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AusIMM’s 2018 Professional Workforce Survey – Results

Research shows resources sector returns to full employment

An annual survey conducted by the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (AusIMM) has revealed a healthy outlook for the resources sector, indicating a return to full employment for professionals.

AusIMM’s 2018 Professional Workforce Survey, completed by more than 1500 respondents, showcased the strength of the resources sector, with an unemployment rate of just 2.6 per cent, less than half the national average and in stark contrast to 14.1 per cent unemployment in the sector recorded by AusIMM in 2016.

The optimism of professionals shone through clearly in the survey, with 70 per cent of respondents signalling that they felt the sector was offering increased opportunities in 2018. This is a significant turnaround from just three years ago, when only 17 per cent of respondents felt optimistic about opportunities in the sector.

AusIMM CEO Stephen Durkin said that it was encouraging to see optimism among student respondents, with 68 per cent expressing confidence in industry growth and employment in 2018 – a figure that has doubled since 2015.

“Increasing student confidence in the sector, will encourage more young people to enter STEM related courses with the assurance of a long, stable career in a strong industry. This is significant given the importance of attracting and retaining a skilled workforce to a changing industry.” Mr Durkin said.

‘The positive uptick we’ve seen in our sector translates to greater employment, greater prospects, and the opportunity for sustainable growth into the future.’

‘There is significant focus in the public space on the politics of mining, and not enough of a focus on the capability, expertise and employment of 65,000 resources professionals in Australia and the 1.1 million full time jobs reliant on the success of this sector.’

Innovation, automation and technological development were of increasing importance to respondents in the survey, reflecting the professional interest in the fast change the sector is undergoing.

“The sector is changing, and we need to ensure that the skills of the future workforce are cultivated, to fully embrace innovation and automation and all the opportunities it offers for growth in the sector,” Mr Durkin said.

AusIMM’s survey asked how diverse participants thought their workplace was based on race, ethnicity, heritage, gender, age, religion, disability or sexual orientation. Results found that professionals viewed their workplaces to be diverse, with 69 per cent of male and 64 per cent of female participants indicating that their workplaces met or exceeded expectations. However, respondents indicated more work needed to be done to improve the perception of the resources industry more broadly, with over half of female participants expressing the view that the industry was not diverse, compared to 32 per cent of male participants.

Mr Durkin said that industry needed to be on the front foot with promoting diversity and inclusion if it wanted to achieve real growth.

‘A diverse and inclusive sector will attract and retain the necessary talent for a modern, sustainable mining industry, while encouraging innovative thinking from a broad pool of professionals,’ Mr Durkin said.

‘This is why AusIMM has established our Council for Diversity and Inclusion, to assess and commit to actions that will improve the sector while also encouraging industry to take the lead.’

Read our annual summary report here. 


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