Australian Mining Crisis

Posted on: 17.05.2011    22:30:25

This is not a crisis in the traditional sense. The word crisis is usually defined as an unstable condition in political, international or economic affairs in which an abrupt or decisive change is impending.

Looking at Australia, if this is a crisis it is one that has been building up for at least a decade and only paused in the global downturn.

It would be true to say that successive Governments have not listened to business leader and that pent up demand has not be eased by the educational policies.

In terms of economics how nice it must be to be sat on top of some of the most in demand worldwide commodities even before the return of demand this year.

The mining boom in Australia can be credited for at least two things: It saved Australia from the catastrophe seen in many countries resulting from the global financial crisis, and it created corporate activity in the way of mergers and acquisitions, and debt and equity capital raising. Australia remained in its own bubble throughout the global recession and the economy is the envy of many.

However, the herd of elephants in the room, has been the total failure to prepare for the recovery during the downturn which now leaves Australia chasing a scarce resource that is not buried underground – human talent.

Working in Australia is the hottest topic in international recruitment as Australia scours the world to recruit the human talent to unlock the natural resources at home.

Nobody actually knows how many people are needed because the skills shortages are everywhere from Mine managers, project mangers , a range of engineers, environmentalists as well as all the infrastructure support staff. Some say the skills shortage is 50,000 others 100,000 but whatever measurement you use it is significant.

Is this a one off? Far from it, Australia will be unable to produce sufficient talent domestically for a generation.

Those thinking of working in Australia are likely to get long term employer sponsored contracts and the youngsters with the right skills can wing it on a working holiday visa in rthe knowledge that infrastructure jobs will pay more than a graduate position in other locations.

It might not be Eldorado, but is the modern equivalent.


Author: Chris Slay

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