Coal skills in demand

UNDERGROUND coal mining engineers, geotechnical engineers and geologists are in high demand, according to Hays Resources & Mining’s three-month forecast.

Angie Tomlinson

The April to June report shows the number of jobs is increasing as most mining companies ramp up production, but employers are yet to adjust their criteria and will hold open vacancies to wait for their ideal candidate to become available.


“Permanent job numbers continue their steady ascent,” Hays Resources & Mining regional director Simon Winfield said.


“But, despite a desire to recruit, some employers remain fairly prescriptive in their permanent staff requirements. They will take a more measured approach than pre-global financial crisis.


“More consideration is taken in regards to cultural fit and candidate skills. Companies have specific needs and, in most cases, are unwilling to compromise on the essential criteria. They are also far less willing to train and develop staff into a position.


“This means that vacancies are held open longer,” he said.


Winfield said when companies find a suitable candidate they need to move quickly through the recruitment process.


“The rising demand for staff means that the overall supply and demand ratio is falling away from favouring employers and a growing list of skills in demand is emerging.”


According to the report, highly sought-after skills include intermediate to senior mining engineers, especially those with feasibility, greenfield development and medium to long-term mine design and planning skills within open cut and underground coal.


Geotechnical engineers/geologists for both open cut and underground across coal and hard rock are in demand, as are civil engineers and project managers with mining infrastructure experience.


Electricians, HD fitters and maintenance planners are also needed.


The report found there are vacancies in surveying and field roles, and superintendents in the areas of capital projects and maintenance planning are sought after.


The heavy industrial construction sector, largely driven by greenfield mining projects, is experiencing strong growth in the civil sector.