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Mining Canada For Skilled Workers

Depending on which industry you work in, “skills shortage” is possibly the status-quo condition in which you recruit. Australia’s mining industry is one of the most challenged in this regard, and with BHP Billiton predicting the industry will need to recruit an additional 150,000 workers by 2015, only a shortage of skilled workers can foreseeably [...]

Depending on which industry you work in, “skills shortage” is possibly the status-quo condition in which you recruit. Australia’s mining industry is one of the most challenged in this regard, and with BHP Billiton predicting the industry will need to recruit an additional 150,000 workers by 2015, only a shortage of skilled workers can foreseeably dampen this booming sector.

When the current labour market falls short, one of the most effective means of sourcing staff is to bring in a skilled workforce from overseas, and the mining industry hasn’t been slow at adopting this practice. Recently, one of the most effective markets for mining companies to target is proving to be Canada.

Recruiting for Australian mines from Canada makes sense when you consider Canada’s population of 38 million and its historically-strong but stagnating mining industry worth approximately $40 billion annually (1). Compare this to Australia’s 23 million people to service a rapidly expanding mining industry, currently estimated at over $200 billion per year (2), and expanding rapidly in both dollar value and proportion of GDP.

Employment Office Managing Director Tudor Marsden-Huggins works extensively with the mining sector in both Australia and Canada, and says that increasingly, Australian employers are recruiting their niche workforce from Canada when local methods fail.

Australia has a relatively small population, and its economy has continued to grow throughout the GFC, where so many similar countries have seen massive layoffs,” he says. “We’re in a unique recruitment position here, which makes importing skilled labour a realistic option for employers of all sizes.

Within the mining, energy and engineering industries, Canada has been a particularly successful source of staff for our Australian clients. There’s a strong mining industry there, but the sluggish North American economy has had a negative impact on growth and development of new projects, so you’ve got a wealth of skilled workers wondering where they’re going to work next.

The two countries are similar in many ways, so there’s not much of a culture shock or language barrier when Canadians come to work here. By running recruitment advertising campaigns in both countries for Australian mining projects, we’ve had a lot of success in attracting the right people for our clients.

Marsden-Huggins says that employers in any industry that shy away from recruiting skilled staff overseas because it’s ‘just too hard’ are passing up opportunities for growth. “In this global climate, skilled migration is only going to increase, so if employers aren’t taking part, they’re just leaving the best recruitment to their competitors.”

 

1. http://www.caving2010.com/canadas-mining-industry-may-be-set-for-a-boom….

2. http://www.ibisworld.com.au/industry/default.aspx?indid=55