The skill shortage of the drillers is hindering the Goldfields mining industry which has led Turnbull government to address the matter. The issue began last year when the Federal Government decided to remove drillers from the skilled occupation list.
This decision has been strongly prompted numerous mining executives-such as Ausdrill head Ron Sayers, and DDH1 Drilling boss Murray Pollock- to publicly ask the government to reverse their decision. They say it is very important to reverse as the industry is experiencing another activity ramp-up after the downturn.
In retort, The House of Representatives member for Western Australia, Rick Wilson vowed to bring the issue of reversing the decision to remove drillers from the skilled occupational list to the Minister of Department of Home Affairs, Peter Dutton.
Wilson further said, “We understand the labour market is constantly changing and the skilled migration list will be reviewed in July this year.”
Wilson showed concern and promised to write to the Department of Home Affairs to clarify the government’s rationale and what options should be taken into the consideration to compress this problem in the short term.
The mining industry is also facing challenges in retaining lower-level staff, with Kalgoorlie based mining firm Topdrill experiencing the same problem, they are forced to hire local backpackers to take some short-term roles.
According to the Topdrill general manager, Rob Connor, “We keep our senior people, our drillers and our supervisors, but entry-level staff, that off-sider phase, turnover is around 55 percent.”
The company can anytime need 30 people more for expansion of their business and servicing contracts which they have. And thus, a balancing is required to keep the company running.
He further said that they have tried every possible alternative to fill the entry level positions.
Rick Wilson has also invited the Minister for Jobs and Employment, Michaedia Cash, to visit the region to offer her assessment of the skills-shortage issue.
They are also working hard to find the problems in the Goldfish which is also the key contributor to the issue.
According to a Senior Migration Agent, labor agreements are also a way for companies to gain access to skilled workers from overseas where there is a demand and which cannot be met from the Local labor force.
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