TRADIES ROCK UP IN DROVES TO EXPO

TRADIES ROCK UP IN DROVES TO EXPO

MANY jobseekers attending the Gold Coast Mining and Gas Jobs Expo were tradespeople, according to a resource industry body.

The Australian Mines and Metals Association (AMMA) claims the majority of expo attendees were either underemployed or unemployed professionals from the construction, trade and civil engineering industries.

AMMA director Minna Knight says these sectors are still struggling.

“Workers are losing their jobs and people want to keep their lifestyle on the Coast by working at the mines for two weeks on and two weeks off,” says Knight.

“Because of what’s happened in the economy, mature people who run their own businesses and employ 30 to 40 contractors, are trying to work out where to find outsourced contract work in painting or gas fitting.”

However, landing a job in the resources sector is not simply a matter of showing up.

“One of the biggest barriers is people don’t have on-the-job experience. In the oil and gas sector you can’t have someone inexperienced who can’t address their position’s criteria. They should gain skills to fill the gap,” says Knight.

“However, Morris Corporation, Cater Care and other companies provide support services for people wanting to work as cleaners, caterers or bus drivers without studying.”

Exhibitors included Anglo American, Arrow Energy, BHP Billiton, Hancock Coal, Origin Energy, the Queensland Gas Company, Rio Tinto, Santos, Thiess and Xstrata. There were also many recruitment and labour hire companies including Chandler Macleod, Hays Resources and Energy, Manpower, Skilled Group and WorkPac.

State Government agency Skills Queensland says the aim of the expo was to inform prospective workers about job opportunities, the types of jobs and careers available, industry pay, conditions and lifestyle.

Knight believes the expo also served as a reality check for prospective employees.

“It helped people become a bit clearer on what pathway they wanted to choose. It’s hard to picture as people don’t see what it’s like to work there,” says Knight.

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