New Opportunities Push Employee Turnover Higher in the Resources Sector

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.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on New Opportunities Push Employee Turnover Higher in the Resources Sector

Employee Turnover Ticks Up as Blue Collar Opportunities Increase

Employee Turnover in the Resources Sector continues to trend upwards as competition for experienced and competent employees ramps up.

Although the results of the latest Resources Industry Turnover Analysis (RITA) report showed that overall industry turnover increased to a relatively modest 12.0% per annum we all know averages can be deceptive. In particular turnover among blue collar employees continued to rise with several sites experiencing turnover in excess of 20% per annum.

The gold sector has been buoyant for some time but now we see increasing opportunities  in the Nickel, Iron Ore and the emerging Lithium sector which are encouraging employees to “jump ship” for better rosters, improved pay and conditions or career opportunities. Whilst we aren’t back to boom time conditions yet, mining employers are finding it increasingly difficult to source qualified and experienced employees who are willing to live or work remotely.

Mining Contractors and service providers in particular are struggling to keep a lid on turnover as a number of new projects or expansions of existing operations compete for staff. We can only see the market getting tighter as recently announced expansions by major players and a number of mid-tier producers add to the already existing demand. Whilst the official ABS wage growth statistics don’t reflect it yet there is definitely pressure on wages and salaries and a number of companies are reviewing existing rosters and other employee offerings as part of their attraction and retention strategies.

Major infrastructure projects on the east coast are also adding to the pressure as there is plenty of work available for operators and tradespeople who might otherwise be attracted to jobs in the resources sector.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Employee Turnover Ticks Up as Blue Collar Opportunities Increase

Employee Turnover Increases as “Green Shoots” Appear in Resource Sector

The results of the latest Resources Industry Turnover Analysis (RITA) Report show that employee turnover is on the rise as “green shoots” emerge in the resources sector.

While our recent benchmarking exercise indicates that overall employee turnover increased marginally to 12.1% per annum the national result masked a substantial increase in WA. The relative buoyancy of the gold sector, the emerging lithium market and improvements in other commodity prices are creating new opportunities for employees with exploration, brownfields expansion and some new projects on the drawing board. Anecdotal evidence also suggests that some service providers have had to cut tender prices to secure new contracts and in some cases are struggling to retain employees who are chasing better pay and conditions elsewhere as opportunities arise.

While our figures show turnover on the east coast remains subdued we understand the increasing use of labour hire employees in the mining sector may be masking any increase in employee turnover particularly in Qld.

None of this compares with the previous “skills shortages” when we had various “mega projects” underway and strong competition for labour in other parts of the economy. However after 4 years of relatively stagnant employee turnover our latest data confirms there are tentative signs of a tightening labour market in the resources sector.

 

www.mesolutions.com.au

FURTHER ENQUIRIES to Jeff Mackie on 0417 911245

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Employee Turnover Increases as “Green Shoots” Appear in Resource Sector

Employees Vote with Their Feet Despite Tough Times

Some employees chose to leave resource sector jobs in response to employers cost cutting initiatives despite tough times in the industry.

The results of our last Resources Industry Turnover Analysis (RITA) Report show that employee turnover levels in the resources sector increased slightly to 12.7% per annum over the previous year. Whilst this was still close to historical lows we were initially surprised that voluntary turnover didn’t continue its downward trend given the current state of the industry.

On closer analysis however, whilst a number of participating employers did report falling employee turnover, other employers reported an increased number of resignations as a result of roster changes, reductions in FIFO options and other general cost cutting initiatives. Whilst employment opportunities in the sector are limited some employees have chosen to leave the industry all together while others have been fortunate enough to secure jobs elsewhere in response to changes to their terms and conditions of employment. Some participating sites have also reported increased union activity and Right of Entry requests in response to cost cutting measures.

Disappointingly our RITA Report continued to show female turnover in the sector at a substantially higher rate than that reported for males.

The survey which is conducted bi-annually measures turnover as a percentage of the total workforce who voluntarily resign in a 12 month period.  The survey excludes corporate office employees and focuses mainly on mining and processing operations which include residential, fly in fly out and drive in drive out arrangements.

Data collection for our October 2016 RITA Report commences in mid-August.

Further enquiries can be made via our website.

www.mesolutions.com.au

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Employees Vote with Their Feet Despite Tough Times

Staff Turnover Amongst Women a Concern for the Resources Sector

The results of the latest Resources Industry Turnover Analysis (RITA) Report show that staff turnover amongst women is substantially higher than for men despite ongoing initiatives to attract and retain more women in the mining industry.

Releasing the results of their latest survey, Bronwyn Earner, Senior Consultant at ME Solutions, commented that whilst overall staff turnover continued to fall, turnover for women was around 16% per annum whilst for men it was only about 10%. This is the first time we have broken turnover down on a gender basis and it is disappointing that despite a number of positive initiatives from both employer groups and individual employers that women are leaving mining jobs in greater numbers than men, Ms Earner added.

The RITA report used data from 50 mining and processing operations around Australia to benchmark employee turnover. Turnover ranged from as low as 3.0% per annum at one site to a high of 37.0% per annum at another site. Overall staff turnover in the mining sector is the lowest it has been since the survey began in 2005 and reflects tight conditions for many companies and reduced job opportunities for employees.

Turnover is measured by the percentage of employees who voluntarily leave the company over a 12 month period. “Although reduced staff turnover is having a positive impact on costs further research would be useful to determine whether employees, both male and female, are leaving the industry or just transitioning to other mining jobs. As our survey covers both residential and FIFO sites in regional areas we would expect turnover amongst women to be higher for a number of reasons but not to the extent that this latest data shows.” Ms Earner explained.

The higher turnover for women comes despite a number of pro-active programs from organisations like AMMA, the Minerals Council and state based minerals chambers, to attract and retain more women in the resources sector. Whilst these initiatives are to be applauded and complement a number of individual companies diversity strategies the latest figures suggest more work is required if the percentage of women working in the sector is to increase on a long term basis.

The survey which is conducted bi-annually was based on a sample of almost 30,000 mining industry employees from across Australia. The survey excludes corporate office employees and focuses on both mining and processing operations which include residential, fly in fly out and drive in drive out arrangements.

 

www.mesolutions.com.au

FURTHER ENQUIRIES to Bronwyn Earner on 0417 811537

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Staff Turnover Amongst Women a Concern for the Resources Sector

2014 the Year of the Enterprise Agreement

As we usher in the Chinese “Year of the Horse” it is a pretty safe prediction that whatever else happens in Human Resources and Employee Relations during 2014 it will be the “Year of the Enterprise Agreement”.

In 2009 in the dying stages of the Howard Governments “Workchoices” legislation nearly every major employer and employer group across a range of industries moved to put collective agreements in place prior to the new requirements of the Labour Government’s Fair Work Act (FWA).

The maximum 5 year term of what were mostly non- union Collective agreements means there are literally thousands of these agreements which expire during 2014 and which will need to be renewed or replaced under the existing Labour initiated legislation.

It will be interesting to see how HR professionals and line managers, who may have had little or no exposure to Union officials in recent years, will comply with the FWA requirement to consult with default bargaining agents (Unions) or those nominated by the workforce. Of course there will be some companies and industries where unions have retained a foothold and where HR professionals and industry associations will be well prepared for discussions but they will still have to negotiate the new agreements under the labour Governments FWA which remains unchanged by the Liberals.

On the flipside the reality is that the Union movement does not have the resources or member support to get involved in the thousands of agreements that will be due for replacement this year. For them it will be a matter of tackling the big fish and “engaging” in those sectors where they have traditionally had most influence.

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 2014 the Year of the Enterprise Agreement

Falling Staff Turnover Reducing Miners Costs

Staff turnover at mining Companies has continued to fall as a reflection of tough industry conditions but is having a positive impact in reducing costs.

The results of the latest Resources Industry Turnover Analysis (RITA) Report show that employee turnover levels in the mining industry dropped a further 2% in the past six months to 12.6% per annum. This is the lowest level recorded since the survey began in 2005.

Whilst the figures indicate there are fewer opportunities for employees already working in the industry, or those trying to secure a job in the sector, the good news for employers is a resultant drop in direct costs and the hidden costs associated with staff turnover.

The RITA report used data from 50 mining and processing operations around Australia to benchmark employee turnover. Turnover ranged from as low as 3.0% per annum at one site to a high of 70.0% per annum at another site. Releasing the results of their latest survey Jeff Mackie, Principal at ME Solutions, commented that generally low commodity prices and a strong focus on cost control was impacting on employee mobility. One bright spot in WA was in Iron Ore where all the major players were still in expansion mode.

Turnover is measured by the percentage of employees who voluntarily leave the company over a 12 month period. “Reduced turnover is not only impacting on current costs but we have two major projects who are using our data to budget for ongoing operational costs and the structure required to replace the employees who leave each year. Lower turnover means fewer medicals and inductions, reduced training requirements and less resources allocated to the recruitment process. When you consider that industry turnover peaked at about 30% during the boom the current levels are providing welcome relief to employers on a number of fronts” Mr Mackie explained.

The survey which is conducted bi-annually was based on a sample of almost 30,000 mining industry employees from across Australia. The survey excludes corporate office employees and focuses on both mining and processing operations which include residential, fly in fly out and drive in drive out arrangements.

www.mesolutions.com.au

FURTHER ENQUIRIES to JEFF MACKIE on  +61 8 93880100 or +61 417 911245.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Falling Staff Turnover Reducing Miners Costs

Mining Slowdown Sees Staff Turnover Fall

 

Staff turnover at mining Companies has fallen to levels not seen since the GFC as the impact of the slowdown in the resources sector takes effect.

The results of the latest Resources Industry Turnover Analysis (RITA) Report show that employee turnover levels in the mining industry dropped nearly 5% in the past six months to 14.8% per annum.

Whilst this is good news for employers and will have a positive impact on costs, the flipside for employees is reduced job vacancies and fewer opportunities for promotion or transfer.

The RITA report used data from 66 mining and processing operations around Australia to benchmark employee turnover. Turnover ranged from as low as 3.4% per annum at one site to a high of 75.0% per annum at another site. Releasing the results of their latest survey Jeff Mackie, Principal at ME Solutions, commented that numerous layoffs, deferred and suspended projects and a strong focus on cost reduction saw industry turnover fall substantially over the past six months.

Turnover is measured by the percentage of employees who voluntarily leave the company over a 12 month period. “The latest results will provide some relief for employers but it comes as a result of a broad slowdown in the mining sector. Despite that an overall turnover rate of 15.0% is probably too high and many employers still have annual turnover well in excess of that” Mr Mackie explained.

“If you look back at the boom years annual industry turnover peaked at nearly 30.0% and it is obvious that wasn’t sustainable” Mr Mackie added. “Despite all the doom and gloom around at the moment there is still a reasonable amount of project work in the pipeline and a more subdued environment should help to moderate costs and dampen employee expectations.”

The survey which is conducted bi-annually was based on a sample of almost 30,000 mining industry employees from across Australia. The survey excludes corporate office employees and focuses on both mining and processing operations which include residential, fly in fly out and drive in drive out arrangements.

 

www.mesolutions.com.au

FURTHER ENQUIRIES to JEFF MACKIE on 0417 911245.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Mining Slowdown Sees Staff Turnover Fall