven by New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland and all regions experienced a lift, with the exception of the Northern Territory. Key areas of growth were found in Environmental, Earth & Geosciences (8.9%), Mathematical, Statistics &Information Sciences (4.2%) and Laboratory & Technical Services (3.5%).
“The industry has seen significant shifts in the last decade,” says Skaro.
“Local food and beverage manufacturing and processing are at the strongest they have been for some time due to the demand for locally grown and produced products and international exports.
“While a lot of traditional pharmaceutical manufacturing has moved off-shore, international demand for Australian manufactured nutraceuticals in particular has created local employment opportunities. The buoyant construction industry has also created opportunities for scientific talent.”
As demand for science and technology candidates continues to grow, Skaro says companies must polish up their value proposition to attract the very best.
“Keep in mind everyone has different needs, whether that’s work-life balance, training and development, career progression or other employments benefits.”