Growth hits new heights
New jobs continue to emerge in the resources and construction industries, Cara Jenkin discovers.
MINING has experienced the fastest rate of jobs growth of all 19 employment industries in Australia in the past decade, underpinned by strong demand for commodities from Australia’s trading partners.
Figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics reveals in the 10 years to November 2012, employment in mining increased from 87,000 workers to 255,000 workers.
The growth is set to continue. In the five years to 2016-17, employment in mining is expected to be at the highest rate of any industry at 7.5 per cent a year, equalling about 103,700 new jobs.
Oil and gas extraction is projected to experience the strongest employment growth in the industry, up by 11.0 per cent a year.
Energy and resources jobs often are blended with mining, while many construction roles also are required by the industry.
It means many opportunities for workers who have the skills in demand and those willing to upskill to get minerelated qualifications.
The workers highest in demand are professional and trades engineers and electricians, but new projects coming on stream means new jobs in every role from plant operator and diesel mechanic to mine manager and civil engineer are becoming available.
The combined mining, engineering and construction workforce now employs about 1.2 million people in Australia, or about 10 per cent of the workforce.
All eight construction sectors are also expected to record employment growth in the next five years.
The largest employment gain is projected to be in the building installation services sector – up by 37,600 jobs (15.9 per cent growth) in the five year period to 2016-17.
It is followed by the building completion services sector in which 29,400 new jobs (15.4 per cent growth) is predicted.
Though heavy and civil engineering represents only 7 per cent of the total construction industry’s workforce, it is expected to experience the strongest employment growth of 16.5 per cent in the five-year period to 2016-17.
Mining workers on average are employed 44 hours a week, while construction workers are employed at an average 40 hours a week.
Salaries vary greatly, from $35,000 a year for a drafter to $285,000 a year for a mine manager.