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WA mining salaries now higher than during previous resource boom

18/07/2019
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New research released this week from accountancy firm BDO has revealed that overall mining salaries for certain critical roles within the Western Australia mining industry have now reached levels that are higher than during the last resource boom in 2014.
WA mining salaries now higher than during previous resource boom
With over $103 billion of resources projects now in the pipeline for WA and substantial activity in the Pilbara employers are now having to complete for certain in-demand disciplines resulting in the salary boost. According to BDO this situation has been exacerbated by the unprecedented infrastructure boom taking place on Australia’s Eastern Seaboard, where the salaries are on par with those on offer in WA (if not more).

Commenting on the situation, Allan Feinberg of BDO said:

“We’re now in a situation where some skills are in critical short supply, but workers are not returning to Western Australia because they have found jobs… along the Eastern Seaboard. We expect this will put pressure on WA mining companies to further increase the salaries on offer in order to fill the gaps in their teams.”

The jobs in critical short supply in Western Australia include:

  • Project Managers.

  • Project Engineers.

  • Estimators.

  • Surveyors.

  • Mine Engineers.

  • Geologists.

  • Geotech Engineers.

  • The research also identified a trend in which more and more miners are seeking family friendly rosters as an alternative to the 14/7 rosters traditionally used by mining operators. A result of this is the need to increase in the number of operational employees to ensure a site can operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Linked to this trend, many companies are failing to adjust their allowances and/or base salaries proportionately to new family/friendly rosters which represents a reduction in hours worked. This creates an upward pressure on salaries without any increase in productivity.
    An infrastructure boom on Australia's Eastern Seaboard has made it increasingly difficult for mining operators in WA to secure in-demand skill sets.
    In addition to these trends, recent changes to skilled migration visas have also constricted the ability of mining operators to recruit in-demand skillsets/disciplines from overseas.

    “Mining companies in Western Australia need to start future-proofing their businesses to create a pipeline of talent so they can deliver on the opportunities in the state. But their offering must include non-financial benefits such as quality of work life and employment stability if they want to avoid an eBay-style bidding war. If the offering is based on pay rate alone, salaries in the west will continue to be pushed up to record levels,” said Feinberg.
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    WA mining salaries now higher than during previous resource boom - Time to read 3 min
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