game over for the mining industry?

Mining Boom Almost Over: Is it Too Late to Get a Job?

There has been a lot of talk over the last couple of days (over 300 news articles) about a recent ‘econonic report’ that supposedly predicts that the Australian mining boom will be over in just 2 years time! 

The question is first, is this correct? And then secondly – how will this affect the ability to get a job in the mining industry?

Who? What? and How?

Let’s start with where this information is coming from. Deliotte is one of the world’s largest audit, consulting, financial advisory firms and it is safe to say that when they talk the global business community listens.

 In their latest ‘Business Outlook Report’, they stated that Australia’s ‘two speed’ economy was looking less certain and it wont stay strong for more than the next two years.

Now you have probably already read this news as it was all over the weekend papers and major online news websites, but what none of them talked about was how this would effect employment in the mining industry – which is what we are going to do now.

Should You Be Worried?

So you have just decided that you want to get into the resource industry and then you read this – should you ditch the idea and stick with your current career path?

Before you start stressing to much, here are a few quotes from Reg Howard-Smith (Chief Executive of WA’s Chamber of Minerals & Energy) when he appeared on a radio interview to discuss this report.

What we’ve been saying for some time is that we will see a peak in investment, a tapering off in that investment and then an increase in production to occur through to the end of this decade.

…it takes some time for those plants to come up to optimisation and as we say we won’t see a peak in production for four to five years until after the investment occurs.

Some of those projects aren’t producing anything yet and won’t for a number of years. When the Gorgon Gas construction is finished, when Wheatstone is finished, when the expansion in iron ore when the Tropicana Gold project is finished

Basically what Reg is trying to say is that while we might see a decrease in construction projects (and jobs) when major projects such as the ones he has mentioned are completed, there will be an increase in the jobs that required for the extraction and processing once the mines become active.

And if we look at the QLD mining industry, their state government has predicted an INCREASE in new mining related jobs in the ext 2-3 years.

 Why Now is a Great Time to Get a Mining Job

If Reg (and the WA Chamber of Minerals & Energy) is right, then now is the best time to try and break into the mining industry.

Construction positions (such as labourers and trade assistants) are some of the popular entry level mining jobs because  they are the positions that usually require no mining experience and are seen as a great place to start your mining career (and hopefully progress into further positions). Once major construction projects slow down and complete, then there will be less of these positions available.

With all this being said, both sides of this debate are just ‘forecasting’ what they perceive is going to happen with the Australian mining industry and the national economy – and we can not be certain what is actually going to happen. 

So if you have been considering moving to a mining community to get a job, then take this with a grain of salt as the initial report did mention that Australians see the economy in a ‘glass half empty’ view, and it could be said that this report has done just that.

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