While there had been layoffs in the industry due to the current downturn, skilled and competent personnel were still needed in mines around the state, he told ILN.
“At this hard time within the coal industry, there are a lot of ill-fated situations coming to surface with contract companies and operators making highly skilled and experienced workers redundant due to cost-cutting procedures,” he said.
“I am, however, trying to make the transition for people as easy as possible. I am looking for a number of skilled candidates at senior and mid-tier levels.”
McComb said he was looking to fill three longwall superintendent positions and two longwall development and outbye positions in NSW. Other available positions included an underground coal maintenance planner and electrical engineers.
According to Coal Services, as of June 2012 the NSW coal industry employed 14,066 people in open cut mines and 10,923 in underground mines.
This week ILN reported that the downturn was expected to lead to the number of employees in the Queensland coal industry dropping by 5000 to below 20,000, according to research commissioned by the Queensland Resources Council.
The Queensland coal industry was haemorrhaging under the strain of a high Australian dollar and an onerous regulatory regime, said the QRC.
The state’s coal mining regions were also expected to be hit hard, because the coal industry generated more than half of every dollar spent on mining in Queensland, with the total in FY2012 reaching $18.9 billion.
“The largest contributor to the total direct expenditure of the resource sector in Queensland in 2011/12 was coal mining, with approximately $19 billion, or 52.7%, of total spending, comprised of $3 billion in wages and salaries and $16 billion in voluntary community contributions and purchases of goods and services,” the report by Lawrence Consulting stated.