Geologists can find rocks but not jobs: AusIMM
■ One in five exploration geologists is out of work, according to new research from the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy.
AusIMM president Rex Berthelsen called it the “hard reality” with the unemployment rate for geoscience specialists hitting 20.8 per cent, up from 15.1 per cent a year ago.
The annual AusIMM Professional Employment Survey, conducted across the institute’s 14,000 members, also found the number of unemployed mining engineers had jumped from 8.7 to 14.9 per cent in the past 12 months.
The extent of the downturn is revealed by Gold Road Resources executive chairman Ian Murray, who says the company regularly receives more than 100 applicants for new positions. He claimed wages were between 20 per cent and 30 per cent lower.
The AusIMM survey drew 2266 responses and found the unemployment rate for Australia’s minerals professionals has reached 16.2 per cent.
It compares with the national unemployment rate of 6.2 per cent in August, according to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics data.
“Many of us have spent our careers in mining and we have experienced cycles and job losses before, but few can remember worse times and as an institute, we are alarmed at the loss of good people who may not return and can never be replaced,” Mr Berthelsen said. “We are also concerned that a whole level of experienced managers is being removed, leaving the industry at risk of losing its ability to innovate and pursue continuous improvements in safety and environmental performance.”
Almost 30 per cent of unemployed mining professionals are now long-term unemployed.
AusIMM chief executive Michael Catchpole urged Federal and State governments to ramp up support for skills development, research, innovation and productivity.
The AusIMM survey follows another 3.5 per cent slide in August for DFP Recruitment’s monthly Mining and Resources Job Index.
Tropicana Gold. Air core drilling at the Zombie prospect on the Tropicana JV tenements.