Employee Turnover in the Resources Sector continues to trend upwards as a result of opportunities arising from new projects and brownfields expansions.
The results of the latest Resources Industry Turnover Analysis (RITA) report showed that overall industry employee turnover increased to around 15.0% per annum and that pressure to retain experienced and competent employees increased in both the white and blue collar category. The report covers mining and processing operations and associated service providers and excludes Corporate offices.
Our previous recent reports showed growing pressure to retain employees in the blue collar sector but this time around white collar turnover showed a significant increase after being “range bound” for a number of years. Demand is now broad based and the report noted announcements from the Qld Resources Council reporting that over 11,000 new mining jobs had been created in the state since late 2017 and the WA Department of Mines reporting over 5,000 new jobs created in the sector during the 2018 financial year. NSW (North Parkes expansion), NT (Tanami underground) and SA (Carrapateena) also have significant projects underway which are increasing demand amongst other previously publicised existing and planned projects.
On the supply side NCVER statistics show that traditional trade apprenticeship commencements continue to decline (a trend in place since 2014) and most stakeholders will be well aware of previously reported downturns in the number of students studying mining engineering and other resources related degrees in Australian Universities. The greying of the workforce, negative perceptions about the mining industry and employee preferences to work and live close to capital cities or large regional centres point to ongoing challenges for the industry in attracting and retaining quality people.
Of course there are a number of positive initiatives underway to address these challenges both at a Company and Industry level as the sector continues to improve and refine its people strategies.