Ge­ol­o­gists can find rocks but not jobs: AusIMM

Pilbara News - - Resources - Jar­rod Lu­cas

■ 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.

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