Hot spots drive demand
THERE is a shortage of experienced, qualified engineers right across the board in Australia. However, the skills shortage is most pronounced in infrastructure and mining, due to the nature of the Australian economy.
In south- east Queensland alone, some $ 65 billion worth of construction and engineering projects have been signed off on for the next 10 years.
Civil engineering jobs are usually available with experience in building construction, civil construction ( especially road construction and maintenance), tunnelling, traffic and transport, water and structures highly sought after.
‘‘ The skills shortage is still the biggest thing in the engineering and construction industry,’’ says Nick Elsdon, COO of Select industrial.
Only now, though, professionals in the engineering and construction sector are starting to reap a number of benefits.
‘‘ People with one or two years experience are getting a lot more opportunities,’’ Mr Elsdon says. ‘‘ Graduates now will get jobs a lot quicker. It’s allowing people to move through the field faster than has typically been the case.’’
Electrical, mechanical and chemical engineering positions are also available, particularly in areas associated with infrastructure and building such as building services or water treatment.
The construction industry ( which includes carpenters and joiners, electricians, plumbers, builders, painters and decorators, concreters and bricklayers) employs over 845,000 people in Australia. There is, however, a labour shortage of skilled trades people, making this a highly accessible industry.
This is a regionally diverse industry, with opportunities in both metropolitan and regional areas. Around 40 percent of construction jobs are outside state capital cities, with the majority of work being in NSW, Victoria and Queensland. Architects continue to be in high demand right across the country, as are town planners.
be most abundant in the mining sector, where employers are being pressured to offer creative packages that go beyond just salary.
This is both because employees want more in the way of things such as work- life balance, as well as the fact that companies can’t afford to pay any more anyway.
In petroleum engineering, for instance, graduates can command salaries well into the range of $ 200K.
Mr Elsdon says that many of Select’s recruitment clients have started taking matters into their own hands when it comes to highly specialised roles and are doing their own headhunting.
The current mining boom is largely concentrated in Queensland and WA and companies with operations there are virtually inviting staff to write their own contracts.
More companies are flying staff in and out and between remote locations. Packages tend to be less generous in Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania where the skills shortage is yet to really hit hard.