Walk- up start at $ 100,000
STARTING salaries comparable with our medicine men, a better lifestyle and a fresh start in a beautiful state with sandy beaches, are among reasons to consider a graduate career in engineering and resources in Wester Australia.
WA department of primary industry and resources spokesman, Bill Tinapple, says graduates are being paid up to $ 100,000 straight out of university’’.
The state’s mining industry is booming, with around $ 50 billion worth of projects in operation or in planning.
Growth in WA is being driven largely by the iron, steel, oil and gas sectors. BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto, among others, are undertaking rapid expansion of their iron ore operations. Growth in LNG projects, and strong productivity among alumina, gold and nickel producers is also helping to boost the market.
It’s a good career,’’ says Mr Tinapple. Energy, resources and commodities are going to play a much more important role in my view over the next half century than they have.
We have had ups and downs over the past century, with over supply and undersupply, but I think it’s moving into shortage time.
So people who choose to make it a career will be playing a very important role in the scheme of things and preserving Australia’s geopolitical situation in the world and they will be making a good living out of it at the same time. Who could ask for more?’’
Indeed. Mr Tinapple urges young people to consider a graduate career in the engineering field, but he says demand for expertise had spilled over into other areas.
Our economy is largely resource- based and there is a huge boom in mining for oil and gas and there is enough there to make a long- term career for young people and the salaries are very competitive now for people with resource- based qualifications,’’ he says.
Petroleum engineers, for example, are starting out at salaries that are competitive with doctors. Maybe more than doctors at this stage.
A new graduate petroleum engineers are starting out at $ 80,000 to $ 100,000 a year.’’
Mr Tinappls says a fresh start in the West is a great way to get a leg up in the early stage of your career: What we are finding now is a lot of young people are going off to the oil and gas and mining sites and they are getting a head start on life.
They are getting an initial stake to set themselves up.’’
Mr Tinapple says the key professionals needed are primarily engineers and geologists: But it’s a broad field. The demand is spilling over into a whole lot of areas. We need environmental scientists, lawyers, economists, accountants: there is demand right across the board.’’
And the WA Government has launched a campaign to encourage workers across the nation to move west.
It targets all ages, from young skilled people with adventurous spirits to families looking for a better future and those who want a sea change.
WA is also reaching overseas to fuel its need for workers.
WA Small Business Minister, Margaret Quirk, went to India on a recruitment drive. We see India as a key market to meet the skills shortage,’’ a spokesman for Ms Quirk says.
‘‘ We’re trying to recruit trained engineers, accountants, skilled construction and information technology workers and even qualified trades people like plumbers and electricians, and we’re always looking for nurses and teachers.
‘‘ It’s really across the board - we just can’t find enough skilled workers.’’
Bill Beatty, managing director of industry recruitment specialists Swan Contract Personnel, worries that the mining industry is facing its biggest shortage of graduates ever.
‘‘ Just about anybody whose got an arm and a leg at the moment can get a job,’’ he says.
Demand from China is a major driver of new projects in Australia. ‘‘ It is just astronomical and we’re busting our guts to meet those demands, hence the pressure on our industry to find suitably qualified personnel and opportunities to train young professionals and give them the opportunity to enter this industry,’’ Mr Beatty says.
Swan currently has 20,000 CVs on its database. The company helps to place a wide range of professionals within the energy and resources sectors.
For graduates, existing professionals and people contemplating a change, the energy and resources sector is providing unique and valuable opportunities to work alongside some of Australia’s and the world’s top professionals on some of the most interesting projects.
Excellent opportunities exist in this growing industry as new and exciting projects come on line,’’ Mr Beatty says.